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Architecture Driven Modernization: Practices and Tools for Modernizing Legacy Applications for the Cloud

ADM practices and vendor tools can speed and automate the modernization and migration of legacy technologies like mainframes to new Cloud environments.

Many organizations embarking on a Cloud Migration will do so to realize a goal of enhancing capabilities for digital transformation.

However in many cases migration alone won’t address this.

Simply ‘lifting and shifting’ an application will deliver some benefits, such as improving the underlying infrastructure capability, but if it’s an older technology then the associated limitations will simply be transferred to the Cloud.

Therefore Legacy Modernization, the act of also transforming and modernizing the software platform, is also required.

Best Practices

Stephen Dougall introduces and explains Legacy Modernization in this article, highlighting that the need for it is driven by factors such as aging hardware, a decreasing availability of the required skills, and the limitations of the older technology hampering objectives like speeding digital innovation.

A Standish Group study found that less than 30% of the code in a given application contains business logic, meaning the majority of expense and effort is tied up with maintaining the infrastructure, when really the value comes from being able to enhance, change and add new business logic functionality.

Best practices for addressing this scenario include the OMG’s Architecture-Driven Modernization., a set of practices to revitalize existing applications as well as make them more agile.

Vendor Expertise

TSRI is a vendor specializing in these best practices, offering a solution for the automated migration and modernization of legacy technologies such as mainframes.

As Scott Pickett explains in this presentation this means the software can not only migrated to hyper-scale Cloud providers to take advantage of that platform, but can also be modernized to embrace new models such as a Service Oriented Architecture, and to extend functionality through AWS services.

It can transfer the business logic as is, so there is no need to develop entirely new test cases, and furthermore ties in with modern DevOps tooling so that new practices such as Continuous Deployment and new technologies like Java development, that can then be applied to the code.

As well as maintaining the business logic some elements of the legacy technology can also be maintained, for example the databases, so that again the new capabilities of providers like AWS can be harnessed while minimizing the disruption for the tech team, and protecting the dependencies other applications may still have on these underlying components.

This means enterprise modernization projects, which are often very large and complex efforts, can be broken down into a series of bite-sized chunks and managed in an effective manner.

At 11m:40s Scott provides a case study example, of a Mainframe-to-AWS transformation.

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