Hackernoon logoCloud Migration: Automated Discovery Tools And Their Benefits by@inovar-consulting

Cloud Migration: Automated Discovery Tools And Their Benefits

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@inovar-consultingInovar Consulting

We help businesses transform with effective bleeding edge technologies.

With the advent of new tools, automation and orchestration are having an immense impact on easing the burden of moving to the cloud. 

Migrating from on-premises applications and data to the cloud is never a
handy process. Acknowledging this fact, organizations should consider using automated discovery tools to not only accelerate the process but also reduce costs and operational risks when planning for large-scale cloud migration. It is crucial to accurately determine what, how, and when to migrate into the modern environment when organizations are seeking benefits and cost savings of cloud infrastructure.

CxOs are now conducting an extensive discovery process with automated
search tools to determine the right applications for cloud migration and
evaluate its operational considerations and ensure an effective and successful cloud migration.

Get started with cloud readiness and workloads discovery

Enterprises that are taking initiatives to move to a better cloud
infrastructure must complete a preliminary assessment of migration readiness and develop a high-level business use case. Once an organization establishes a general understanding of its position on an overall cloud journey, an action plan will help determine pitfalls so the IT team can get ready to move workloads at scale. 

Additionally, keeping a portfolio and a minimal exercise is essential
for companies to create a detailed enterprise-level migration plan and validate their business use case. This analysis develops a realistic understanding of the interdependencies of applications. Moreover, it yields a detailed knowledge of the legacy environment, migration wave plan, and schedule workload migration. 

Large cloud services providers like Microsoft, Google, AWS, and others are now offering platforms that assist in the automated discovery of on-premises and baselining of servers, storage, and data flow patterns. These tools monitor your internal environment and show memory and
disk usage, utilization levels of processing power, and individual hypervisor
OS performance levels.

Do heavy lifting with automated discovery tools

Initially, IT administrators or CIOs had to make the best guess as to
whether an application would function accurately within a public cloud. This type of uncertainty often leads to stress, or if the manager made a wrong decision at any time, the company would have lost both money and time. In such a situation, Cloud Migration Support tools can help to simplify an application using a lift and shift mechanism for the public cloud- or to modify or rebuild it.

Automated discovery tools can significantly reduce time and effort by
accelerating the cloud migration discovery process. With help of this tool, the IT team can find and categorize every piece of hardware and software in the legacy environment, preferably with agentless technology. These tools also provide a server instance to hardware mapping and a server instance related to storage and networking. This highlights all dependencies of each application on the infrastructure, other IT support services also VDI, and VPN services. Along with that, the below benefits make the automated tools exceptional for cloud migration.

  • In a dynamic IT environment, automated tools can regularly update
    discovery maps to reflect environmental changes.
  • During the automated data collection period, the IT team can gather
    supplemental information independently.

Often, cloud service providers mention Incomplete data rarely causes a catastrophic failure but more commonly leads to longer migration times and more expensive transition costs. Microsoft has recently announced Azure Site Recovery will help move already-existing virtual machines from your confidential data center to the Azure cloud.

Types of automated discovery tools and their benefits

Automated discovery tools are grouped into the following three categories:

1. Migration-specific automated discovery and optimization tools

Migration-specific automated discovery tools are purpose-built and optimized for specific cloud migration projects. Migration specific automation tools are specifically designed to remove most of the complexities in cloud migration and speed up the entire process. The discovery tools also resolve the risks like architectural complexity, poor application selection, and application dependencies. The idea will be explicit if we review the features of the tools mentioned below.

Azure Migration tools

Microsoft Azure platform is now providing emerging technologies to ease and fully automate, moving workloads to the Azure cloud. Azure data migration tools include three best features called—

  1. Azure Migrate service automates migration of Virtual Machines (VMs).
  2. Azure Data Migration Assistant automates data transfers and
  3. Azure Data Box helps you ship data in bulk to an Azure datacenter via a dedicated hardware appliance.

Azure migration tools can also help you to migrate diverse types of workloads like:

  • Assess and migrate on-premises servers into Azure VMs
  • Migrate on-premises databases to Azure SQL DB/ Azure SQL Managed Instance
  • Migrate on-premises web applications to Azure App Service
  • Using Azure Data Box products migrate data to Azure quickly and cost-effectively.
  • Digital desktop infrastructure (VDI) migration to Azure Windows Virtual Desktop

Azure tools help a business to locate varied servers present in the IT setting, analyze the configurations of the businesses’ hardware, and create a detailed report inclusive of the cost of using Azure tools. A Business can save up to 40% with a Windows Server License inclusive of Software Assurance.

AWS Automation tools

All kinds of software companies are going cloud-native and putting their
entire offering on the cloud with AWS BI tools. If you plan to get an AWS
solution, you need to know about these two AWS automation tools: AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Code Deploy.  

AWS Elastic Beanstalk handles apps written in a slew of languages (PHP, .NET, Java, Python, the list goes on) and has native Docker support. Elastic
Beanstalk also deploys quickly and easily across your EC2 instances. The best part is the tool automatically rolls back to prior instances if there are any failures. CloudWatch and SNS notifications keep you apprised of any service issues, cause peace of mind.

(Source: AWS)

AWS Code Deploy allows you to deploy to thousands of targets across
different environments. Code deploy can integrate with other configuration management tools like Puppet, Ansible, and more. The tool also assimilates version controls tools like GitHub, continuous integration tools like Bamboo, other AWS services like AWS CloudFormation, AWS OpWorks, AutoScaling, others.  Basically, this is an all-in-one
the solution that pulls other programs you may be using and lets you manage and monitor them from one centralized location and prepare a report for your deployment process. 

2. Infrastructure management and monitoring platforms

Infrastructure management and monitoring platforms are more organized with extensive automated discovery and application mapping capabilities. These tools focus on optimizing the existing environment as opposed to optimizing migration practices on an ongoing basis.

By automating the configuration of your cloud-based infrastructure, your
the organization can free up time and resources for mission-critical innovation instead of routine maintenance. 

Puppet and Kubernetes are two of the most well-known cloud
infrastructure management tools that have greatly simplified the migration


Puppet is a long-time leader in the configuration automation market. Puppet helps some of today’s largest software teams' model configure and systematically enforce desired configurations of their infrastructures. It will allow you to manage all aspects of your cloud-based infrastructure, from computing to storage to networking resources, at an impressive scale. With this tool, you get out-of-the-box orchestration and task-based command execution, and multi-device management.

In 2019 Puppet bought its open-source project Lyra into GA, which proves infrastructure automation is relevant even in container-based environments. In this project, using infrastructure as code, developers were able to provision and manage public cloud, private cloud, and other API-backed resources.


Kubernetes is a container-based orchestration platform, originally developed by Google for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes has established itself as the DeFacto standard for container orchestration and the flagship project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The tool is also backend with the key cloud players like Google, AWS, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, and others. Although Kubernetes is not only an infrastructural configuration management tool, but also easy to deploy and manage applications based on a microservice architecture for almost any cloud. The bespoke tool creates an abstract layer on top of a group of hosts so developer teams can deploy their applications. Furthermore, the whole new ecosystem allows Kubernetes to manage things like –

  1. Controlling resource consumption evenly by application or team.
  2. Spread application loads across their host infrastructure.
  3. Automatic load balance requests across the different instances of an application.   

Considering the present condition, cloud leaders are suspecting in the future, Kubernetes may make traditional configuration management tools completely obsolete.

3. Managed service provider (MSP) platforms

MSP-level platforms are generally available to MSPs that provide professional services support to groups of clients moving to a hyper-scale cloud provider. They first prioritize provider capabilities rather than the migrating client. Hence MSP would be too complicated and costly for a typical organization to use. Recently, there has been a trend for specialized migration tools to be combined with cloud management platforms.

Cloud MSPs expertise with cloud computing, networking, storage, cloud security, application stacks, and performance testing, infrastructure management, and many more. In this way, cloud MSPs help the organization in the cloud transformation by partnering with them.


NinjaRMM is now the easiest RMM software for every user. This tool builds from cloud technology to instantly remediate your client issues through an intuitive user interface. Those who applied the tools in their cloud infrastructure have acknowledged that it leverages a robust set of features to manage network devices, access remotely, perform patching, deploy anti-virus scans, automate scripts, and many more. 

BMC TrueSight pulse 

BMC is a SaaS-based monitoring platform for cloud and server infrastructure. The tool creates a clear picture of how your web applications perform and your users feel about that. BMC has a feature like customizable Dashboard and custom metrics which helps to monitor the cloud, VMs, and physical servers. Furthermore, it allows implementing automation support for Chef and Puppet. The tool provides notifications every second about metrics that apply to end-users, applications, and infrastructure.

Considering the above facts, we can say automation and orchestration
have a vast impact on easing the burden of moving to the cloud. Enterprise and cloud migration planning companies need to implement the automated discovery analysis, and evaluation capabilities of these tools to reduce costs and operational risks and accelerate the overall migration journey. Not only tool selection, but organizations also need to keep in mind that their IT operations team can use the equipment properly. They can also take help from professional cloud services provider to run the discovery and analysis process.



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