Adopting a Cloud Architecture Strategy for All Applications

General Nov 07, 2013 Comments Off on Adopting a Cloud Architecture Strategy for All Applications

 

Adopting a Cloud Architecture Strategy for All Applications

Information Technology is not a sport for wimps. It is a complex business that is getting increasingly more complex with time. If it is viewed as a whole, it is almost daunting.

Change is constant and we who are part of the Information Technology industry are controlled by the events, products, and demands created both inside and outside the field. In addition, staffing issues and maintaining infrastructure for all of the new and existing technologies, while at the same time keeping the extended data center in production, complicate and make our task that much more difficult.

What we hear most often, in the context of cloud, typically has nothing to do with Legacy applications. The promised benefits from cloud hosting are mostly focused on applications other than Legacy. The most important reasons for this are that typically Legacy applications do not run on platforms that are hosted in the cloud and their architecture is usually not suited to the kind of integration needed for cloud-based usage.

Also at issue are newer technologies such as mobile and web applications in the organization. Mobile devices, web applications and social media use, necessary by organizations with Legacy applications, present additional challenges. Similar integration issues make the use of these technologies with Legacy applications more difficult than with newer application types.

Legacy staff skills can also be at odds with the use of technologies normally associated with cloud and modern applications. Maintaining these skills is becoming increasing difficult due to the aging of those with the requisite skills and the lack of new developers who are willing to take their place.

Cloud technologies (architecture components), those hardware and software components that are used for networking and interoperability, are not normally associated with legacy applications. However, when one looks at the advancements that have been made in development tools and networking one can see that by modernizing legacy applications in a strategic way, it can help simplify some of the complexity in today’s modern IT environment and can make it so that legacy applications can gain compatibility with newer applications. More specifically, it can mean that Legacy applications can be adapted in a way that makes them suitable for integration with newer and cloud-based applications.

These applications can also be configured for seamless integration with mobile, web and social media. Moreover, an opportunity exists to retool the application so that more uniformity is achieved in both Legacy and its staff development. This results in the opportunity to have legacy and newer developers work as teams and share skill sets.

Solution

Component

Modern Application

Legacy Application

Modernized Legacy Application

Application and Data Integration

Yes

No

Yes

SOA enablement

Yes

No

Yes

User Experience Modernization

Yes

No

Yes

Development Environment Modernization

Yes

No

Yes

Development Staff Modernization

Yes

No

Yes

Cloud Compatible Infrastructure

Yes

No

Yes

Cloud Hosting

Optional

No

Optional

Figure 1 – Goal for the Legacy System

 

A whitepaper is available on this site that explores the benefits of modernizing Legacy applications in such a way so as to modernize not just the code and data but the developers and their tools as well.

Part of the solution is to use modern development IDE based workbenches and, in some cases, bolting a cloud like infrastructure to the existing application using web services that talk to the terminals.

In other cases the solution is achieved by migrating the application and modernizing other aspects of it. Included is changing COBOL code to JAVA that is maintainable by both COBOL programmers and new JAVA programmers. This paper also discusses the economic and time saving benefits of such an approach.

The goals for the approach presented in this paper are highlighted in Figure 1. Our main emphasis is to put Legacy applications on the same, or a similar footing to newer, modern applications.

What follows is a brief explanation of this:

Application and Data Integration: Making tools available so that the Legacy application data, and any needed applications, can be accessed securely by servers and clients outside of its own traditional network. In addition, to make it so the Legacy application can access data, applications and services external to itself.


SOA enablement: Create the ability to offer resources from the Legacy application as web services.

 

User Experience Modernization: Provide the ability to create web, mobile and social media interoperability with the Legacy system and applications.

 

Development Environment Modernization:
IBM, Microfocus, Oracle and others
have shown that the same or similar tools can be used by both Legacy and new developers. The skills overlap can be of great benefit to organizations that take advantage of them. This approach helps to address the skills shortage of Legacy developers and helps prepare for the future so that new developers are available to maintain and enhance the Legacy applications once the current developers retire.

 

Development Staff Modernization:
Legacy development tools usually lack the productivity of a more modern development and deployment environment.

 

Modernization provides an opportunity to modernize the tools and the skills of the development staff.


Cloud Compatible Infrastructure: Other things in this list are made possible after the infrastructure is modernized to a cloud – For example, the architecture.

 

 

 

Comments are closed.