This article may reference Continental Mapping, GISinc, or TSG Solutions. These three legacy companies merged in January 2021 to form a new geospatial leader.
Last Thursday GISinc presented a webinar called ArcGIS Enterprise: Strategy for Cloud Migrations & Managed Services. During the webinar, GISinc discussed what you need to know (from planning to migrating to the cloud), what benefits you will receive (from cost, agility & elasticity and business continuity), and what you need to do (readiness assessment activities, migration strategy, implementation and outreach).
We had several questions submitted during the presentation. For your convenience, we've summarized the questions and their answers in the Q&A below:
Q: Which one is better - license and database in the cloud, or in the virtual machine?
A: This really depends on where the rest of ArcGIS Enterprise sits. In general, try to keep the database (EGDB) and the client (ArcGIS Desktop or Enterprise) on the same network, either on-premise or in the cloud.
Q: What EC2 instance types are recommended for ArcGIS Pro? You mentioned GPU requirement.
A: Based on your workflow; Image Processing, 3D Data Creation and Analysis, Tile Caching etc. You will need to provision the cloud instance to support that workflow. The good thing about Cloud Instances is that they can scale up or down as needed based on the workflow. In general, you can start with the Graphics Pro Instance Family of EC2 that uses NVIDA Tesla m60 GPUs. Link to AWS Instance Types: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/appstream2/latest/developerguide/instance-types.html
Q: If your ArcGIS infrastructure is located in the cloud, can you still integrate with other systems that may be on premise or in other clouds?
A: Yes, it does take some planning and coordination with your IT department to make sure enough bandwidth and security is in place. A VPN connection can be setup between on-prem and cloud environments. Some organizations create a data replication process to bring data from cloud to on premise to continue to support in-house business systems
Q: Does the cost of Esri license changes from on premise to cloud?
A: No, but remember it is very easy to scale in the cloud and ArcGIS Enterprise is core based. Make sure you have enough core license to handle your configuration.
Q: Does end user capacity planning tools exist?
A: Yes, Esri provides System Designer to help build capacity within your environment.
Q: If on prem services are all local, how does this get affected by moving to the cloud?
A: If moving ArcGIS Enterprise from on-premise to the cloud these services would have to move as well. We’ve seen some organizations maintain an on-premise environment to support internal business requirements and move all public facing applications and solutions to the cloud. A hybrid approach is very common.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for moving mostly EGDB (mostly vector) data types to the cloud?
A: This could be as easy as exporting to FGDB, copy up to cloud and import into EGDB. We have seen organizations leverage open tech RDBMS like PostgreSQL when moving to the cloud to minimize software license costs.
Q: What is the licensing policy of DR (Disaster Recovery) license?
A: Esri allows for an active and passive configuration setup that falls within the primary ArcGIS Enterprise license agreement. No additional licenses required. DR technically is a passive environment.
Q: What is the licensing policy of Failover license?
A: As long as failover is passive, Esri allows for an active and passive configuration setup that falls within the primary ArcGIS Enterprise license agreement. No additional licenses required.