Transform Your .NET Core Apps - A Comprehensive Guide to Refactoring and Replatforming on AWS

As a developer working with .NET Framework applications, there comes a time when you need to consider migrating your applications to the cloud. Migrating .NET apps to the cloud can help you achieve increased availability, reduced costs, and better performance. In this article, we will guide you through the process and tools available to help your business with refactoring and replatforming your .NET Framework apps on AWS.

Introduction to .NET Core and AWS

In recent years, .NET Core has emerged as a popular cross-platform development framework for building modern, cloud-native applications. At the same time, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become the leading provider of cloud infrastructure services, offering a wide range of tools and services for running and managing applications in the cloud.

.NET Core and AWS are a natural fit, providing developers with a powerful combination of tools and services for building, deploying, and scaling modern applications. However, migrating .NET apps to the cloud can be a daunting task, requiring careful planning and execution.

In this guide, we'll explore the process of refactoring and replatforming .NET apps on AWS, including best practices, migration patterns, and strategies for migrating both Windows workloads and .NET Core applications to the cloud.

Understanding the Need for Refactoring and Replatforming .NET Framework Apps

Before we dive into the details of migrating .NET Framework apps to AWS, it's important to understand why you might need to refactor or replatform your applications in the first place.

There are several reasons why you might consider migrating your .NET Framework apps to the cloud:

●      Cost savings: Running your applications on AWS can be more cost-effective than running them on-premises, especially if you can take advantage of the pay-as-you-go pricing model and scale your applications up or down as needed.

●      Scalability: AWS gives you a lot of tools and services for scaling your applications, which makes it easier to deal with traffic spikes or workloads that change quickly.

●      Security: AWS has a wide range of security features and compliance certifications, which makes it a popular choice for organisations with strict security requirements.

●      Modernization: You can modernise your apps and use the latest cloud-native technologies and best practises by refactoring or replatforming them on AWS.

Migration Patterns and Strategies for .NET Framework Apps on AWS

When it comes to migrating .NET Framework apps to AWS, there are several migration patterns and strategies to consider, depending on your specific requirements and constraints.


Rehosting, also known as lift-and-shift, involves moving your existing applications to AWS without making any changes to the application code. This can be a quick and easy way to get started with running your applications on AWS, but it may not take full advantage of the cloud-native capabilities of AWS.


Refactoring is when you change your application's code to take advantage of cloud-native features. For example, you might migrate your .NET application to .NET Core while taking advantage of AWS storage services like Amazon S3 or Amazon DynamoDB. This can help you optimize your application performance and reduce costs, but it may require more time and effort than rehosting.


Replatforming means moving your apps to a new platform, such as Linux containers or a managed service like AWS Elastic Beanstalk. This can help you take advantage of the benefits of a cloud-native platform while minimizing the amount of code changes required.

Best Practices for Cloud Migration of .NET Framework Apps

Regardless of which migration pattern or strategy you choose, there are several best practices to keep in mind when migrating your .NET apps to AWS:

●      Start small and keep going: Instead of trying to move your whole application at once, start with a small, low-risk part of it and keep going from there. For example, the AWS Microservice Extractor for .NET can help migrate your legacy .NET Framework application by using the strangler fig pattern.

●      Use automation: Use tools like AWS CloudFormation and AWS CodePipeline to build, test, and deploy your apps automatically.

●      Test thoroughly: Thoroughly test your applications before and after migration to ensure that they are functioning as expected.

●      Monitor and optimize: Use AWS monitoring and optimization tools to monitor your application performance and optimize your resources for cost and performance.

Refactoring Tool - Overview of Porting Assistant for .NET

Porting Assistant for .NET is a free, open-source tool that helps you identify and address potential issues when migrating your .NET Framework applications to .NET Core. It analyzes your code and dependencies and provides guidance on how to modify your code to ensure compatibility with .NET Core.

By using Porting Assistant for .NET, you can ensure a smooth and efficient migration process to .NET Core while minimizing the risk of compatibility issues. 

This tool can save you time and effort by automating the identification of potential issues and providing actionable recommendations for code modifications.

Refactoring Tool - Overview of AWS Microservice Extractor for .NET

AWS Microservice Extractor for .NET is a tool that helps you extract microservices from monolithic .NET applications using the strangler fig pattern. It analyzes your code and identifies potential microservices, and then generates a new solution with the extracted microservices.

This tool is particularly useful for developers who are looking to break down their monolithic applications into smaller, more manageable microservices. By automating the identification and extraction process, it can significantly reduce the time and effort required to refactor your codebase.

Refactoring Tool - Overview of AWS Toolkit for .NET Refactoring

The AWS Toolkit for .NET Refactoring is a set of tools and libraries that help you refactor your .NET applications to take advantage of AWS services. It includes tools for integrating with AWS services like Amazon S3 and Amazon DynamoDB, as well as libraries for building cloud-native applications.

This toolkit allows developers to easily migrate their .NET applications to AWS, reducing the time and effort required for the migration process. Additionally, it provides support for debugging and testing of cloud-native applications.

Replatforming Tool - Overview of App2Container for .NET

App2Container for .NET is a tool that helps you move your .NET applications to Linux containers. It analyzes your application dependencies and generates a Dockerfile and Kubernetes YAML files to deploy your application to Amazon EKS or another Kubernetes cluster.

With App2Container for .NET, you can reduce the time and effort required to migrate your .NET applications to containers. The tool simplifies the process by automating many of the steps involved in containerizing your application. The tool also has a built-in health check feature that makes sure your application is running well in the container environment.

With App2Container for .NET, you can easily modernize your .NET applications and take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of containerization.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Migrating .NET apps to AWS can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right tools and strategies, it can also be a rewarding one. By refactoring or replatforming your applications, you can take advantage of the benefits of cloud-native technologies and services, while also improving your application performance, scalability, and security.

If you're interested in learning more about how to migrate your .NET apps to AWS, be sure to check out the AWS documentation and resources, as well as the tools and services we've discussed in this guide. With the right approach and tools, you can transform your .NET apps and take full advantage of the power of AWS.

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Jamie Larson