‘Assess’ - Understanding your environment
‘Assess’ - Understanding your environment
3h 46m

Domain One of The AWS Solution Architect Associate exam guide SAA-C03 requires us to be able to Design a multi-tier architecture solution so that is our topic for this section.
We cover the need to know aspects of how to design Multi-Tier solutions using AWS services. 

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Learning Objectives

  • Learn some of the essential services for creating multi-tier architect on AWS, including the Simple Queue Service (SQS) and the Simple Notification Service (SNS)
  • Understand data streaming and how Amazon Kinesis can be used to stream data
  • Learn how to design a multi-tier solution on AWS, and the important aspects to take into consideration when doing so
  • Learn how to design cost-optimized AWS architectures
  • Understand how to leverage AWS services to migrate applications and databases to the AWS Cloud

In this lecture, I want to provide you with an understanding of what the Migration Evaluator and AWS Migration Hub services are in greater detail to help you ascertain when and why you might use either of these services during the assessment stage of your migration plan.

Migration Evaluator was formerly known as TSO Logic, however, in 2018 AWS acquired TSO Logic, and the Migration Evaluator service was born.

Being associated with the ‘assess’ step of your cloud migration, you can expect that Migration Evaluator has an element of data gathering.  It provides a mechanism to help you to understand and implement a baseline of what your environment looks like on-premise and how this could be projected to run in AWS with associated cost modeling through data analysis.  This analysis is helpful to speed up your journey to a successful digital transformation onto the AWS Cloud platform.

The Migration Evaluator focuses primarily on understanding your compute, storage and Microsoft licenses that you are currently using and automatically helps to identify which resource options would provide the best cost-optimized solution in AWS for each given workload that you are operating.  This right-sizing exercise for EC2 helps you to keep your expenditure low when undergoing a migration and these recommendations are determined through an algorithm that analyzes your hardwares CPU utilization, the age of the processor, the available RAM, in addition to the OS being run and its Microsoft license type.  When compared to the costs of running your environment on-premises, Migration Evaluator can help to reduce costs up to 50% when running in AWS. 

To be able to perform this analysis, Migration Evaluator has an agentless collector tool that gathers the relevant data to suggest its recommendations, including inventory discovery and time-series performance data.  Alternatively, these metrics and data can also be ingested by the Migration Evaluator using other 3rd party tools.  It is recommended that this data collection and gathering exercise is run for at least 2 weeks.  Once collected, this data can then also be read by other AWS services such as the AWS Migration Hub once it has been collected/received by the Migration Evaluator.

Once the data has been received, the Migration Evaluator will be able to present Quick Insights document in a few hours, which showcase the results of the assessment and evaluation highlighting recommendations and also the projected and expected costs after the migration, in addition to identifying any issues relating to the scope of resources required based upon your workloads.

Following the result presented in the Quick Insights documents, you can view analytical information in the form of a business case, and for the more technical audience, additional analysis can be shown on a per-server breakdown. This helps to dive into and analyze different cost modeling scenarios and a full inventory of compute and storage resources.

If you would like to request an assessment by the Migration Evaluator then you can either speak with your AWS account manager to organize it, you alternatively you can visit

The AWS Migration Hub provides a dashboard view of your migration project, and so, it's a very useful way to plan, track and manage a migration project. It is essentially the nerve center of your migration enabling you to discover and migrate services you have been running in identified locations. 

A migration project can often include a wide variety of services and servers often located in a number of different data centers or facilities. You might have databases located in one data center and business applications located in various points in another office or co-location. There may also be different versions and configurations of service, which will need to be taken into account if you go to migrate through a different platform. Now one of the challenges with migrations is maintaining one view of the various aspects of this project. So the AWS Migration Hub is a very powerful tool for large migrations where there are multiple locations or multiple servers and services. So how does it work? 

Well, as the name implies, the Amazon Migration Hub is the central hub of your migration project. It is accessed and run from the AWS Management Console, and once you have activated the Migration Hub, you can use it to discover and manage your migrations. It integrates with other AWS services to discover and audit your server inventory on a number of different networks and nodes, and it can also manage and track the migration of services and servers and applications to AWS Cloud Services.

The Migration Hub receives and collects server inventory from a variety of different sources, these include:

  • Migration Hub import – This allows you to import data from your own on-premises servers and applications

  • Migration Evaluator Collector – As already discussed, the Migration Evaluator can be used to feed into Migration Hub providing insights to help build a business case and plan strategy.

  • AWS Agentless Discovery Connector – This a VMware appliance that is used to collect data and discover information relating to any VMware virtual machines that you might be using within your data center.  

  • AWS Application Discovery Agent – This Agent, created by AWS, is installed on your own servers and virtual machines that you would be running in your current data center with the main objective being to collate metrics and information relating to system configuration, system performance, running processes, and network connections

Using these sources, the Migration Hub can then view technical specifications and performance information about the discovered resources. With discovery, we can get an in-depth analysis of what servers we have, how many we have, and how many applications we have, we can group them together, and perform detailed analysis.  

When it comes to the actual migration, you can choose a migration service tool that can be selected from the AWS Migration Hub. If you are looking to migrate a server, then you can use the AWS Application Migration Service, if you want to migrate a database, then you would need to select the AWS Database Migration Service.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Andrew is fanatical about helping business teams gain the maximum ROI possible from adopting, using, and optimizing Public Cloud Services. Having built  70+ Cloud Academy courses, Andrew has helped over 50,000 students master cloud computing by sharing the skills and experiences he gained during 20+  years leading digital teams in code and consulting. Before joining Cloud Academy, Andrew worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.