Archive for: Vax Emulation | Stromasys

Getting out of the legacy IT trap

 

When mission-critical systems get older, operating costs skyrocket and the risk of outages increases dramatically. But what if the legacy environments cannot be replaced, but continue to operate for years to come?

Despite cloud, Internet and digitization, very few organizations can move their mission-critical applications to modern architectures overnight. Frequently, legacy applications continue to be used- with some dating back to the last century. These systems are often the headaches of the IT department. With each year of operation, they become more unreliable and error prone. As the underlying hardware is outdated, maintenance and repair become increasingly difficult. As a result, IT staff spend more and more time on eBay – not because they are bored with their jobs but looking for spare parts for the long-deadlocked computer systems.

Despite these difficulties, legacy issues are not a priority in many companies. More pressing challenges and more important tasks such as digital transformation, and integration of cloud resources into the IT infrastructure and are far more burdensome to IT than a few legacy systems in one corner of the world Server room do their service. No wonder, then, that there is little budget for the replacement or further development of legacy applications.

Only when the neglected systems fail, companies realize just how important these legacy applications are. They often occupy key positions in production, the supply chain or financial accounting. Production stoppages, delivery shortages or defaults are often the result of such failures. In regulated industries such as healthcare or the financial sector, additional risks are added. If legacy systems stop functioning and therefore lost patient records or account data, this can lead to high penalties.

But even legacy systems can pose a risk. Often, they do not meet the IT security requirements. In addition, they cost more and more in operation with age. In some industries and areas, such as the financial sector and public administration, 80 to 90 percent of the total IT budget is spent on legacy hardware maintenance. Many companies pay $ 50,000 a year or more just to keep a single legacy system operational.

 

Strategies against the Legacy Dilemma

Companies cannot sit out on their legacy problem without taking on high risks and incurring great costs. Business have the following three strategies to consider:

 

1. Continue operation

Maintaining legacy operation is an option, especially, when the impact of downtime on business-critical processes is low, enough spare parts and know-how are available for quick repair, and / or the system is only run for a limited time because it requires transitional periods for legislative changes.

 

2. Migration or replacement

In some cases, existing applications can be modernized to run on current hardware, but others require complete reprogramming. In any case, the costs and risks of such a migration or replacement should not be underestimated; the duration of such a project is usually months or even years, during which the legacy systems must continue to be operated and maintained. There is no guarantee of success. Almost half of all IT migration projects fail ,with just under 20 percent of projects completing their budgets and schedules.

 

3. Hardware emulation

An alternative is to emulate legacy hardware on standard x86 servers. Applications can continue to operate without any changes. The migration of the application is usually done in a few days. By moving to modern, centrally managed hardware, the operating and maintenance costs can be significantly reduced. Customers at Stromasys have saved around 50 percent in the first year and as much as 95 percent of the operating costs of a legacy system from the second year onwards. In many cases, emulation even allows you to take advantage of the cloud and run the legacy applications on virtual servers in cloud environments.

The emulation works well as an interim solution to bridge the time until migration or reprogramming has taken place. But it is also suitable for the long-term operation of legacy applications.

Conclusion

Many legacy systems cannot be replaced for operational or regulatory reasons, or only with high cost risk. Companies therefore face a dilemma: continued operation as before engulfs large sums of money, binds valuable human resources and becomes riskier the older and more vulnerable the hardware becomes. But even a migration or replacement of legacy systems involves risks. Many projects fail, are delayed by months or years and are many times more expensive than planned. The emulation of legacy hardware on standard x86 servers offers a way out of this trap. It enables legacy applications to be deployed without adaptation to powerful, easy-to-administer standard hardware or even migrate them to a cloud environment.


Digital Business Transformation Benefits From Emulation

June 28, 2018- Stromasys, the world’s leading provider of business class multiplatform emulation and virtualization, provides an analysis of how emulation and virtualization are key to the digital transformation process of any company.

Emulation and virtualization are regarded today as technologies that drive important transformations in industries by allowing something rigid and obsolete to become more flexible and capable of offering companies numerous benefits; but what does it mean? According to Eduardo Serrat, CTO of Stromasys, “Legacy systems include legacy software and hardware. Actually, it is software that has been in operation for a long time and that still satisfies a need of the company.”

Legacy technology has a critical mission and is subject to a version of an operating system or hardware model (subject to an exclusive provider) that has already reached the end of its existence. Often, the life of the hardware is shorter than that of the software. Over the years, the hardware becomes more difficult to maintain, but it is retained because it is installed and (for the moment) working and it is too complex or expensive to replace it. Further, the applications themselves are excellent: they work, they address a business need, and they don’t need to be replaced. It is the hardware—not the software—that presents a business risk and added expense. Stromasys virtualizes the legacy hardware and thus extends the system’s useful life.

In this scenario, legacy systems are everywhere: banks, energy companies (including nuclear plants), production of all kinds (process control), the defense industry, transportation, hospitals, government and educational entities, insurance, and more. “At Stromasys we work with organizations of all sizes and in almost all areas in critical business or production environments,” Serrat explained. “Companies that use critical applications on aging hardware platforms would benefit from hardware emulation, since depending on the supply of spare parts for the replacement of faulty components is both unreliable and a short-term solution. System performance declines over time, due to greater frequency of hardware failures, low reliability of reconditioned spare parts, and higher cost.”

Companies that in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s implemented VAX, Alpha, HP 3000, HP 9000 and SPARC machines are ideal candidates to consider emulation and virtualization of their systems. In Latin America, these legacy systems are mostly operating in government entities, educational institutions, financial institutions, and oil and hospital organizations, among others. Serrat concludes, “Stromasys helps to preserve critical applications by emulating previous hardware architectures, preserving the functionality and operating environment, contributing to the extension of their useful life and reducing costs associated with the maintenance of obsolete equipment.”

7 business benefits of emulation and virtualization:

1- Mitigation of risks to a catastrophic failure of the Legacy systems.
2- Modernization of their legacy systems. Emulation and virtualization solutions can be used in all types of industries and the company can continue to operate its legacy applications without having to go through a retraining process.
3- Minimizing operating costs through the reduction of up to 85% of physical space, and up to 90% the costs of energy consumption and heat dissipation.
4- Increase of productivity, since these modern systems have better functioning in terms of “performance”.
5- Incorporation of high availability schemes and the ability to respond quickly to the needs of customers.
6- Being part of the trend digital transformation that we are experiencing and better collaboration, since these inherited systems that were isolated systems in the past, become part of the ecosystem and the digital transformation of the company.
7- Automation, being part of the ecosystem old manual processes can be automated.

Spanish Article Coverage: http://computerworldmexico.com.mx/como-la-emulacion-puede-ayudarlo-a-alcanzar-la-transformacion-digital/