Migration patterns: Migrating your mainframe the right way for you - TmaxSoft
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Migration patterns: Migrating your mainframe the right way for you

Now that spring is in full swing, you might notice a lot more birds in your yard or around city parks as they migrate back from warmer places. Probably the most well-known migrating birds are Canadian geese, many of which can be seen flying south in a V-formation during September and October and returning in March and April. Not all Canadian geese migrations are round trips, however. In the last few decades, as climate has changed, wind patterns have shifted, and habitats have moved, some Canadian geese have taken up residence in new parts of North America and stayed, adapting easily to human-populated areas.

One-way migrations aren’t just for adaptable Canadian geese. They can be a boon for any company struggling with the slow performance, high maintenance costs, and resource-intensive programs associated with a mainframe that’s been around for decades. And some of these migrations can be done in the time it takes for migratory birds to fly south and then north again. In this blog we introduce mainframe migration and then look at two migration patterns for mainframe applications and workloads that can breathe new life into them and your business.

What is mainframe migration?

Various analysts and industry experts estimate that more than half of core business processes are still running on a mainframe system. In many ways, the mainframe is one of the most reliable marvels of the 20th century still in existence. However, the combination of maintaining and relying on old and usually outdated mainframe applications is a costly endeavor. And, the morass of tangled patches and updates that keep them running creates a rigid environment that affects performance and can’t support business agility.

Mainframe migration can free you from these cost, performance, aging, and rigidity issues. It recompiles mainframe applications and migrates data. The end result is complete data modernization but with no change in user functionality, no change in business logic and no need for user training. Your applications work just as they always have, but in an open, distributed environment or in the cloud. Plus, your systems can now adapt quickly to evolving customer and employee demands, including instantaneous, highly personalized experiences.

Mainframe migration isn’t an all or nothing proposition. There are two ways you can do it.

Migration pattern #1: Reduce or re-platform peak MIPS

Are your mainframe applications or programs using massive amounts of MIPS, resulting in continually high and increasing costs plus system inefficiency, especially during high peak usage? Do you want to keep running your mainframe for several years? If the answer to both these questions is yes, reducing or re-platforming peak MIPS is a good migration option for you. It offloads resource-intensive batch programs to reduce the burden on your mainframe.

This option is also well-suited for you if the applications on your mainframe are 20 years old or older, and the original owners or details of these apps are unknown. Although likely used infrequently, they are still a drag on mainframe performance and they still eat up MIPs. Therefore, supporting them can be costly. Re-platforming these legacy MIPs to a less expensive, open system environment improves mainframe performance until these outdated applications can be replaced with newer, better options.

Migration pattern 2: Move all workloads to a distributed environment

If decades-old legacy systems are preventing your business from competing with nimbler companies and their more modern systems and processes, maybe it’s time to stop patching, fixing and working around limitations and move all workloads to the public or a private cloud. This type of migration recompiles mainframe applications in a modern open system without changes to the business logic. This new system runs specialized software that provides the development and execution environment required by traditional mainframe programming technology.

Once all the mainframe applications are migrated, they continue to function with minimal code changes. As a result, you can unlock the full value of your mainframe apps while exposing them to mobile and digital applications and you are positioned well for future scalability. Best of all, you can use these applications for far less than high mainframe maintenance costs, and you can even completely eliminate your z/OS environment. Think of all the innovating you can do with the flexibility and benefits that an open system/cloud environment can deliver.

Ready to reduce MIPs or initiate a workload move?

For more than 15 years, TmaxSoft has migrated legacy mainframe applications to open system environments. As a result, we can offer the most comprehensive set of technologies available to quickly and safely modernize your legacy mainframe workloads. TmaxSoft OpenFrame supports migration and modernization for COBOL, Assembler, PL/I, Easytrieve, JCL, Natural, IDEAL, CoolGen, Telon, DB2, VSAM, ADABAS, IMS, IDMS, Datacomm and more.

To learn more about mainframe migration and your potential TCO savings with OpenFrame, download our eBook, Lift, Shift and Modernize: Proven Mainframe Modernization Strategies that Enable Digital Transformation.

Kelly McClure is the Vice President of Global Marketing for TmaxSoft. Her 20-year marketing career spans both Fortune 1000 companies and fast growth technology startups. Kelly is responsible for leading TmaxSoft’s marketing strategy. She is experienced in aligning marketing and sales, building relevant content and messaging and developing integrated lead generation campaigns. Before joining TmaxSoft, Kelly served as the Vice President of Marketing for 10th Magnitude and held senior marketing roles with DataStax, BMC Software and Micro Focus. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago.