re:Invent 2021: Faster Cloud Migrations with AWS Mainframe Modernization Platform

Faster Cloud Migrations with AWS Mainframe Modernization Platform

The mainframe modernization platform is released in preview mode.

During re:invent 2021 this week, AWS launched the AWS Mainframe Modernization platform. The platform provides new and important pieces of functionality which are worth mentioning. The value proposition is that it can possibly cut your mainframe migration time to the cloud by 2/3, and deliver on cloud-based security, elasticity, and high availability. 

AWS Mainframe Modernization

Advantages of AWS Mainframe Modernization

This should appeal to the significant number of current and potential new customers that still rely on mainframe technology for critical workloads. Mainframe-related projects are in general difficult projects due to the age of the applications, the technologies involved, as well as the very real problem of a mainframe specialist talent shortage due to retirement.

The AWS Mainframe Modernization platform provides the opportunity to accelerate your migration project, reduce costs, remove vendor lock-in, modernize critical workloads and attract new talent to carry the implementation. 

AWS Mainframe Modernization benefits

How does AWS Mainframe Modernization work?

The platform provides two general ways to approach mainframe to cloud migrations.

Re-platform your application

Re-platform is the “lift and shift” approach of migrating your mainframe application to the cloud where the centerpiece is an AWS-based mainframe-compliant run-time environment along with development, testing, and deployment tools.   

Also, worthy of note are the tools to perform assessments and analysis of mainframe applications providing visibility to details that help decide which approach is best, as well as obtain a recommended plan.  

This is in line with AWS sharing its accumulated experience and best practices with other customers through a recommended plan. Customers like the New York Times, Kmart Australia, and the US Air Force have public case studies of their experience with mainframe modernization projects and AWS. 

Refactor your application

The second approach to mainframe modernization is to refactor your application to a more modern architecture, language, and implementation. 

You get developer tools like compilers to convert code from COBOL or PL/1 to Java and modernize your application perhaps to a microservices architecture. 

The platform implements a pipeline for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) for your re-factored applications.

It’s not unusual for mainframe-related projects to have completion estimates measured in years, not months. The procedures to analyze the applications, define dependencies, perform the changes, and finally test all the moving parts, take time and attention to detail.  

The AWS Migration Hub integrates with the platform to provide a unified place to track the status of your migration and progress.  

The AWS Mainframe modernization platform allows customers with mainframe workloads to leverage AWS experience with mainframe migration solutions – increasing speed, reducing cost, and opening legacy application work to a newer generation of developers. I’m looking forward to reading about other customer success stories using these tools.  

To get started with the new AWS Mainframe Modernization platform, see the documentation here:

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