It’s vital to set up a cloud environment correctly so it can operate as effectively as possible and provide the optimum service available. Furthermore, a cloud environment can contain hundreds of accounts with different parameters, requirements and credentials. This can make the cloud migration, management of the accounts, and the overall environment more complex. A cloud landing zone is a useful tool designed to solve this problem effectively.

But what is a cloud landing zone, how does it work, and why do you need one?

Landing zones 101

In its most basic definition, a cloud landing zone is a framework used to perform a cloud migration as efficiently as possible. They’re often used by organizations with a lot of data that needs to be migrated on a large scale because various parameters can be established within the landing zone. IT teams typically need to build these cloud environments from scratch, setting rules in place regarding how applications function and how data is used.  They also need to apply universal security and compliance settings to all accounts, applications and datasets to consistently follow best practices.   This requires a lot of time and resources  before organizations even get to the step of cloud deployment.

An AWS cloud migration that utilizes an AWS landing zone can be done much quicker compared to one without a landing zone since so many of the foundational protocols are predefined and implemented automatically upon creation. You can also use the cloud landing zone to set up guardrails around user rights, dictating the accessibility different account types, departments and users have for certain datasets. 

Should you build your own landing zone?

Building a cloud landing zone of your own is a complex process. Within Amazon Web Services (AWS) itself, you have two main routes available to you: a custom build from scratch or using AWS Control Tower to get you started.

A complete self-build means that you need to implement identity and access management, governance, data security, network design and logging all yourself. This forms the baseline environment from which you can get started. Realistically, this option is only ever really suitable if you need a completely custom solution to support very specific requirements. Due to its complexity, you’ll need a high level of expertise in AWS to manage, upgrade, maintain and operate a custom self-built solution once it’s deployed. 

AWS Control Tower is Amazon’s semi-completed landing zone offering. It provides a prescriptive landing zone configuration that uses predetermined guardrails and blueprints so you can create new accounts and deploy workloads on AWS. While this option does offer some simplified processes for landing zone creation, it remains restrictive in the amount of customization available. Custom guardrails and blueprints can be developed within Control Tower, but they — like a self-build — require advanced levels of expertise, meaning it’s a far less streamlined process than you may initially think.

Accelerate migration with an out-of-the-box cloud landing zone

With so many moving parts to manage, it might seem like organizations need to be uniquely prepared for   migration to cloud infrastructure based on differing needs. However, cloud landing zones don’t need to be bespoke. Setting up a well-considered landing zone from the start can be simple with Stax.  

Stax’s out-of-the-box cloud landing zone streamlines your migration, providing numerous advantages and a consistent framework for your intended cloud environment. You can use the landing zone almost like a blueprint to evaluate progress and better strategize how to achieve a successful migration. Essentially, your cloud landing zone acts as a map on which you can identify critical actions and goals along your cloud journey.

Here are some of the ways the an out-of-the-box cloud landing zone like Stax helps in a successful cloud migration strategy:

Faster delivery

A customized cloud adoption framework takes months to build. On the other hand, a pre-built landing zone enables you to complete cloud migrations much quicker. Preparation time can be cut down from months to minutes, which results in considerable cost savings as well as a faster release for new applications.  

Accelerated onboarding

An out-of-the-box landing zone comes with and stores templated account profiles, security protocols and compliance settings. With these efficient onboarding abilities, the creation of new user accounts is essentially a matter of ticking a few boxes.   Another related benefit that pre-built cloud landing zones offer is swift scalability — if and when it comes time to expand your cloud environment, your landing zone empowers you to do this fluidly by using the preconfigured profiles that got you started so smoothly in the first place.

Improved security

When it comes to the security of a cloud environment, there are two main considerations: compliance requirements and the needs of the business. There are specific compliance rules set out by governance bodies and cloud providers that contractually need to be adhered to, while there’s also the need for organizations to protect their own interests and environment.

With the proper application of guardrails, an out-of-the-box landing zone allows developers and engineers to operate safely, knowing that they won’t be in breach of any regulations. Moreover, you won’t have to perform ongoing maintenance, so your AWS environment remains evergreen. This means less time will be spent implementing complex rules within the public cloud during the operational phase while keeping all environments consistently up-to-date will be simpler and less time-consuming going forward.  

Cost optimization

Having a clear overview of the cloud solutions being used and the extent of their cost is a pivotal part of ongoing success following a cloud migration. When organizations build their own AWS landing zone, monitoring metrics like spend requires manual checks. Organizations that cannot keep a steady grip on the reins are at risk of losing control of their cloud expenses.  

Out-of-the-box cloud landing zones like Stax provide a framework that enables engineers to develop new initiatives without incurring unexpected costs. Every account will be trackable and clearly visible, so nothing occurs under the radar. With such clear visibility throughout the cloud environment, companies can account for every action and subsequently strategize for better cost optimization.  

Innovation potential

One of the most significant and often overlooked reasons for using a pre-built landing zone for a cloud migration is that it can accelerate your path to innovation. These out-of-the-box solutions enable you to quickly deploy new applications without having to spend time repeatedly configuring the basics before you start building.

A smarter approach to the cloud

 You don’t need to go it alone when building an AWS landing zone. Using a preconfigured cloud platform like Stax allows you to kickstart your cloud journey in the fastest, safest and most cost-effective way possible.

Preconfigured environments make migrating into AWS with a landing zone secure and seamless by providing an off-the-shelf package with various tools that are already installed and implemented with compliant settings. This ultimately makes them a smarter choice for organizations migrating workloads to the cloud.

Stax offers an out-of-the-box solution that has been purposely architected to fulfill key requirements of a landing zone creation. With preset real-time guardrails, governance protocols and comprehensive governance and cost management visibility, Stax ensures security and risk compliance from day one while remaining up to date and relevant with continuous AWS release updates.

Reach out to our team to learn more and arrange a demo of our comprehensive AWS cloud solution.

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By Team Stax