AWS Discovery Services
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In this course we will learn to recognize and explain the migration services available from AWS and AWS partners, and how to run a migration using the AWS Server Migration Service. This course is a blend of instructional learning and demonstration. In this course we cover the following topics:

  • The AWS Migration Hub - which provides a simple way to manage migration of severs and applications.
  • The AWS Discovery Services -we explore the AWS Discovery Connector and the Discovery Agent which enable us to audit and quantify a migration project. 
  • The AWS Server Migration Service - which provides a way to manage migrating vmware and HyperV virtual machines to the AWS Cloud. 

Learning Objectives

In this course, we will learn to apply and use the migration services available from AWS.
First, we will explore the AWS Migration Hub service - which provides a simple way to discover, track and manage the migration of servers and applications.
Then we will learn to use and apply the AWS Application Discovery Service - which provides a way to discover and audit applications and servers running in both hardware and virtualized environments.
Following that we will apply and use the AWS Server Migration Service within the migration hub to manage migrating virtual machines from an on-premise or datacenter environment to the AWS public cloud.

Intended Audience

This course is suited to anyone running or involved in a cloud migration project. As a pre-requisite, I recommend completing our “Getting Started with Cloud Migration” course first so you have some understanding of migration projects and the benefits of the migration services to a cloud migration project.


I recommend completing our Getting Started with Migrating to the Cloud course prior to this course so you understand the basic concepts and benefits of cloud migrations. If you are new to Cloud Computing, I'd recommend completing our What is Cloud Computing? course first so you have an understanding of cloud computing concepts. 


If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


- [Instructor] Hi and welcome back. As a discovery tool the AWS Migration Hub functions as an auditor and collector of information helping you understand the IT environment you may plan to migrate. You can use an agentless discovery agent or install an agent service into your data center, configure it to access and audit the service you have on that part of the network and then those agents or that agentless server send the inventory information about the discovered servers back to the AWS Migration Hub which is running in the US West region.

So, does the Migration Hub support migrations across multiple regions? Absolutely! Now, the Migration Hub itself runs in the US West region but you can have information sent from your agents installed across multiple regions to that US West region Migration Hub, okay? So, yes, Migration Hub can track and monitor the status of your migrations in all AWS regions. So, how does the Discovery Service work? Well, the Migration Hub provides a Discovery Agent or a Discovery Connector that you can use to audit and connect to your current server environments. What's the difference between the two I hear you ask? Let's explore them.

So, the Discovery Connector is a VMware appliance. Now, it can only collect information about VMware VMs, so it's very useful with a VMware-only migration as you don't have to install and configure an agent on or in your data center or data center service. You should use a Discovery Connector if you need to quickly assess your infrastructure using a tool that isn't specific to any operation system. Without having to install anything on the service themselves, it's gonna be fast and it's a very easy process. So, the benefit of using the Discovery Connector is that it provides a fast infrastructure assessment. Now, the other option we have for discovery is the Discovery Agent. Now, this as its name implies is an agent that needs to be installed on servers in your data center environment and configured to allow the agent to send outbound data back to the Migration Hub service. You can install Discovery Agents on both virtual machines and physical servers. The Discovery Agent supports a wider range of server types, so it's very good if you have a heterogenous environment. The benefit of using the Discovery Agent is that its provides more detailed information than the Discovery Connector does.

The Discovery Agent collects technical specifications, system performance, network dependencies and process information, all very useful if you need to run or have a full audit of your environment before you consider doing any of your migrations. However, there's two things you need to keep in mind with the Discovery Agent. First, so the information collected from agents is going to be available and viewable from inside the Migration hub. That's its main point of use. Now, you can export the data from the Migration Hub using the Migration Hub command line interface or CLI to export the data and analyze it outside of the AWS Migration Hub using describe-export-tasks commands in the CLI.

The second thing you need to keep in mind is that the Discovery Agent needs outbound access from your on-premise environment to send that data to the AWS Migration Hub. So, we need to be able to access it over the internet, so if outbound connections from your network or data center are restricted in any way, you may need to request change to your firewall settings to allow the agent to work. Now, I mention this as you do need to check that you have the right permissions and process that will be allowable within your enterprise or hosting rules or status into SLA because I've seen many migration projects get held up at this point as it means creating an exception to request and have approve the connectivity for this outbound request. So, the Discovery Service, we've got these two options, we can use either the VMware Connector which is an agentless version or we can use the agent-based one which gives us a lot more detail, does require outbound access, tends to wrap things up and store them in the repository but it does give us a lot more detail. Very useful if we do need to have some sort of audit or visibility into our environment before we consider moving anything.

About the Author
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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.