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AWS Cloud Migration Services: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line

For enterprises migrating to Amazon Web Services, AWS’s own migration service may offer the lowest overall cost: it is free for AWS customers. Its Database Migration Service is particularly popular, and it also offers server migration capabilities, a migration hub with a dashboard and hardware for transferring data via a physical device. To be sure, AWS is not known for customer service, so businesses must have the in-house staff required.

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Additionally, the AWS offerings will not be adequate without additional tools for enterprises that are pursuing a multicloud strategy – AWS’s approach is notoriously focused on itself as the center of cloud computing. Also, organizations with particularly complex migration needs might want to consider hiring third party help that specializes in AWS, due to the complexity of the AWS system.

Jump to: AWS Features Table

Company Description

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s largest cloud computing company by a wide margin. Conceived in 2002 and officially launched in 2006, AWS was the also the world’s first public cloud computing service.

Today, AWS offers more than 90 services. It boasts hundreds of thousands of customers in more than 190 different countries. Its cloud services are provided via data centers spread across 55 different availability zones in 18 geographic regions. In its second quarter 2018 financial report, Amazon reported AWS sales of $6.1 billion, a 49 percent year-over-year increase. Operating income topped $1.6 billion, a 79 percent year-over-year increase. Amazon stock is traded on the NASDAQ exchanges as AMZN, and it is a component of the S&P 500.

Well-known AWS customers include Major League Baseball, Oath, GoDaddy, Zulily, Expedia, Atlassian, Kellogg’s, Dow Jones, Adobe, Comcast, GE, Brooks Brothers, Intuit, Dole, NASDAQ, SAP and Netflix. The company also has a very extensive roster of partner services, including many who help with cloud migration.

Product Description

Amazon offers several different cloud migration services, most notably its AWS Database Migration Service, the AWS Server Migration Service, the AWS Migration Hub and the AWS Snow Family.

Impressively, more than 80,000 databases have been migrated to AWS by the Database Migration Service. It supports most commercial and open source databases, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SAP ASE, IBM DB2, MongoDB and others.

The Server Migration Service automates and tracks the migration of on-premise workloads to AWS.

The Migration Hub offers a dashboard and monitoring tools that work with AWS’s own cloud migration services, as well as partner services.

The Snow family is a collection of physical hardware that customers can use to ship their data to AWS data centers. Enterprises load up the devices at their own data centers and then ship the equipment to Amazon. The Snowball is a suitcase-sized device for transferring petabytes of data. The Snowball Edge is similar but incorporates some compute capabilities, and the Snowmobile is a 45-foot shipping container that holds up to 100 PB of data and is hauled by a semi-truck.


Supported Clouds

AWS only

Data Migration

Yes, through Database Migration Service or Snow devices.

Server Migration

Yes, through Server Migration Service.


Yes, through Application Discovery Service.


Yes, through AWS Professional Services.

Project Management

Yes, through AWS Cloud Migration Hub.


Yes, through AWS Cloud Migration Hub.

Physical Hardware

Yes, includes Snowball, Snowball Edge and Snowmobile, for transferring up to 100 PB of data.


AWS migration services include TLS encryption in transit. The Snowmobile also includes encryption at rest, dedicated security personnel, GPS tracking, alarm monitoring, 24/7 video surveillance, and an optional escort security vehicle.

Services Available

AWS Professional Services include the Envision, Accelerate and Assess services for cloud migration, as well as the Optimize tool to improve current cloud usage. The company also has specialists in large-scale migration, and multiple technical support plans are available.


Database Migration Service is free for up to six months for customers migrating to Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift or Amazon DynamoDB.

Server Migration Service is available at no charge, although users may incur additional storage fees for creating snapshots.

Migration Hub is available at no additional charge for AWS customers.

Snowball prices start at $200 per job. Snowball Edge fees run $800 and up per job, and pricing for Snowmobile varies based on the amount of data stored.

AWS Features Table

Features AWS Cloud Migration Services
Supported Clouds AWS
Data Migration Yes
Server Migration Yes
Discovery Yes
Planning Yes
Project Management Yes
Dashboard Yes
Physical Hardware Yes
Security Encryption in transit and at rest. Snowmobile includes dedicated security personnel, GPS tracking, alarm monitoring, 24/7 video surveillance.
Services Available Cloud migration planning, acceleration, assessment and optimization, as well as technical support.
Pricing Most migration services are free for AWS customers. Snow family hardware starts at $200 per job.

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