IT legacy application modernization: the gap between aspiration and execution

Many of you are likely aware of the recent story of Southwest Airlines’ terrible flight cancellation and scheduling crisis during the winter holidays. Skytap Cloud Solutions Architect Tony Perez even wrote about a blog about how the airline could benefit from a lift-and-shift to the multi-cloud, then refactor to solve this issue and avoid similar disruptions in the future

This story stands out because while most other airlines were able to recover quickly from the inclement weather disruptions, Southwest Airlines was crippled by what was determined to be a legacy application which could not handle the scale of business transactions. This was a clear case of where a company had neglected to modernize one of its business-critical applications and paid the price in both lost revenue and damage to its brand reputation.

So how and why would a company well-known for its customer experience end up in this situation? After all, Fortra’s IBM i 2023 marketplace survey confirms that 64% of respondents see modernizing applications as a top concern for IT organizations. Companies and IT organizations know they need to modernize applications to remain competitive in this fast-paced, ever-evolving marketplace, yet many have yet to do so. Often, it’s because organizations don’t know how to develop a strategy to get them to the end goal. This combined with perceived risks of change or fear of the unknown has created a gap between IT legacy application modernization aspiration and execution. 

IBM Power 9s in a datacenter

Skytap recently highlighted how companies can benefit from moving their IBM Power workloads to the cloud using Skytap on Azure. This includes leveraging improved flexibility and scalability, eliminating data center costs, and creating operational resilience. Let’s go a little deeper into how Skytap on Azure delivers on some of these benefits through some unique and differentiating features. A key aspect to realizing the benefit of improved flexibility and scalability is through Skytap’s self-service user experience. Once customers are onboarded they can easily import Power LPARs via the Skytap UI or script an automated backup and recovery operation and migrate it to a new region via the Skytap API. The ability to import and manage workloads is not only true of IBM Power workloads, but also x86 workloads. Skytap environments can be created to include both IBM Power and x86 workloads to ensure the entire ecosystem of a business critical application is available and managed together.

The example of the scripted automatic backup and recovery operation takes advantage of Azure Runbooks for automation, but it does so by leveraging another key feature of Skytap, the product’s ability to create environments from templates. By leveraging this feature with the Skytap API, customers can drive operational resilience for their IBM LPARs directly within Skytap to recover from workload failures that can occur. It’s important to note that Skytap created the industry’s first cloud-based IBM Power solution and is the only IBM Power solution available in multiple cloud provider regions today, including Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. The ability to deploy IBM Power workload across multiple geographies helps further drive operational resilience. IBM Power LPARs can be deployed for high availability and disaster recovery within the same or multiple regions.

In conjunction with eliminating data center costs, it is important to be able to control cloud costs. Skytap enables this type of control expected from cloud solutions by enabling quota and policy definitions at the department and user levels. This gives administrators the ability to control and monitor resource consumption inline with operational budgets.

Skytap has the expertise and experience needed to close the gap between application modernization aspiration and execution for your IBM Power environment. Learn more about our customers’ success here or contact us to schedule a demo.

Connect with the author:

Steven Hunt – Vice President of Product Management at Skytap

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