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AWS wants to get your mainframe apps into the cloud – fast

News Analysis
Nov 30, 20213 mins
Amazon Web ServicesCloud Computing

AWS Migration Acceleration Program for Mainframe aims to get customers off of the Big Iron "as fast as they possibly can"

mainframe servers in the cloud
Credit: Thinkstock

AWS is now offering a mainframe service that promises to help Big Iron customers interested in moving apps to the cloud cut that migration time by two-thirds.

The goal of AWS Migration Acceleration Program for Mainframe is to get those customers off of the Big Iron “as fast as they possibly can” in order to take better advantage of the cloud, according to Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS, speaking at Amazon’s AWS re:Invent conference. 

“It can be a messy business and involves a lot of moving pieces, and it isn’t something that people really want to do on their own,” Selipsky said.  “And while AWS partners can help with the transition, it can still take a long time.”

Migration Acceleration for Mainframe is an extension of the existing AWS MAP,  but adds new development, test, and deployment tools as well as a mainframe-compatible runtime environment.

The service assesses organizations’ readiness for operating applications in the cloud. Its Migration Evaluator projects total cost of ownership based on customers’ actual resource utilization and AWS’ ability to optimize compute, storage, database, networking, and software licenses.

The program supports two main migration patterns—replatforming and automated refactoring—letting customers pick the right one and associated toolchains based on the migration-assessment results. 

A built-in runtime environment provides the necessary compute, memory, and storage to run both refactored and replatformed applications and automatically handles the details of capacity provisioning, security, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring, AWS stated.

Customers can refactor their workloads that are written for mainframes in legacy programming languages such as COBOL to modern 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 AWS Migration Hub offers a single location to track the progress of application migrations across AWS and its partner services. Some of  core AWS partners include Accenture, DCX Technology, Tata, Atos, Micro Focus and Infosys. 

While moving mainframe applications to the cloud is attractive to enterprises because of lower cost and flexibility, the migration is uncharted territory, and the service can reduce complexity and manual work involved, said William Platt, general manager of migration services at AWS in a statement.

AWS MAP is available in preview today in US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), EU (Frankfurt), and South America (São Paulo) regions with availability in additional regions in the coming months.