“Can I move my legacy software to cloud?” A common question asked by many CIOs and tech heads. Cloud is considered an ideal platform for the latest applications built on newest technology and programming language. It has added scalability and flexibility to modern tools. But problems arise when we consider transferring the age-old, legacy applications to the virtualized environment.
Why consider transferring legacy apps to cloud?
Experts have agreed that adoption of cloud based technology can add dynamism to an enterprise. Some enterprise applications (including certain legacy applications) perform better in hosted environment and cloud also helps firms to convert capital expenses to operational expenses. Further, cloud adds advantages of portability, mobility and interoperability to applications. As a result, companies are inclining more towards cloud computing model.
So, when there is a tectonic shift in the IT philosophy of a company one needs to consider the options too for shifting the rusty, on-premise applications to the new and contemporary platform. These need to be rewritten (either partially or wholly) to work in virtualized setup. Moreover, integration between two applications become easy when hosted in the same platform. But it offers some technical challenges:
- Legacy applications aren’t technically appropriate for hosted climate
- Most managed service providers (MSPs) will not offer support for applications that are not built using cloud supportive programs
- There can be issues with loss of logic and functionality if the transferring process is incomplete
- Often times the company using the legacy software do not have access to the source files and databases
Organizations facing these challenges can either dispose of the legacy applications by replacing those with cloud supporting software or leave them as it is or give facelift to existing software to fit in virtualized setup. But all these approaches are greatly flawed – involves high risk and high cost. But now there are certain alternatives available too to make the process smooth and efficient; like – using integration platform or using application virtualization.
Using integration platform: It is a software program that integrates between applications irrespective of application’s platform to create a platform of homogeneity upon which users can share information and collaborate between scattered applications to ensure interoperability. There are now service providers offering Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solutions.
iPaaS services offer integration facilities between SaaS cloud based service and other applications and allows access to legacy applications behind the secured barriers of firewall. In a word, it facilitates integration between cloud applications as well as between cloud and on-premise applications.
Through application virtualization: Application virtualization helps converting a legacy application to a ThinApp that is portable and can be accessed from anywhere. Smart application virtualization software ensures faster deployment and reduces the time required in testing compatibility of applications in different environments. The process facilitates accessibility of an application on authorized devices without going into the length of installing the application on each of the devices.
The application virtualization software is installed on top of the machine virtualization interface and facilitates deployment of computing resources to devices on real-time basis. It ensures availability of legacy applications in virtual environment without recoding or redesigning.
Author Bio: Charles Smith is associated with the IT industry for over a decade now. He is a senior consultant with a California based company that offers cloud computing consultation to companies across industries. Charles has vast experience in implementing cloud computing projects and offering consultation to companies in mapping their ways in cloud environment. He has worked long in designing cloud based application development.