Many of today’s Unisys mainframe systems were developed long ago using outdated languages including Sperry MAPPER, Burroughs LINC or COBOL. Companies that are still trying to maintain their existing legacy platform face challenges when looking for this aging expertise—especially since many developers proficient in those languages have retired or are near retirement.
Moreover, a lot of these mainframes are being used for critical operations within health insurance, financial services or other data-intensive government operations. These organizations would take a devastating hit if they were to lose legacy data, thus interrupting profitable services.
Cost – Client’s who leverage Astadia’s Unisys mainframe migration technology achieve 60-90% annual cost savings. Realize massive ROI and fast payback periods.
People – Unisys mainframe talent is rapidly dwindling. Resolve critical skills shortage with a least-risk and least-change approach.
Flexibility – Unisys mainframe applications are often a hindrance to business agility. Astadia’s approach allows you to achieve digital transformation without compromise. Realize all the benefits the cloud has to offer.
Astadia can help you assess your current application inventory through a deliberate application rationalization process that will help you decide which apps to migrate and in what order.
> Gather detailed technical data about your environment
> Develop the project's roadmap
> Management of security-related issues
> Assign staff from both companies to manage the project
> Set processes, deliverables and timelines
> Deliver a preliminary package to help you prepare for the project
Mainframe migration projects are complex and require close management of the process, budgets and timelines that have been set as project goals. A Reuse approach will involve replatforming (from UNISYS mainframe to Cloud) and likely some re-engineering and refactoring to complete an entire mainframe migration. It will also involve data and file conversions for transitioning the database to the cloud.
The first challenge of any mainframe migration project is to develop a detailed plan built upon a thorough application portfolio assessment and rationalization. As you put your plan together and begin to execute, here are additional factors you’ll need to consider:
Many mainframe environments with large and complex application portfolios do not have documentation that details what these mainframe applications do, and how they do it. Many applications are decades old, so the original system, with changes likely every year, has become a maintenance nightmare. The external interaction with these systems, the Input/Output, is how these systems get defined to the business, and the rest of the system operates as a black box.
Migrating a minimally-documented system of this nature is tricky, and the testing prior to the “go live” deployment is critical to mitigating this issue.
There are a couple of general points about the application portfolio that should be noted. As mentioned above, the lack of documentation on these aging systems makes the migration effort more difficult. The project team that drives a migration project must then resort to “mining” the actual application source code to determine the exact behavior of the application.
Another important application-specific issue for consideration is discovering the integration requirements and dependencies of the application with other systems and databases. These integrations and dependencies must be clearly identified and, if still needed, they must be re-connected (possibly rebuilt) and made operational along with the migrated system.
For a short while, there may need to be some parallel processing between the mainframe application, while it is still being used in production, and the newly migrated system, on the new Cloud platform. Planning and executing this parallel processing will be a challenge, and will require extra time and attention to make it successful.
Another example of when you may choose to run parallel systems is if you want to achieve quick reductions in mainframe processing consumed by moving the development and test environments to a Cloud-based emulator while keeping the production system on the mainframe for the interim.
Moving the contents of large databases is very challenging on a number of levels. Typically, a database “cleanup” will be necessary to ensure that the contents of the new target database is as accurate, and as complete, as possible.
A mainframe modernization project is a good time to transform, correct and validate the organization’s data.
In almost every project, speed will be a top priority. The costs and complexities of extended project cycles can have an enormous negative impact in tangible and intangible terms. As project cycles get extended, staff attrition can become a big issue, and staff fatigue may also become a factor.
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