What’s stopping AIX and legacy environments being part of your cloud strategy?
Now, for most, the holidays are over and attention directs towards 2018 budgets and strategies. As new workloads are assessed to move to cloud and new initiatives are considered what’s stopping AIX and legacy environments being part of this cloud and digitization strategy?
Most companies either have a cloud strategy or are considering building one but nowadays this is not a stand-alone initiative, it is an integral part of an overall digital strategy to streamline and improve business processes and workflows; either internally or with end clients or suppliers; and to enable new products or services to be brought to market.
With AIX and other legacy environments still running core business processes and business critical applications then surely this has to be part of the strategy.
We hear from our discussions that ‘if it isn’t broke…’ but when we delve deeper we hear that skills have disappeared or been realigned over the years, versioning and infrastructure can be significantly back level meaning either high support costs or unsupported environments (for business critical applications!). DR RTO/RPOs can be unfit for the current (and future purpose) while DB admin skills are evaporating fast or being provided at unsustainable cost levels. To me this doesn’t sound like something that ‘isn’t broke’.
With all this in mind surely it’s time to have legacy at the heart of the digital and cloud strategy. Businesses that have done this have reaped the benefits of having core (albeit legacy) systems at the heart of their cloud strategies. Service levels have been improved, DR is now effective should it be needed, roles and responsibilities are clear, a resourcing balance between internal and external is defined to meet the needs of the business and costs are either known and controlled and even reduced.
Service providers such as L3C can address your concerns around migrated AIX and legacy systems to cloud environments. Risks around migration are mitigated by building a clear plan and helping you highlight dependencies and interfaces with other applications. Direct links into public cloud providers such as AWS can enable a truly hybrid and interconnected environment. Backup, retention and DR policies can all be evaluated and assessed as to whether they are fit for purpose and support the business strategy.
Monitoring and DB admin can be factored in where required and the nuances of connectivity, whether layer 2 or 3 networks, MPLS, VPN etc. can be accommodated. Smartphones and tablets can also be embraced using enterprise mobility management solutions.
This should also be used as an ideal opportunity to assess the security requirements of core legacy applications; whether the physical and logical security needs are still being met, notwithstanding the data implications of GDPR. (For example do any of these ‘legacy’ environments hold any data that falls into GDPR scope such as CRM systems that maybe have since been migrated to say Salesforce or equivalent but still need to be kept?).
So if you are entering a phase of budget preparation and 2018 planning don’t sideline your AIX and legacy environments. Use this as an opportunity to re-position them for the future to improve service levels, reduce risk and even reduce costs as well as gain access to a platform for future analytical and cognitive workloads.