I get many questions about Amazon Web Services (AWS). Here is a sampling:

  • What should be the first step when starting the cloud journey?
  • Given the many services currently available in the AWS cloud, how does an organization select the important ones for initiating the process?
  • What sort of connectivity is required between the on-premises data center and the cloud, and what type of network rules need to be set up in order to comply with your organization’s policies?
  • How do you configure user authentication for logging on to access the AWS portal?
  • Do the users need to use login via the existing enterprise authentication service, or can they use identities created in the cloud?
  • How do we ensure that the infrastructure created in the cloud complies with important aspects of the AWS well-designed framework ― security and operational excellence, at a minimal cost?

These are the questions that come to mind before starting to consume cloud services. However, given the plethora of available services in the cloud, the task is more challenging than stated.

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Many of these cloud services are not standalone but are dependent on other underlying services. Hence, an intricate cloud knowledge is important for ensuring that the right strategy is adopted in this process from the beginning. Besides, you don’t want your engineers spending time creating an environment just to undo it after realizing they should have put additional controls in the infrastructure.

Learning About AWS Cloud Services

A company can start the navigation process by learning about all the services available in the AWS environment. However, since there are more than 200 services, learning about each one and narrowing the list to only a handful can be a daunting task.

CDW has AWS-certified consultants who can provide guidance and knowledge-sharing sessions with your development team and technologists. In a matter of days, they can provide guidance to your technical teams on which core areas to focus on based on your business objectives. This will allow your engineering teams to focus on business problems rather than spend time on the task of undifferentiated heavy lifting for setting up the infrastructure.

What CDW’s Jumpstart Services Cover

CDW’s Jumpstart for AWS helps to answer the above questions based on your priorities. CDW will guide you through your cloud journey. The following topics are included in CDW’s Jumpstart for AWS:

  • Understanding customer’s high-level objectives of the cloud journey and gathering technical requirements
  • Networking requirements between your corporate/on-premises data center and AWS including topics such as VPN or direct connect
  • Integration with identity providers: how AWS users will be authenticated and what services they will be able to consume
  • AWS’s root account and the importance of keeping the credentials secure
  • Determining if your organization needs a single account for hosting your applications or multiple accounts ― if multiple accounts, how to ensure that it complies with your organization’s policies
  • Creating S3 buckets and using lifecycle policies to move less frequently accessed objects to lower-cost tier S3 solutions, choosing from different storage options available such as:
    • S3 Standard
    • S3 Intelligent-Tiering
    • S3 Standard-IA
    • S3 One Zone IA
    • S3 Glacier
    • S3 Glacier Deep Archive
  • Steps to create images of your on-premises virtual machines and use those images as the baseline for creating additional instances in the AWS environment
  • Cost estimates of monthly recurring AWS charges for the Jumpstart environment configured on AWS
  • Creating a blueprint for allowing engineers to request resources while complying with your organization’s governance policy: a control list of services that can be deployed to the cloud using a self-service portal, how to setup some guardrails on what users are allowed to do
  • Provide knowledge transfer and best practices on administration, operation and configuration of AWS

Building a Solid Foundation

As I mentioned earlier, the creation of services in the cloud space requires a thorough understanding of the underlying infrastructure services and end-user scenarios to come up with a cost-optimized, balanced architecture with suitable trade-offs given various solution constraints. CDW Professional Services can assist your company in this journey by helping lay a solid foundation on which additional services can be developed for your organization.