Large corporations using legacy mainframes have most of time the feeling of being trapped in the dead-end of an obsoleting technology : suppliers don’t invest much anymore but the exit seems very hard, risky, painful and long to achieve as : large legacy applications with millions of lines of code still run on those systems.
Additionally, these applications are mission-critical : they manage the daily operations in the factories, the orders to be delivered to customers, the money transfers between accounts, the trades on stock exchanges, etc. The major pain is that those mainframes are extremely costly : they cost (tens of) millions per year.
From another perspective, new standards have emerged :
- x86 servers based on very powerful processors (Xeon family by Intel ) got always more powerful in the last decade and still will improve for many years to come at a very high pace. Intel, AMD, etc, with new generations of their CPUs, every 6 months or so, deliver huge computing power at an undisputed leding price-performance ratio.
- the largest IT infrastructures in the world (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, etc.) are based on those x86 servers to deliver hundreds of thousands of interactions per second with a rock-solid availability and top performances. The level of service demonstrated by those “Internet gorillas” is a permanent proof that these architectures can also be used for internal IT by traditional corporations.
- new technologies like private cloud computing (CloudStack, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, etc.) provide very efficient tools to manage at very large scale those granular x86-based architectures using numerous virtualized server (Linux) instances.
- end-users do not accept anymore to use their applications only through their laptop while sitting at their desk. They require to be able to use them on their tablets and smartphones while visiting customers, inspecting plants or working in warehouses. A modern interface based on web browser is then a must !
- young developers coming out of university hardly know what Cobol is and they do want to learn it! Their competences are clearly in object-oriented technologies like Java and modern interfaces based on html, browsers, ajax, etc. So, the corporate IT has to rely on those same technologies in order to hire them successfully and maximize their productivity.
Most CIOs face a big multi-faceted dilemma :
- their mission-critical IT systems are obsoleting quickly from a technological standpoint
- those systems cost much more than they should when compared to modern x86 infrastructure
- but, they host applications that support the daily operations that generate most of the income of their corporate business
- those applications are rock-solid after decades of extremely reliable operations : they encapsulate all the expertise and business knowledge of the company and can handle all kind of situations, even the most painful and unprobable ones from a business perspective ! It is a real asset that must be protected and transported to other environments as “boiling” IT innovation improves the technological landscape at an accelerating pace.
- this competitive business expertise is captured in millions lines of source code, which seem – at first glance – very hard to migrate to state-of-the-art system. But, the correspond asset must be protected and leveraged.
Eranea delivers the solution to this dilemma :
- we transform your mainframe and its applications toward a private cloud computing system powered by the most powerful Xeon processors currently available.
- your migration process is fully incremental and totally riskless : the transformation is based on 100% automation to repeat the transcoding of the core application as often as it needed until the last user or batch program. Large corporations have thousands of users and batch processes : so, the migration can last months ! But the automatic transcoding makes this transition smooth as Java version is always in full synch with Cobol. This Java is strictly iso-functionnal. So, it shares the original database with Cobol version on the mainframe until the very last user is migrated. Then, the database if also offloaded to Linux.
- you generate massive savings : at least 80% of TCO of original system and very often up to 90%. So, you can give back the saved millions of EUR / USD to your executive committee and make them (very) happy … or reinvest part of them in the continuing evolution of your migrated applications !
So, Eranea serves your tactical objectives : your reach the optimal cost efficiency for your IT system.
But, we also take care of your strategic goals:
- we transcode your applications to modern Java and web technologies.
- You can then offer new flexibility and mobility to your end users : they get the feeling of using a brand new system with modern interface while you protected all the intellectual property included in the legacy source code by moving it to Java.
- Your can attract young developers easily : they will work with technologies that they appreciate and master. At the same time, they will be able to work with your loyal crew as they will share a common asset : Java programs that will be the vector of knowledge transfer between those two generations of developers.
- Those developers will progressively unleash all the potential of the new technological platform by leveraging all the new functions (rich interface, web services, 3rd party integration, etc.) supplied by Java and the web.
- So, Eranea also serves strategic targets as we bring your applications to the current standards in order to guarantee their sustainability
And, you reach this double-sided achivement in a very safe way :
- we deliver a very incremental and continuous migration to eliminate any kind of risks usually associated with the migration of very large and complex systems like mainframes.
- you can transfer interactive users and batch workload at the pace that matches best your needs : in a few weeks or over many months if a slower transformation better matches your needs.
- the migration remains almost invisible : you just ask your users to turn their emulator off and switch to their browser. With the intranet URL that you supply , they get in front of the login screen that they’ve always seen and can start working as usual. No training is needed ! The iso-functionality of our solution guarantees same screens, same navigation between screen and most importantly same results
- the system remain coherent : legacy and Java share one single database over migration. No need for a complex machinery synchronizing databases with different schema : users already migrated to Java share their data live with their colleagues still on the mainframe. Identical behavior for batch : programs running already in Java read and write using the same database as interactive users and as programs still on mainframe.
- the application remains up to date even if you decide to take months or even quarters to migrate your big batch and interactive workload : Java is automatically generated from Cobol and deployed on x86 servers each time Cobol is changed on the mainframe to incorporate new functions. So, maintenance is never stopped : it continues in Cobol until the migration and then switches to Java as it becomes the new reference source code after the migration.
- So, Eranea provide the riskless path that you seek between the current status of your core IT systems and the new status that you want it to have. We understand clearly that, in such project, “the travel is as important and critical as the destination” according to the usual motto.
So, Eranea’s objectives are clearly to serve the needs of CIOs in largest corporations :
- CIOs can transform their mainframe legacy toward modern x86 system
- they reach tactical milestones : massive savings
- they achieve strategic evolution : mission-critical is back in line with the market
- the transformation is done in a transparent, incremental and riskless manner to continuously serve end-users smoothly and allow daily operations to continue on the “business-as-usual” manner.
That is the reason why our technology has already been applied in the most demanding environments : insurance, banking, retail, media,etc.