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Moving Workloads to AWS with Versent’s Yellow Brick Road

A pragmatic, real-world look at how we’ve helped organisations lay solid, organised foundations, move workloads into AWS and drive real business outcomes.

Understanding your application and server landscapes is one of the most challenging components of moving to the cloud. Knowing what is important to your business is the key to successful cloud migration.

Moving Workloads to AWS with Versent's Yellow Brick Road

Moving Workloads to AWS with Versent’s Yellow Brick Road

Explore the common challenges of moving to the cloud, and the importance of adapting existing operating models to embrace new ways of working, enabling the road to success.

Content Summary

Why are you on your cloud journey?
Embrace the journey
Where do I start?
Versent’s “Yellow Brick Road” to success
Build and Do
Top tips to get you started

Going cloud native allowed us to do so much. We have unlocked a whole new set of possibilities for our business that have delivered speed, agility, time to value and innovation. We are able to deliver more insights to make better decisions. – Vilma Faoro, Digital Strategy & Capability Manager, Woodside Energy.

By adopting our customer into the Versent family, we were able to take NSW LRS on the journey to the cloud and provide them with a complete new set of skills to take them into the future and build a solid foundation to drive innovation. – Micah Smith, GM Migrations for Versent.

Why are you on your cloud journey?

Having a steely focus on your business drivers will make a cloud migration successful.

  • Cost Optimisation: Total Cost of ownership + optimised migration path
  • Service Resilience/Scalability: Leverage AWS and get to 99.95+ availability
  • Business Agility: Timely deployment of workloads quickly & safely
  • Business Event (e.g. Data centre Exit, Organisational Mandate): Rapid, efficient migration & a plan for all workloads
  • Staff Attraction/Retention: Enable & retain staff with modern, relevant skills
  • Modernisation/Innovation: Gain access to new services as they are released
AWS Cloud Migration

AWS Cloud Migration

Embrace the journey

Embrace the cloud migration journey

Embrace the cloud migration journey

Where do I start?

How do I…

  • decide which of my applications are well suited to public cloud?
  • realise 30% reduction in TCO?
  • support the transition to cloud environments?
  • overcome change resistance in my organisation?
  • solve my skill gaps & re-tool my support teams?
  • meet my organisational, legal, government & regulatory obligations?
  • meet demands for data sovereignty?
  • develop a migration plan backed by sensible analysis?
  • execute the migration?
  • avoid the pitfalls of others?

Versent’s “Yellow Brick Road” to success


  • Migration assessment
  • Custom analysis


  • Technology
  • People
  • Process

Build and Do

  • Enterprise native cloud (ENC)
  • Automation
  • Migration factory
  • Migrate


  • Application
  • Process
  • Operational
  • Cost


Knowing what you’ve got is half the battle

One of the most challenging components of “moving to the cloud” is discovering and understanding your application and server landscapes, AND knowing what is important to your business.

Cloud migration discovery phase

Cloud migration discovery phase

Take the organisation on the journey

Work with every department as early as you can to get their buy-in to the migration – workshops and interviews.

As one customer shared with us – “There is no such thing as technology program, it’s a business program.”

Your cloud migration change program

Your cloud migration change program

Choose the right cloud mode target

Business drivers power choice:

  • Retire: App no longer in use or decommission planned
  • Repurchase: Suitable SaaS or AWS Native Solution available
  • Refactor (Full stack automation): Regularly maintained, in-house dev/deployment, overall benefit to refactor to cloud native
  • Rehost (Limited automation): Automated block level replication to move app to the cloud
  • Re-platform (OS automation): Requires manual build due to service being unable to be block replicated e.g. (OS Uplift, Move to compatible IaaS OS etc.)
  • Relocate: Desire to move quickly off on-premises or limited desire to go cloud native.
  • Retain: No other option is feasible due to;
    • Technical infeasibility
    • Licensing Support agreements
    • Lack of benefit vs. cost
    • Does not align with business goals
    • Compliance / Regulatory


Operating Models – The old living alongside with the new

Another challenging component of “moving to the cloud” is adapting existing operating models to appropriately embrace “new ways of working”.

Most often made mistake is to try to “force” their existing patterns, processes, gates & structures into this new mode of operation.

Operating models

Operating models

Build and Do

It can be scary, but as quickly as you can actually build and migrate something into production, the more confidence you and your team have.

There’s no better way to learn and continuously improve than to do it DONE DONE in production.

I need a reliable base

Before you can build, you need a cloud foundation that is..

  1. Secure and compliant: Meets the organisation’s security & auditing requirements
  2. Scalable and resilient: Ready to support highly available & scalable workloads
  3. Adaptable and flexible: Configurable to support evolving business requirements.

Introducing Versent’s ENC (Enterprise Native Cloud)

Baseline AWS environment that includes the following;

  • Account & Organisation: Root, workloads & common account setup under organisation structures
  • Network Approach: Connectivity & Security
  • Governance: Service Management, Compliance, Cost Control
  • Integration: Integrated with organisational cross ecosystem services
  • Identity & Access Management: Role-based Access Control across each account
  • Data Security: Encryption – In transit & at rest
  • Billing: Integrated Billing setup
  • AWS Best Practices: Aligned to AWS Well Architected Framework

Top tips to get you started

4 Top tips to get you started

  • Software: Not all Software is 100% Cloud friendly – plan to handle & integrate pet workloads – Citrix, Active Directory, CommVault, SAP, WebSphere to name a few… and check your licensing requirements!
  • Ecosystem: AWS Native services are amazing – but don’t be afraid to look into the 3rd party ecosystem to find quality solutions. We’ve used Palo Alto, NetApp, HVR, N2WS, CommVault, Citrix to name a few.
  • Contract: Your vendor contracts may not support cloud hosting or adopting native services. Discuss & negotiate early!
  • Grey Army: Consider security implications related to end of life software (Windows 2003/2008) – ring fence if feasible or attempt uplift/replacement.

4 Tips to keep you going

  • Incompatible: Unsupported technology / operating systems can be moved, but give yourself a little more time.- HP UX, AIX, Solaris, Multicasting apps
  • Compliance: Inject your compliance requirements into your cloud platform build and plan for minimising your audit radius
  • MVP: Don’t boil the ocean upfront, the agility of cloud & DevOps will enable the ability to resolve tech debt faster, but first you must get to the cloud!
  • Business Heroes: You will need someone senior in the organisation that is a champion of change.

Source: Versent

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