Monday Jun 18, 2012

Mainframe modernization - Getting it to work

Interesting read on a very old (1950s) Medicaid system that the State of NC is struggling to modernize. The new language for the modern system is COBOL. This is causing some 'heads to turn':
State of NC modernization to COBOL

Thursday Jun 07, 2012

Advantages of relational databases over VSAM, ISAM and hierarchical data stores

When migrating companies from legacy environments to the cloud, invariably you run into older hierarchical, flat file, VSAM, ISAM and other legacy data stores. There are many advantages to moving these databases into a relational database structure. The most important which is that most cloud providers run on relational database models. AWS, for example, supports Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL. The top three 'other reasons' for moving to a relational database are:
1. Data Access – Thousands of database access tools from query creation to business intelligence.
2. Management and monitoring – Hundreds of tools for management and monitoring of the database.
3. Leverage all the free tools from relational database vendors. Free Oracle database tools include:
-Application Express – WYSIWIG browse based application development and deployment.
-SQL Developer – SQL and PL/SQL development. Database object maintenance.
Adding number four based upon feedback:
4. Data quality, integrity, referential integrity and even business logic is embedded in the database.
What is interesting is that Big Data NoSQL databases and XML databases are taking us back to the days of VSAM (key value databases) with NoSQL and IMS (hierarchical) with XML databases?

Tuesday May 01, 2012

What makes a DB2 migration easy ?

The four key elements are:
1. COTS application - This means no application database access or database schema to migrate (assuming no database customizations)
2. No integration interfaces - There are no web service, FTP/file, COTS API or other input, output or input/output interfaces.
3. No ETL / batch processing - The is no batch processing or ETL jobs (Oracle Data Integrator, Informatica, IBM DataStage etc.) that are outside the COTS application.
4. No data to migrate - Really ? Yes, all the data is transient. It is part of a print server, real time data capture or caching system.
This may seem like it does not happen. However, I just encountered a set of applications run by a major corporation that has all four elements!

Monday Apr 30, 2012

Forrester comments on Dell and Perot modernization acquisitions

Interesting read;
Forrester Blog Entry
From blog:
1. "MAKE was a software-product company with a services arm" - I would describe MAKE as a tool assisted services company.
2. "Services firms that ignore MAKE's processes tend to fail / require bailout from MAKE to place the project back on the path to success"
- Agree completely! I have seen so many projects fail without a solid process / approach

Thursday Apr 05, 2012

Dell - Consolidating migration market place ?

First acquisition was re-hosting and now re-architecture:
Dell acquires Make Technologies

Wednesday Apr 04, 2012

Dell getting into platform migration space

Dell has a large service organization with its acquisition of Perot Systems a few years back. It now has expertise in getting companies off a legacy IBM mainframe systems:
Dell acquires Clerity

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Running applications in the cloud not designed for the cloud

The question of what to do with applications that were written for the mainframe or client/server based applications that do not fit into a shared service model of the cloud has come up a lot in the last few weeks. This is something that is addressed in chapter 8 of the Migrating to the Cloud book. The bottom line is: The issue you face with moving client/server applications to the cloud via rehosting is “where will the applications run?” Currently, your applications are installed on client PC machines or other thick client devices; the Apple iPhone is in the thick client category as you actually download an application that runs on your iPhone; the application now needs to be hosted on a central server accessible through the Web. A handful of products from Oracle and third parties are available for hosting client/server applications in the cloud. Third-party solutions include Citrix XenApp (formerly Citrix WinFrame Server, Citrix MetaFrame Server, and Citrix Presentation Server) and VMware Server. Oracle solutions include Oracle Virtual Server, Oracle Tuxedo, and Oracle Exalogic. Oracle Tuxedo is the leading open systems transaction processor (TP). It supports both COBOL and C/C++ applications, as well as Ruby and Python. Oracle Tuxedo can run on Oracle Exalogic to provide you both the application runtime environment (Tuxedo) and the cloud hardware infrastructure (Exalogic). Oracle Tuxedo can also be deployed on Oracle Virtual Server for a virtualized cloud environment. We will discuss Oracle Virtual Server and Oracle Exalogic in detail in the “Target Hardware and Software Stack Options” section later in this chapter. [Begin WARNING] A client/server application cannot just be moved to a virtual server and be considered cloud-ready. The application is now accessible by many users, so it must be multiuser and multithreaded. Oracle Tuxedo and Oracle WebLogic Server are both multiuser and multithreaded. A single-user C, C++, or Java application can be made multiuser by running this application in Oracle Tuxedo or Oracle WebLogic Server as these application server containers are multiuser and multithreaded. When using Oracle Virtual Server, it needs to be placed into a grid middle tier environment. This environment could consistent of a cluster of commodity hardware components with a load balancer in front of the configuration for managing load balancing (multithreading) and multiuser connections. This virtual server grid can then run hundreds of images of the same application so that the application can service hundreds or thousands of users. [End WARNING]

Thursday Dec 01, 2011

Legacy Application Migrations

Mainframe, Sybase Powerbuilder and Lotus Notes are all consider legacy applications:
ComputerWorld Article

Saturday Jun 04, 2011

Legacy Data migration and Integration using Oracle Data Integrator

Oracle Data Integrator can be used to migrate, consolidate and integrator your legacy data stores to an Oracle Database. A white paper can be found here: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/middleware/059481
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Migrating legacy client/server and mainframe technologies to the Oracle cloud.

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