Legacy OS managers have heard the drumbeat of cloud computing promise for many years. There’s growing evidence as well as a customer report showing that the greatest chance to capture cloud resources can lie in using resources like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host virtualization.
In one example, a legacy system moved to AWS via a virtualization product such as Stromasys’s Charon. That emulator can be preloaded into an AWS instance. The step that follows delivers the legacy application and a legacy operating system such as MPE/iX, or OpenVMS. After taking a backup of the legacy system, the environment goes to AWS and into the Charon emulator. Stromasys reports that the process typically completes in several days.
One option is to transfer the legacy system backup archive over a secure network. For large data uploads or tight go-to-live schedules, Snowball data transport on AWS smooths the transition.
Legacy system data recovery arrives via backup tapes or clusters. Once moved to Charon emulation on AWS, legacy applications and data can benefit from the same best practices as for other AWS workloads including Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) or Amazon Glacier backup and restore, Pilot Light, Warm Standby, Multi-Region.
Faster on the cloud
Cloud has been a promise for legacy computing since the middle 2010s. With on-premise installations, special attention to horsepower and threading is essential for virtualization success. Legacy applications on AWS benefit from the AWS CPU fast-clock speeds. The AWS high-frequency z1d instances deliver a sustained all-core frequency of up to 4.0 GHz, the fastest of any cloud instance. A virtualized environment can streamline some cloud instances. As an example, Amazon’s EC2 Bare Metal instances can use Charon Barebone. The product combines the Charon emulator along with the underlying Linux, delivered as custom images.
HP 3000 manufacturing consultancy The Support Group says cloud services need the same crucial elements as any on-premise computing. “The top three things that anyone has to provide are security of access, 24×7 uptime and access to data, and adequate bandwidth,” the Group says. “If a customer is putting their critical applications into the cloud, these elements can be guaranteed with a Service Level Agreement.”
Stromasys has posted a case study on one migration of a legacy system into the Amazon cloud. “One of the world’s largest mining companies” was modernizing the hosting of an Alpha-based, Tru64 financial application. A pair of AlphaServers, one DS25 and a GS80 for the database,now work in AWS instances of 8 and 16 CPUs.
The migration was a discovery of better processes, according to a Stromasys report on the AWS blog. “We could have moved the data through Snowball for faster transfer, instead of moving data over network connections,” the company reports. “This migration to Charon-AXP on AWS minimized the risks while maintaining the same end-user experience at a lower total cost.”