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Transforming Your Enterprise Magazine

Spring 2008
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Mastering modernization

When it’s time to move your applications off the mainframe, a new partnership of industry heavy-hitters brings you the resources and experience to cut the task down to size.

Mastering modernization When San Francisco’s famous Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system decided to move away from mainframe computing, its decision reflected a growing trend. BART’s objectives: new applications, automated processes, and a more flexible infrastructure with integrated, accessible applications and information, enhanced disaster recovery, better business continuity, and easier future upgrades.

In a 2008 study, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates found that 57 percent of those surveyed were planning to move all or some applications off mainframes.* But how to modernize without disruption? How to choose new infrastructure? Where to find resources, tools and the skilled people to help get started?

HP has co-founded the Application Modernization Initiative (AMI) with Oracle® and Intel® to help customers identify applications that can be modernized from mainframes onto more modern infrastructure. HP participates in AMI through the amalgamation of its Mainframe Alternative Program, which helps enterprise customers better understand how to transition from mainframe systems, and the Application Modernization Business, which supports the modernization of legacy applications.

“There are three reasons people move away from mainframes,” says John Pickett, Manager of the HP Mainframe Alternative Program. “The first is agility. Legacy applications on a mainframe just aren’t as agile as those running on an open infrastructure. Being unable to quickly adjust your mainframe applications to respond to competitive pressures disrupts the whole business.”

The second reason, Pickett says, is cost. Mainframes are expensive, and even the new processors to help them cope with today’s workloads can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And finally, people with mainframe skills are now leaving the workforce.

The modernization map

HP’s contribution to AMI includes Application Modernization Services together with HP Integrity servers, working within the Virtual Server Environment (VSE) Reference Architecture. The HP Integrity servers run on Intel® Itanium® processors. Oracle’s Grid Computing Platform and SOA capabilities delivered through Oracle Fusion Middleware (OFM) are also a vital element, along with Oracle® Database with Real Application Clusters and Oracle® Enterprise Manager/Grid Control.


“In making all of these elements work together, HP, Oracle and Intel offer a complete, integrated modernization roadmap.” — Sumanth Tarigopula, Director of HP Modernization Services

“In making all of these elements work together, HP, Oracle and Intel offer a complete, integrated modernization roadmap,” says Sumanth Tarigopula, Director of HP Modernization Services. “We call it the ‘integrated stack.’ Risk is removed because our testing and validation have been done ahead of time, rather than at the customer site.”

In BART’s case, Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise software provided a quick return on modernization, meeting most of BART’s 2600 software requirements ‘out-of-the-box,’ with minimal customization. BART chose to support the software with an infrastructure based on HP Integrity servers.

“We like the architecture and future roadmap of HP Integrity servers, Intel Itanium 2 processors, and the HP-UX 11i operating system,” says Robin Cody, BART’s Department Manager of Information Technology. “They will provide us with more capacity, scalability and unlimited growth potential. They have allowed us to bring in applications that couldn’t run on a mainframe and rebuild BART’s business.”

A step-by-step approach

Customers considering modernization often find the scale of the work intimidating. That’s why the AMI team sits down with each customer to work out which part of the business will benefit the most.

AMI offers five approaches to modernization, based on the unique requirements not only of each customer, but of each system. Modernization may mean replacing a legacy application with a standardized one. Or perhaps it’s time to simply retire the application, because it just isn’t being used or is redundant.

The third option is re-hosting: here hardware is identified as the performance barrier, and the application is moved to a more efficient infrastructure. The fourth approach is to re-engineer a failing application to perform as required. Lastly, legacy apps can be retained while other priorities are addressed.

This strategy helps to break modernization down into simpler procedures, and the synergy contributed by the AMI partners working together makes the process faster and more effective.

“Customers who know they need to modernize often hold back because they’re not sure how to move forward,” Pickett says. “That’s why it’s such a good idea to combine HP’s infrastructure and services with Oracle’s enterprise capabilities and the processing power of Intel. It gives the customer a broad range of infrastructure, tools and services, and that breadth frees the team to focus on what the customer needs.”

*“Pressure Point Index Pulse: Applications Modernisation,” Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, January 2008.


Related links

»  HP Application Modernization Services
»  HP Application Modernization Initiative
»  HP Integrity Servers
»

Table of contents

Introduction

» More than the sum

Strategies

» Improving global collaboration
» Moving to a more collaborative future

Experiences

» Collaboration supports refresh success
» Reducing risk in information storage
» Speeding response to support the business
» Improving the IT/business dynamic

Solutions

» Change management for the data center
» Future-proofing the data center
» Mastering modernization
» Making multi-core mean more

Technologies

» Built-in security for Web applications
» Turning insight into action
» For storage, virtual equals flexible
» Enterprise storage for any need
» iSCSI hits its stride

Health & Life Sciences

» Real-time health information environment
» Systematic approach to information exchange
» From transactional to strategic use of data
» Better information for better health outcomes
» Speed time from innovation to practice
» Shortening the cycle of clinical trials
» Identify savings in document output
» Access and capture data at the point of care
» Archiving to support growth and productivity
» Optimizing the pharma supply chain
» Feedback
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