AWS turns-up mainframe-migration service

The AWS Mainframe Modernization service offers a set of tools for migrating and running mainframe workloads in the cloud.

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Accenture, Google

Amazon Web Services has officially opened its mainframe-migration service that promises to help Big Iron customers move apps to the cloud.

AWS Mainframe Modernization, which since last November had been in preview, is available now and offers the tools, infrastructure, and software to manage migration of  mainframe applications to the cloud, AWS stated.

The service includes tools to refactor workloads written for mainframes in legacy programming languages such as COBOL to Java-based cloud services. Or customers can keep their workloads as written and re-platform them to AWS with minimal code changes, AWS stated.

The service’s managed runtime environment provides compute, memory, and storage to run both refactored and replatformed applications and helps automate the details of capacity provisioning, security, load balancing, scaling, and application-health monitoring.

The service’s AWS Migration Hub offers a single location to track the progress of application migrations across AWS and its partner services. Partners include Accenture, DCX Technology, Tata, Atos, Micro Focus, and Infosys. 

Businesses in a variety of industries have relied on mainframes to run business-critical applications for decades, William Platt, General Manager of Migration Services at AWS said in a statement. 

“These businesses naturally want to modernize their mainframe-based applications to reduce costs and eliminate technical debt, but they don’t know how or where to get started,” Platt stated. “AWS Mainframe Modernization provides the necessary tools for organizations to take full advantage of the elasticity, scalability, and reliability of AWS, while also saving time and money.”

AWS isn’t the only big cloud provider trying to bring Big Iron applications to the cloud.  Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure and others also offer mainframe modernization services.

IBM conntinues mainframe development

Not every mainframe-based organization wants to move to the cloud, and IBM has been diligently enhancing the mainframe and its ecosystem of services to keep the Big Iron the star of customer cloud plans.

In April IBM announced the z16 mainframe that the vendor said caters to enterprise needs, including support for AI, security, hybrid cloud, and open-source. The new, more powerful and feature-rich Big Iron boasts an AI accelerator built onto its core Telum processor that can do 300 billion deep-learning inferences per day with one millisecond latency. The z16’s capacity and encryption features also enable customers to securely run mission-critical applications and processes while also leveraging public cloud services. The performance and scalability of the new system will also enable more use of the Big Iron in hybrid-cloud environments. 

Other new programs target the developmentof mainframe/cloud environments. The IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, announced in February offers industry-standard tools to modernize z/OS applications on a pay-per-use basis. The service includes support for  z/OS Connect, which utilizes a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) interface to tie into and link with existing applications to make Z applications and data part of a hybrid cloud strategy. It also includes z/OS Cloud Broker, which integrates z/OS-based services and resources into Red Hat OpenShift to support  creating, modernizing, deploying, and managing applications, data, and infrastructure.

Future z/OS container use cases are planned to promote application modernization, new application development, and API creation with tight integration to core z/OS applications, IBM stated.

The IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack is the first set of capabilities offered through the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center, which offers tools, training, resources, and ecosystem partners to help IBM Z clients accelerate the modernization of mainframe applications, data, and processes to work with hybrid-cloud architectures.

Pricing for AWS Mainframe Modernization

The AWS service costs vary, though customers pay only for what they use, and there are no upfront costs. Third-party license costs are included in the hourly price. Runtime environments for refactored applications, based on Blu Age, start at $2.50/hour. Runtime environments for replatformed applications, based on Micro Focus, start at $5.55/hour. The Blu Age or Micro Focus includes the software licenses. AWS Support plans are available as well. They also cover Blu Age and Micro Focus software.

AWS Mainframe Modernization is generally available now in US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Canada (Central), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), and South America (São Paulo) with additional AWS Regions in the coming months.

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