At re:Invent 2021, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new AWS Mainframe Modernization service that will streamline the process of migrating mainframes to the cloud. With AWS Mainframe Modernization, more organizations will be able to increase agility, take advantage of pay-as-you-go pricing, and improve elasticity in regards to their legacy mainframe workloads. A preview of the service is currently available in a few regions, and more will receive it in the coming months.

The reason why AWS’ recent announcement is exciting is that mainframes are complex, costly to maintain, and hard to scale. Migrating this infrastructure to the cloud can also be intimidating, as companies often have to hire outside experts to translate mainframe subsystems, reconfigure them for modern cloud deployment best practices, and guide teams through a lengthy process.

At the same time, there is a growing urgency for organizations to make the mainframe migration journey. Technical talent is becoming more difficult to find across the board, especially when it comes to supporting applications that were originally written for legacy mainframes. Updating and maintaining applications via on-premises mainframes will only get harder going forward.

Given these dynamics, a migration service like AWS Mainframe Modernization is a welcome addition to the cloud provider’s already robust suite of migration solutions. The key lies in knowing how to use AWS Mainframe Modernization to its fullest potential so that organizations minimize time spent in the transition phase and maximize long-term success.

AWS Mainframe Modernization Service Explained

The AWS Mainframe Modernization service provides an end-to-end migration pipeline that empowers organizations to replatform or refactor mainframe applications quickly. More specifically, engineering teams can refactor mainframe workloads by converting outdated applications into Java-based cloud infrastructure. Or, they can keep much of the same codebase and move to the AWS cloud using AWS Mainframe Modernization’s built-in runtime environment, which is capable of providing the compute, storage, and memory needed to support mainframe applications.

AWS Mainframe Modernization users can also leverage fully managed services to offload administrative tasks, like capacity provisioning, load balancing, and auto-scaling. This means engineers can focus less on managing infrastructure and more on modern application development.

Furthermore, AWS Mainframe Modernization comes with all the automation tools needed to take care of development, testing, and deployment during the migration process. Engineering teams and outside systems integrators can plan the ideal mainframe migration, minimize risk, and speed up the journey. Like most other AWS cloud solutions, Mainframe Modernization also requires no upfront fees. Users only pay for resources provisioned and can estimate costs more easily ahead of time.

Once on the cloud, AWS Mainframe Modernization sets organizations up to incorporate continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) best practices into their application development lifecycle. As a result, engineering teams can operate their newly modernized mainframe workloads in production continuously, leaning on the cloud to optimize performance.

However, even with a powerful cloud migration solution, like AWS Mainframe Modernization, it can make sense to work with a third-party AWS expert that knows the critical success factors and potential pitfalls of migrating complex IT infrastructure to the cloud. And given the nature of mainframe migrations, an outside consultancy, like ClearScale, might be particularly valuable to leaders who need to augment their in-house migration capabilities.

How ClearScale Helps Organizations Overcome Mainframe Migration Challenges

ClearScale is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner with 100+ AWS technical certifications and 11 AWS competencies, including the Migration competency. We’ve helped organizations in numerous industries execute massive migrations to the AWS cloud involving mission-critical IT infrastructure. We specialize in the AWS platform and bring our decade of experience to every project.

With respect to mainframe modernizations, we’ve already guided clients through the process of using AWS’ Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) for Mainframe, an expansion of the initial MAP solution that includes purpose-built tools for mainframe migration projects. Now, with AWS Mainframe Modernization, we can make mainframe migrations even easier for our clients. We have the real-world implementation experience and knowledge of the AWS platform to hit the ground running when AWS Mainframe Modernization becomes widely available.

If you’ve been considering a mainframe migration to the cloud, now is the time to move forward. We’ll work with you every step of the way and ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption. Our experts will explain every major decision, answer any questions you have about AWS Mainframe Modernization, and set you up for success on the cloud using the latest and greatest technologies available.

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