The Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform is an excellent target for deploying Unisys mainframe workload to a cloud environment. With the security features of AWS and the ability to scale based on demand, AWS offers a complete operational environment to mainframe workloads. In addition, AWS supports innovation of mainframe application portfolios, previously held captive by the inflexible nature of a mainframe computing model, while increasing productivity of application developers and support personnel.
Even more than a typical IT project, planning to modernize mainframe applications is the most important phase of the total project effort. A good place to begin is with a thorough assessment of the existing overall mainframe application portfolio. Through the assessment process, all aspects of the existing portfolio will be inventoried and examined in detail, resulting in a catalog of each application, database, technology platform and business user profile currently in use. Once completed, the results of this application rationalization will then guide the sequence of application migration, as well as the different modernization strategies and techniques that may be called upon over the course of the entire project. We’ve included an overview of how Astadia tackles Legacy Modernization projects with our Success Methodology to give you an idea of what’s involved.
Don’t let the enormity and importance of a mainframe modernization project deter you from getting started. The skilled individuals needed to continue to maintain mainframes are increasingly leaving the workforce through retirement and are not being replaced. Hardware and software maintenance costs continue to escalate and the demands of customers, employees and partners require greater innovation than mainframe platforms can support.
Begin by reading the “Why Should I Migrate” section first. From there:
Mainframe Experts: Skip to the Unisys to AWS Reference Architecture and the Understanding AWS sections
AWS Experts: Start with the Understanding Unisys section, followed by the Reference Architecture.
Business Leaders: Spend time with the “Why Should I Migrate…” section and the Ensuring Project Success section at the end.
Over the past 10 years, public cloud computing has emerged as the foundation of future enterprise technology. In terms of technology generations, mainframes are at least two generations old, perhaps three. Yet, they still survive today and are responsible for running key financial, healthcare and other vital and sensitive systems around the world.
So, why should you migrate your mainframe workloads, why migrate them to AWS and why is now the right time?
The specific benefits in moving any mainframe workload will vary between organizations and even at the application and database level. In general, here are three of the top reasons driving legacy modernization projects today:
Cost – The economics of cloud computing are compelling when compared with the status quo of maintaining a mainframe environment. A total cost of ownership (TCO) evaluation of the subscription-based, consumption driven cost model of the cloud versus the exorbitant hardware & software maintenance costs of mainframes will show a very appealing and short-term achievable ROI (potentially less than 12 months from project completion).
People – Mainframe-specific technical skills are not being replaced by today’s college or technology trade school graduates. The pool of available talent with relevant knowledge and experience is shrinking exponentially each year. The cloud leverages modern technology and its use is ingrained into young software engineers worldwide.
Flexibility – The cloud offers an Open Systems environment in which high productivity and rapid innovation happen at a tremendous rate. A properly designed implementation of a cloud infrastructure scales easily and quickly, both expanding and collapsing to synchronize with business demand. Backup, redundancy and disaster recovery is seamless. Support for multiple end-user platforms and devices is inherent. Database sharing across the enterprise with high performance is achievable.