One major challenge in moving legacy apps to the cloud is performing a thorough application workload assessment. In fact, it is one of the most critical and time-consuming aspects of cloud migration. For example, if a critical legacy application is not thoroughly assessed, particularly for dependencies and resources, its migration can be fraught with errors, missteps, and delays. Many organizations are not aware of the breadth and depth of tools available for assessment—or how effective each tool is.
At Unisys, we’ve witnessed these complexities first-hand at many client sites and have developed a process for systematically capturing a more thorough application workload assessment designed to reduce the time it takes by up to 80%.
Our Application Services begins our Enterprise-as-a-Service journey with first identifying the client goals for the new cloud—do they require public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructures? Next, we match the legacy app landscape with appropriate discovery and assessment tools—mainframe, datacenter, SAP, job schedulers, message queues, databases, web servers—we have an extensive knowledgebase of which tools work the best in each environment and application. Not all tools are created equal! While a simple Windows server datacenter-to-Azure cloud move may just be a simple lift-and-shift operation, we’ve found that even those environments may contain hidden dependencies with different applications. That’s why we subject workloads to both static and dynamic code analyses, regardless of their original environment and target infrastructure. We also gather performance stats to determine if an application would maintain acceptable performance levels on cloud.
Next, we employ Unisys-developed assessment tools that further analyze security, compliance, and performance requirements. Cost assessments, size optimizations, licenses and risk analyses are also performed using both Unisys and third-party tools—each chosen for the specific application. We subject the application environment to cloud treatments: Remove, Retain, Re-host, Re-platform, Repurchase, Refactor, consolidate or convert. This last assessment is to prepare final recommendations for the client, and point toward modernization options including Containerization suitability and Server-less suitability that would open up cost savings and/or greater efficiencies and performance.
With this detailed data in hand, the Application Services team can then produce output that is easily understood by client personnel at the appropriate stakeholder levels. For example, C-level executives can see immediate cost-reduction figures, risk assessments, timelines, and budget. Mid-level IT can see schedules of implementation, material and licensing requirements, and any potential system disruptions. Meanwhile, client implementers can see detailed code-level and administrative steps and security measures and dependencies required. This comprehensive assessment reporting that embraces each stakeholder group ensures alignment throughout the organization before concrete work begins.
Using this comprehensive and multi-tiered approach to application workload assessment, Unisys CloudForte® teams have, on average, reduced application workload assessments by 80 to 90%! And given the thoroughness and stakeholder coordination at the outset, we enable clients to save time and complexity during actual migrations. In fact, many clients opt to embark on application modernizations as they go, through the legacy app analysis, to friction points that can be eliminated by modernizing applications before cloud cutover. It’s important to note that all the Application Services performed are tied to our CloudForte® framework for best practice implementations—from the infrastructure to the applications. It’s how we ensure your Cloud is Done Right.