Application Modernization and 6 R's
Let's look at what application modernization is and what role the 6 Rs play in the migration of the existing system to the public cloud.
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What Is Application Modernization?
Application modernization is the process of bringing it up to date with newer technologies, such as newer programming languages, frameworks, and infrastructure. This process is referred to as "legacy modernization" or "legacy application modernization”. Making improvements to efficiency, security, and structural integrity is akin to remodeling an older house. As an alternative to replacing or retiring an existing system, application modernization extends the lifecycle of an organization’s software while taking advantage of new technology.
Why Do Enterprises Need Application Modernization?
By implementing application modernization, a business retains its existing software investments while utilizing the latest advancements in infrastructure, tools, languages, and other technical aspects. App modernization plan reduces the resources needed to run an application by implementing a modern approach. It improves the deployment frequency, reliability, uptime, and resilience among other things, and thus becomes essential to any digital transformation strategy.
Most businesses have made significant financial and operational investments in their current application portfolio. "Legacy" has a negative connotation in software but is one of the most important business applications. No one wants to throw out these applications and start over because of their high costs, productivity losses, and other issues. Therefore, it is sensible for many businesses to modernize their existing applications by using newer software platforms, tools, architectures, and libraries.
Legacy Modernization Trends
Multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud are two of the most significant trends in modernizing legacy apps. Multiple public cloud services can be used for cost savings, flexibility, and other reasons. On-premises infrastructure, public, and private clouds are all included in the hybrid cloud model.
Rather than requiring software teams to rewrite their critical applications from scratch, modernization helps them optimize their existing applications for these more distributed computing paradigms. Legacy modernization is aided greatly by multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments.
The IT industry's adoption of containers and orchestration to package, deploy, and manage applications and workloads is another modernization trend. A more decoupled approach to development and operations—specifically a microservices architecture—is best served by containers rather than a legacy app.
Advantages of Application Modernization
Accelerated Digital Shift
The need to transform the business to build and deliver new capabilities quickly motivates application modernization. It takes days to deploy a new system instead of hours with DevOps and cloud-native tools, which helps businesses transform faster.
Enhanced Developer’s Experience
Containerization and adopting a cloud-native architecture allow you to develop new applications and services quickly. Developers don't have to worry about integrating and deploying multiple changes in a short period.
It is possible to reduce time to market from weeks to hours by adopting best practices from DevOps. Application modernization enables deploying code changes swiftly and with no real human intervention. Hybrid cloud platforms are ideal to deploy enterprise applications due to the multi-cloud environment which helps to increase efficiency by automating the operations. This is what's called the 'build once, deploy on any cloud'.
Faster Integration and Build
Multiple code streams can be integrated into one using DevOps principles. There is no need to worry about changes in the current environment since the last deployment is possible with the entire integration cycle being integrated at once.
Why Move Application to the Cloud?
The desire to swiftly add new capabilities drives application modernization. Adopting DevOps and cloud-native tools reduces the time and resources required from development to deployment, which allows businesses to shift faster. Most firms moving to the cloud want to be more agile, save money, and reduce time to market.
Most organizations opt for the simplest ‘Lift and Shift' model because they realize that cloud-native solutions and architectures could provide more value and innovation than traditional infrastructure-as-a-service options. Keeping old apps and architectures would hinder their capacity to innovate, optimize, and be agile. Cloud-native is the future of application development, enabling rapid prototyping and deployment of new ideas.
You need to reorganize people, processes, and workflows to be “cloud-native”; create apps with the cloud in mind. This necessitates a cloud-native development strategy that aligns with the overall business development strategy.
Re-platforming traditional apps on container platforms or refactoring them into cloud-native microservices is also effective for seamless cloud migration. Cloud-native microservices allow clients to take advantage of the overall scalability and flexibility to ensure smooth concurrency.
Many cloud-native architectures address the requirements of rapid scaling up and down, thus optimizing compute and cost. These days' businesses demand speedier development, integration, and deployment, calling for synchronized development and deployment cycles which reduce its time from days to hours.
The 6 Rs of Cloud Migration
Each app's value proposition and potential opportunities are clearly defined by scoring it in following the 6 R system. To sum up, the "six Rs" of moving to the cloud, let's say it's the variety of approaches that can be used when migrating applications to the cloud. Each R stands for a distinct approach, value, and outcome.
Rehost is at the top of the list because it is the most commonly used strategy by companies looking to move their IT infrastructure to the public cloud. Rehosting, also known as 'lift and shift,' is the straightforward method of moving your on-premises IT infrastructure to the cloud, requiring the least amount of adjustment to your workloads and methods. Simply copy your servers to the cloud service provider's infrastructure and move them there.
Although the cloud provider now manages the hardware and hypervisor infrastructure, you continue to manage the operating system and installed applications. With the help of well-known tools from the cloud service providers such as AWS Cloud Endure and Azure Site Recovery, you can move your servers into the cloud with great ease and speed.
Replatforming allows you to use cloud migration to upgrade your operating systems or databases, for example, rather than lifting and shifting your servers. Cloud migration may necessitate platforming if you have outdated operating systems that the cloud provider no longer supports.
When moving to the cloud, you may want to switch from a commercially supported to an open-source platform to further enhance your experience. The architecture of your applications, however, will not change because you are only changing the underlying services while keeping the core application code the same.
Changing the application code to take advantage of cloud-native services is meant by refactoring, which can be thought of as an 'application modernization.' While it's possible that you'd prefer to use cloud provider serverless functionality rather than server-based applications, choosing to rehost or replatform an application first is a common strategy for businesses looking to get some momentum behind their cloud migration.
This is the most resource-intensive option, yet, there is a risk that if you rehost or replatform an application you want to modernize, the refactoring will be deprioritized, and the application modernization may never take place.
Managing installed software on infrastructure you use may no longer be necessary if you use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications available as Software as a Service (SaaS). It's also possible that you'd prefer to use an entirely different application from a different vendor.
The process of retiring includes identifying no longer needed applications before migrating to the cloud. To avoid paying for application infrastructure that does not provide any business benefit, it is critical to retire the unnecessary apps and data.
Retaining explains the situation where businesses might have applications in their portfolio whose migration to the cloud isn't an option because they simply aren't good candidates. Moving them to the public cloud may not make financial sense for some applications because you've just invested in new on-premises infrastructure or because the vendor refuses to support a specific piece of software in a public cloud platform.
Nowadays, there are a few reasons to keep an application on-premises, but this will depend on your situation and the needs of your business.
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