Sunshine on a Cloudy Future: Migrating Legacy Systems and Data to the Cloud
by Paul Bengtson, Vice President of Sales
The innovations of Uber, Netflix, Tinder, and Facebook apps have given the world revolutionary user interfaces and experiences. Their apps and software are nimble, changeable, and exploit the API economy to link up with other apps, systems and more. Once viewed as out-of-the norm disruptors, they are now viewed as the standard for offering customers, users, and consumers the fast, personalized, easy, and consistent experiences they’ve become accustomed to.
As a result, many companies are rethinking how they deliver applications and store data to deliver the agility needed to meet user expectations. The question is how to update and modernize themselves to take advantage of innovation?
The Future Is in the Cloud
Uber, Netflix, Tinder, and Facebook are all products of a great front-end plus modern, agile infrastructures and back-ends that are cloud-based. So, one thing is abundantly clear. The systems where innovative apps and software live need to be in the cloud. In the case of some of the hottest app startups, they have only used the cloud.
Financial technology (fintech) and insurance technology (InsurTech) are among those that have taken take slow, outdated, and often half-manual and half-digital processes in their respective industries and made them fast, modern, and 100% digital. They simply bypassed on-premises data centers and mainframes and are running their systems from the cloud. For example, digital mortgage lenders can promise a loan approval in a few hours. E-insurance companies handle property and casualty claims completely online, including sending photos of a damage through an app. The cloud makes this happen.
Companies that have been around since the 20th century know they need to step up their games to compete with the startups. Today’s customer is easily persuaded to leave a favorite company they’ve used for years if the reward is faster, more consistent service via an app or the web. The good news is that providing customers and users with modern, easy-to-use, and high-performing apps is possible without starting from scratch on a cloud infrastructure and writing all brand new applications and systems. Sensible options are available, such as mainframe rehosting and database management, to migrate what you need to the cloud but keep confidential applications and data safe and secure.
Hey You, Get Onto My Cloud: Mainframe Rehosting
Hundreds of apps, millions of lines of code, incalculable amounts of valuable and big data reside on mainframes, and they all keep business running. However, fixes, patches, spaghetti architecture, and slower performance are rendering them unsuitable for handling today’s agile workloads or inspiring innovative digital solutions to analog problems. Mainframe rehosting moves applications to a cloud-based environment with no reformatting, code changes or user impact. Rehosting provides the agility, reliability and scalability of an open, modern system on the cloud and the cost savings are substantial. This leaves more resources for innovation, instead of legacy system maintenance.
How does it work? In the case of the TmaxSoft OpenFrame rehosting solution, mainframe applications are compiled in a modern open system on the cloud without changes to the business logic, data, or code. This new environment runs specialized rehosting software that provides the development and execution environment required by traditional mainframe programming technology. Once the mainframe application is rehosted, it can continue to function with minimal code changes.
For example, a leading catalog and online retailer that manages 100 brands, used OpenFrame to rehost its mainframe. All of its legacy apps are now in the cloud. This resulted in a 60% reduction in costs and a 30% online performance improvement. OpenFrame also provided high availability and reliability so that an interruption in the cloud does not affect online processing. And once everything was running on the new architecture, two of the company’s developers built a mobile app for purchasing products over the web, and it took just 6 weeks (instead of 6 months).
Interestingly, the companies that have the most success moving mainframe apps to the cloud also take advantage of tools for moving mainframe data to an isolated database tier that supports industry-standard SQL databases and a database management system that enables agility and flexibility.
Higher Ground: Database Availability in the Cloud
Problems can arise if the applications running on the cloud must access data from on-premises data centers and databases. However, an RDBMS is not designed to run on a virtualized platform. TmaxSoft Tibero is a relational database management system that bridges the gap between legacy relational databases and running workloads in the cloud. Along with middleware called Tmax, Tibero provides the architecture for a reliable, high-performance database, perfect for data in legacy systems.
Highly compatible with Oracle, when is installed on the cloud, it offers enterprises the option of moving database management workloads (and eventually even their databases) to the cloud and a simple licensing model similar to software as a service (SaaS) subscription pricing. It enables a stable and efficient management of DBMSs and guarantees high-performance transaction processing. Some of its other benefits are reliability and scalability, improved performance, and flexible licensing and cost savings.
For example, European natural medicine manufacturer and pioneer Heel reports that their migration to Tibero went smoothly and operating the database is easy. Tibero has delivered an 80% improvement in processes such as data loading, importing, and BI reporting. The data they need for analysis is up-to-date, perfect for smart business decisions. In addition, a U.S. retailer who also rehosted its mainframe with OpenFrame, says they have benefitted from migrating IMS DB and VSAM files to Tibero, and the administrators are easily adapting to the open environment.
Rehosting and RDBMS designed to run workloads on the cloud create a solid foundation for the innovation and business agility needed to keep up with the startups. Enterprises gain a fast, flexible foundation for quickly responding to market change and future integration requirements. Applications are now running in a modern cloud architecture, positioning an organization for greater agility, growth, and competitive advantage. To learn more, download our ebook, Lift, shift and modernize: proven mainframe strategies that enable digital transformation.
About Paul Bengtson
Paul Bengtson is the Vice President of Sales for TmaxSoft. He has spent more than 20 years selling technology in segments as diverse as big data, analytics, ERP, cloud and SaaS. Paul joined TmaxSoft in 2016 from EFI where he was Sales Director for its ERP solutions. He also has held senior leadership positions with Radius Solutions, where he was VP of North American Sales, and with Misomex, Artwork Systems (now Esko) and Ace Hardware. Paul has a BS in MIS from the University of Iowa and an MBA in MIS from Benedictine University.