(Below is the approaches and challenges section of the IBM Mainframe to Oracle Cloud Reference Architecture. This document is a part of the Astadia Mainframe-to-Cloud Modernization series. You can download the full reference architecture by clicking on the link.)
The Oracle Cloud computing platform is an excellent target environment for transitioning from a mainframe workload to a cloud implementation. With the security features of Oracle Cloud and the ability to scale based on demand for the services, Oracle Cloud offers a complete operational environment in support of mainframe workloads that have been migrated to the cloud. In addition, Oracle Cloud supports innovation of the application portfolio, previously held captive by the inflexible nature of a mainframe computing model, improving the productivity of application developers and support personnel.
Easy to Use – Oracle Cloud is designed with simplicity in mind. You can request new services and host your applications using their simple to use web-based Oracle Cloud Portal. All their services are well-documented and there is a wealth of forums, white papers, and discussion boards.
Flexible - You can select from a wide variety of virtual environments where you choose the software and services your application requires. If you find that the environment selections are not adequate, you can simply provision different types of instances or add compute and/or storage on demand.
Cost-Effective - Oracle Cloud services are billed using a consumption model; you only pay for the compute and storage resources you use with no upfront commitments and contracts. Alternatively, if you know you have a minimal level of needs, you can sign longer-term contracts for additional savings.
Reliable - With Oracle Cloud, you are taking advantage of its highly redundant, worldwide computing infrastructure that is built to guarantee high availability that rivals or exceeds what you’ve come to expect from mainframes.
Scalable - Oracle Cloud includes tools such as auto-scaling and load balancing that allow your applications to scale up or down, if you design/architect this into your solution. Oracle Cloud’s massive compute and storage infrastructure guarantees that resources will be available when they are needed
High Performance - Oracle Cloud offers a wide selection of compute and storage options to replicate or exceed the performance needs of your formerly mainframe-based applications. Compute and storage can be provisioned as they are needed, so if your application is CPU intensive you can have a larger CPU/IO ratio and vice versa.
Secure - Oracle Cloud provides several security capabilities and services to improve privacy and network traffic. These include network firewalls, a securely featured Virtual Cloud Network, encryption in transit, and private or dedicated network connections.
In any mainframe migration project, the results of a cloud-based application set may be daunting. The change will impact the technical staff, as they will likely need to learn new skills.
The end-user community may not notice too many changes using a new system if the interfaces are preserved. In fact, the move to the cloud could fuel new innovation resulting in new capabilities down the road, which are likely not available to mainframe users today.
The overall impact of a successful mainframe migration project is a positive one for the entire organization. A new and better application portfolio, a cloud platform to enable innovation, and a large cost savings in the operational and systems software maintenance categories will be realized. It’s not unusual to repurpose IT staff after redeploying the mainframe portfolio to the cloud. The cloud platform has many other benefits, but flexibility and cost takeout are at the top of the list.
In the remainder of this reference architecture, you will discover over 17 pages of ways to move your IBM Mainframe to Oracle Cloud.