What is mainframe rehosting? It is a solution for addressing the challenges of an aging, expensive mainframe. When a mainframe is not able to meet increasing and ever-changing demands for agility, modern applications and processes, digital transformation, innovation, and cost-effective computing, there are several options for addressing the challenge. You can replace the mainframe with a new one, write new front-ends for its applications, rewrite its applications, convert code, or rehost.
This post defines mainframe rehosting, explains how it works, provides reasons for choosing it, and shares examples of successful rehosting projects.
Rehosting is a cost-effective method of addressing the challenges of maintaining a decades-old mainframe and its applications. Commonly referred to as “lift and shift,” rehosting moves (“lifts”) mission-critical and core applications off the mainframe and migrates (“shifts”) them to new hardware or the cloud. The most comprehensive form of rehosting is sometimes referred to as “replacement,” because the end result is the migration of core mainframe programs onto the modern system.
Other variations of mainframe rehosting are MIPS reduction and re-platforming. MIPS is an acronym for “millions of instructions per second,” and it’s a measurement of computing resource consumption. MIPS reduction offloads high-consumption workloads in mainframe environments onto less costly open systems or the cloud. Re-platforming uses automated tools to convert legacy applications and mirrors their data structures onto an open system or cloud platform. It compiles the programs, translates the sequential files, and installs and configures a new environment.
Rehosting recompiles mainframe applications in a modern open system, such as a multi-tiered, SQL-based x86 environment or the cloud, without changes to the business logic. 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.
The most effective rehosting solution breaks mainframe applications into isolated tiers and provides tools for moving mainframe data to an isolated database tier that supports industry-standard SQL databases. After the move is completed, you can access mainframe data with existing data analytics tools. You also have the choice of supporting mobile with presentation tools that address the application layer.
Why should you consider mainframe rehosting? Here are five good reasons.
For more details and examples of these reasons, check out “A Good Night’s Sleep for IT: 5 Reasons to Rehost Your Mainframe.”
Curious about companies that have adopted mainframe rehosting? Here are two success stories.
A major U.S. retailer’s 10 core business systems (9,500 MIPS) were housed in six IBM mainframes. Each year, licensing fees and the costs of maintaining the mainframes and their massive footprint of 93,271 batch processes increased significantly. To reduce costs and become more agile, the retailer chose a rehosting solution for its IMS applications. As a result, the retailer reports, there has been a significant reduction in TCO, a 50% reduction in costs, and an increase in ROI when compared to the mainframe environment.
The core business system (1,600 MIPS) of a global property and casualty insurance company was housed in an IBM mainframe with a footprint of 19,000 batch processes. After rehosting, the insurance carrier has a lower-cost, more manageable environment. They report enhancements in CPU capability (10,000 MIPS), improvements in transactions per second (4x), a response time of 200 milliseconds, and optimized batch processing. Cost reductions were estimated to be $17.5 million in the first five years after the project.
An industry leader in mainframe rehosting, TmaxSoft OpenFrame offers flexible solutions for your enterprise. In our eBook, Lift, Shift and Modernize: Proven Mainframe Modernization Strategies that Enable Digital Transformation, you can get more details about rehosting options and which will suit you best, along with an introduction to rehosting with OpenFrame.
Moses Mathuram is the Interim US CEO and Vice President of Global Channels and Partnerships for TmaxSoft. In this role, Moses is responsible for enhancing and developing TmaxSoft’s global networks and alliances in addition to owning the overall channel strategy, plan and route-to-market. He held senior level positions at Infosys, IBM and Computer Associates. Moses is a member of the Association of Strategic Alliances Professionals and has a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Madras Christian College and an MBA in Marketing & International Business from the Hindu Institute of Management.