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The AWS Mainframe Modernization service addresses the Top 5 challenges of moving mainframe applications to cloud

by   in Application Modernization


In December 2021 , Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced their new AWS Mainframe Modernization service, powered by Micro Focus technology.

This new service is in line with the general movement of enterprises to the cloud, and supports customers’ applications from different verticals, including finance, insurance, retail, banking and more.

The service is no longer in preview, and is now generally available on selected AWS Regions, with availability in additional regions in the coming months.

So now is a good time to review the top challenges of modernizing mainframe applications and how the combination of AWS and Micro Focus helps make it easier.

Here we go…

Challenge 1 – It’s overwhelming and I don’t know where to start.

Between the decades of experience Micro Focus has in mainframe modernization, with more than a thousand mainframe workloads already replatformed, AWS’s record of cloud migrations, and the rich ecosystem of System Integrators, moving your mainframe application to the cloud has never been easier.

The AWS Mainframe Modernization Service is leveraging a powerful framework to support these projects. This framework consists of 3 stages. Assess, Mobilize, and Migrate and Optimize.

In the Assess stage, instances of Micro Focus Enterprise Analyzer are automatically provisioned and used for a complete analysis of your mainframe application.

Experts from AWS, Micro Focus and the System Integrator will use the information gathered to build the project plan, estimate cost, and provide the needed business case details.

Challenge 2 – Mainframe development is complex and not compatible with Agile.

The AWS Mainframe Modernization service is more than just a way to deploy mainframe workloads on the cloud, it also provides the means to modernize the development environment.

In this blog, we outlined the automated CI/CD pipelines that are offered with the service.

In a nutshell, the service provides access to modern mainframe development environments, based on Micro Focus Enterprise Developer for Eclipse and to the Micro Focus Enterprise Analyzer application analysis solution.

These are provided on-demand and in a matter of minutes using the AWS AppStream 2.0 technology.

CloudFormation templates for a modern DevOps pipeline are also provided out-of-the-box.

With these capabilities, you can quickly evaluate and start modernizing your development environment and processes while you are moving to the cloud.


Challenge 3 – I can’t compromise on my core business system performance and resiliency

We at Micro Focus, know all about mainframe applications and quite a bit about scaling them to meet the performance needs of our customers. But AWS really are the experts on the scalability and elasticity of cloud applications.

The AWS Mainframe Modernization Service was designed to be “a container” for running mainframe application on AWS and was built to take advantage of the Micro Focus Performance and Availability Clusters (PACs) technology.

This allows scaling out, consuming as much compute power as needed on peak times and scaling down to the minimum resources when workload is low.

Combined with the pay-as-you-go billing on the cloud, this gives you the best performance, disaster recovery and resiliency and in the most cost-effective way.

Challenge 4 – I don’t have the cloud expertise in house, how will I create an efficient target architecture?

Every journey to the cloud requires the team to become familiar with cloud concepts and technologies. There is always a learning curve, depending on past experience and projects.

The big advantage of the AWS Mainframe Modernization service is that it is not just a set of Virtual Machines with pre-installed products (IaaS). It is a managed service for running mainframe applications on AWS (PaaS).

When you create the environment, all the needed virtual machines, network, load balancing, scale out groups, security and other cloud infrastructure bits are created and connected automatically.

The underlying Micro Focus technologies are pre-installed and setup to work in an optimized way with the cloud resources. Logs are monitored and integrated into CloudWatch, application and scale out repositories are connected to Amazon Aurora Relational Database Service (RDS), TN3270 communication is routed through an AWS Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), and these are just a few examples.

In essence, most of the infrastructure is being managed by AWS, and you can focus on the application and its data.

Challenge 5 – I need to secure a large budget and allocate a lot of time, even if just evaluating this option

The AWS Mainframe Modernization service is actually the quickest and easiest way to try and evaluate moving a mainframe application to the cloud.

Just like any other service in the cloud, it is available in the AWS console. Within a few minutes, you can provision as many machines as you need with the development and analysis environments ready to go. No expensive license fee or commitments, you pay as long as the machines are running.

Additional tools like our zero footprint host emulation technology, are also available via the AWS marketplace.

Tutorials of different aspects of the service are available here and you can analyze, develop and deploy your first mainframe application on AWS in just a couple of hours, while you learn and evaluate both Micro Focus and AWS technology. Really, try it out!


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