Red Hat® OpenShift® is one of the most widely used open-source container orchestration platforms for enterprise application development and deployment. OpenShift on a Cloud Platform is an excellent target environment for transitioning applications from Unisys® or IBM® mainframes to cloud implementations.

With extensive security features and the ability to scale based on demand for the services, OpenShift on the cloud offers a complete operational environment in support of mainframe workloads that have been migrated to the cloud. OpenShift on cloud also supports innovation and evolution of the application portfolio in ways that were previously impossible due to the inflexible nature of the Unisys and IBM mainframe computing model, thus improving the productivity of application developers, support personnel, and end users alike.

Today’s businesses differentiate by delivering extraordinary customer experiences through applications that quickly evolve to meet their needs. Once deployed, these applications must be portable, highly secure, easy to scale, and simple to manage. Organizations are increasingly turning to containers and Kubernetes® to meet these needs.

Red Hat OpenShift provides everything needed for hybrid cloud, edge, enterprise container, and Kubernetes development and deployments. It includes an enterprise-grade Linux® operating system, container runtime, networking, monitoring, container registry, authentication, and authorization solutions. These components are tested together for unified operations on a complete Kubernetes platform spanning every cloud.

Cloud providers like AWS and Azure provide the technology and services that make running mainframe applications in the cloud a safe, secure, reliable way to achieve high performance results and enable future innovation for the organization. OpenShift on the cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, such as computing power, storage options, networking and databases that are delivered as a utility: on-demand, available in seconds, with pay-as-you-go pricing.

From data warehousing to deployment tools, directories to content delivery, several OpenShift on Cloud Platform services are available. New services can be provisioned quickly, without upfront capital expense. This allows enterprises, start-ups, small and medium sized businesses, and customers in the public sector to access the building blocks they need to respond quickly to changing business requirements.

Emulating Mainframe OS Features Within OpenShift

As a container runtime platform, OpenShift provides a method to run and manage container workloads. It does not, however, decide what those workloads should be, what services (if any) they should provide, etc. Developers can add frameworks to a deployment as they see fit, or split code over multiple deployments based solely on functionality needs. This means there are no core OS features available by default. However, these can be implemented and included within the containers as needed.

An example is print (spool) services: a typical Linux/Unix deployment would have a running daemon listening for print-jobs, and when received would translate and queue the job to be delivered to a destination printer. A typical container would not include this daemon, but it could be added if such a feature is needed.

A thorough analysis of your current mainframe application portfolio will identify the specific mainframe features that must be emulated within OpenShift containers during migration.

For more information on mapping mainframe terminology to OpenShift equivalents and mapping required mainframe features to OpenShift, download our Mainframe to OpenShift Reference Architecture.

Container Orchestration and Automation

OpenShift offers mainframe application migration, development and operations teams a common platform and set of tools for building, deploying, and managing containerized applications on any infrastructure – on-premises or in public, private, or hybrid clouds. Its features and operators make container orchestration and automation much easier.

The combination of all these features allows faster innovation by supporting many different aspects and practices pertaining to DevOps. Additionally, automated build and deployments (CI/CD), and build and container metrics within OpenShift provide a rapid flow of information and continuous feedback from the build and deployment process back to the migration and development teams. This lets developers detect and rectify anomalies immediately, which is far more effective than fixing them later in production, when fixes have a more critical impact on cost and service delivery.

Astadia’s Legacy Modernization practice has more than 30 years of experience migrating legacy applications to modern platforms. Since mainframe applications are the mission-critical systems of the enterprise, Astadia goes to great lengths to ensure a thorough and complete project plan is developed for each legacy modernization project we undertake.

Our methodology recognizes the organizational impact that any project of this nature will have on day-to-day operations, as well as the financial and business implications for organizations in both the short and long term. Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are carefully calculated during this process and are closely managed throughout the project lifecycle.

Mainframe to OpenShift on Cloud Success Methodology has been refined over the course of 300+ successful legacy migration projects and has become an industry leading approach for our medium and large-scale mainframe clients.

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