Legacy Application Migration
Legacy applications are older applications, software, or systems designed for use with an outdated or aging platform. Legacy application migration is moving a legacy application to a new, modern solution. Often, this move is into the cloud. There could be many reasons to make the migration to the cloud, including improved performance, agility and scalability. Although some legacy applications may not need to be migrated, doing so can unlock new potential and flexibility in an ever-changing business environment.
As hybridization and remote work gain prominence, so has the use of cloud-based applications. Based online and accessible from anywhere, cloud computing seamlessly unites global workforces. This rise in popularity is driving the push to migrate legacy applications. To utilize cloud solutions, companies must migrate old software to new platforms. The core elements of cloud computing are:
- Hardware: Servers or other physical components like storage arrays and load balancers that support cloud computing.
- Software: The operating systems, middleware, and applications used to support cloud computing operations.
- Data: All data stored and processed in the cloud, like customer information, financial records, and other business-critical information.
- Network: The connectivity and infrastructure required to access and transfer data to and from the cloud.
These core elements work together to provide organizations with a scalable and flexible computing environment that can support a wide range of applications and services.
Cloud computing is wholly scalable and highly flexible, enabling organizations to only pay for the share of resources they need. Due to this pay-as-needed model, cloud computing can save you money over in-house infrastructure. Additionally, efficient gains due to the flexibility of cloud-based systems can lead to additional cost optimization.
A hybrid deployment model involves a blend of private and public clouds. Private clouds can be more costly than public cloud services but may offer more security. Combining these two into a hybrid environment enables businesses to enjoy the flexibility, scalability, and cost-optimization of cloud computing without sacrificing security when undergoing a legacy application migration.
Situations in which a hybrid deployment model can be used may include:
- Cost-balancing security: Many organizations, especially those that handle consumer data, must adhere to compliance requirements that can only be met through a private cloud. Highly sensitive data can be kept on the private cloud, while less-sensitive data, such as advertising materials or company images, can be stored on the public cloud.
- Dynamic scalability: For companies with shifting workloads and storage needs, utilizing a hybrid cloud can enable cost-effective and agile scaling in the public cloud. Less-sensitive data can be shifted from the private to the public cloud as situations evolve.
- Progressive cloud transition: If a company is moving to a fully public cloud, it may leverage a hybrid cloud as they incrementally migrate data and legacy applications.
When migrating to a cloud environment, you may wonder which providers offer the best services for your needs—but the questions around “best” can seem foreign. What options offer the best security? What does it mean when a public cloud provider has an availability of five nines? The term “five nines” refers to the figure of 99.999%. Providers with five nines guarantee 99.999% of uptime, or functional operations. It’s important to consider that these organizations can provide near-perfect availability of their environments.
How To Migrate Legacy Applications To Cloud
Understanding how to migrate legacy applications to cloud environments can be challenging. However, this complex process is vital for companies looking to take advantage of cloud computing. Legacy app migration can unlock new cost savings, deliver scalability, and optimize workflows for improved flexibility. Moreover, the process of legacy application migration allows companies to provide older software and data infrastructures with a “facelift”. When developers move an app to the cloud, they often perform maintenance on neglected code and may uncover previously buried data.
The process of cloud migration is not always cut-and-dry, but the general steps typically include the following:
- Assessment: Evaluate existing apps and infrastructure, including technical and business requirements, performance and scalability needs, and critical data.
- Planning: Develop a detailed project plan and prepare for risks and challenges. A skilled cloud expert can create a plan that considers these potential risks in advance. They will help the dev team navigate challenges as they arise.
- Preparation: Update hardware and software, and prepare the cloud environment for app needs. It’s critical to ensure that all vital data and functions are backed up in case something should go wrong.
- Migration: Move or re-architect apps, data, software, and infrastructure to the cloud.
- Testing: Test apps for correct function, performance, and security. A QA team may need to move from this phase back to development, depending upon what problems arise. If your project plan was airtight, addressing these concerns should be straightforward.
- Monitoring and Maintenance: Monitor app performance and availability, and maintain security and performance over time.
These are the general steps for migrating legacy applications to the cloud. Depending on your organization’s and applications’ specific requirements, additional steps may be required, or certain steps may need to be modified.
There are unique solutions in the marketplace that allow organizations to migrate applications to the cloud “as-is”. Often referred to as “lift and shift”, this allows organizations to migrate legacy applications to the cloud without costly and timely refactoring, rearchitecting or replatforming. Doing so saves time and money and reduces risk in migrating business-critical applications to the cloud. Once moved, these applications can immediately enjoy cloud benefits. And organizations can extend the value of their existing application investments.
Skytap was purpose-built to run IBM Power in the cloud. This allows organizations to migrate IBM i (AS/400), AIX, Linux on Power together with x86 workloads in Azure or IBM Cloud. Organizations with IBM Power midrange systems, cloud migration may need to consider additional factors, such as the specific hardware and software dependencies of these systems and the unique performance and scalability needs of their applications. In these cases, working with a vendor or consultant with experience in IBM Power midrange systems cloud migration can be particularly valuable, as they can provide the expertise and support required to ensure a successful migration.
Although the process is relatively routine for experienced cloud specialists, complications can arise. These may include:
- Technical incompatibility: Applications, especially legacy applications, may require adjustments to their code or technology to function properly in the cloud.
- Data privacy and security: While cloud environments are typically secure, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure during migration presents another layer of difficulty.
- Performance: Network latency, resource contention, or connectivity can negatively impact App performance. Developers will need to optimize legacy apps to account for the change in environment.
Although these challenges may require additional time to overcome, working with an experienced cloud migration provider can help ensure a successful and efficient migration process.
Legacy migration refers to moving legacy IT systems, or older software and hardware, from their original infrastructure to a new one. Legacy systems are often critical to business operations but can be challenging to maintain and upgrade. Therefore, many organizations choose to undertake legacy migration to modernize their IT systems and keep up with the demands of a rapidly changing business environment.
Legacy app migration refers to migrating older apps to new infrastructures, but legacy migration is for more than just applications. Legacy migration can include moving entire legacy IT systems, software, hardware, data, and more to more modern solutions. Older systems become dated or incompatible with modern technology, with many using programming languages that have fallen out of favor. These dated legacy systems contain critical data or uphold crucial business functions but are costly and difficult to maintain. Undergoing a legacy transformation can reduce these costs and create more scalable solutions.
Data migration from old systems to new ones is a critical aspect of legacy migration. To maintain business operations and ensure a smooth customer experience, companies must transfer all data wholly and accurately. Data migration also allows reorganizing and cleaning up older data, boosting efficiency and creating more manageable databases. Advantages of cloud data migration include:
- Cost savings
- Increased scalability and flexibility
- Improved disaster recover
- Enhanced data security
- Better collaboration and accessibility
- Reduced maintenance workloads
You may face some speed bumps on your road to legacy migration, meaning that your company will have to find new, innovative ways to overcome these challenges. Approaching your legacy system migration challenges with a robust and strategic approach can set your transformation up for success.
A strong legacy system migration strategy involves a thorough assessment of your company’s needs. Consider the following:
- Security and compliance: Take stock of any sensitive data you handle, as well as the laws surrounding that data. Private clouds provide more security, but not all information requires the same level of security.
- Costs: Cloud computing is almost always more cost-effective than on-premises hardware, but migration can be costly. Consider your budget and prioritize which systems and data must be moved first to enable a phased transition.
- Workload changes: Does the volume of your work shift frequently, or is it relatively stagnant? For more stable, predictable workloads, private clouds are a compelling option. For dynamic workloads, consider a hybrid or public cloud model.
- Maintenance: Account for your internal IT capabilities and weigh the costs and benefits of built-in maintainability. Optimal legacy migrations are built to last, utilizing code and infrastructure that make maintenance and scaling accessible for most IT professionals.
Having a solid team in place is critical to the success of any legacy migration project. Your team may include a dedicated project manager to oversee your high-level strategy, cloud architects, data specialists, and SecOps professionals who can spearhead critical project elements.
In summary, legacy migration to the cloud presents numerous benefits, including improved scalability, increased availability, reduced costs, and enhanced security. The process involves assessment, planning, preparation, migration, testing, and monitoring to ensure a successful transition. A strong strategy is crucial, including a thorough analysis of the existing systems and identification of potential challenges.
With Skytap on Azure, moving and natively running your legacy systems in the public cloud is easy, fast, and safe for our customers. Learn more about what Skytap can do for your legacy cloud transformation.