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Migrating Mainframe Workloads to AWS

In this video Mr. Craig Marble, the VP, Legacy Modernization Services of Astadia explains the in-depth concept of migration of the mainframe workloads to the AWS when interviewed by Mr. Neel Mitra from AWS.

At 0:26, Craig begins by stating the major objectives of Astadia that includes software lifecycle services, providing a DevOps environment, managing services and setting up the cloud environment. He adds that one interesting group that operates in Astadia is a legacy modernization group where the legacy applications are taken and moved to the AWS environment.

At 0:56 Craig begins to explain the concept of migration of mainframe workloads through a use case scenario. He further adds on that mainframes tend to be expensive and generally consist of the assembler code, millions of lines of the batch COBOL, transaction monitors like the CICS, IMS or COMS. At 1:38 he states that the batch COBOL is taken, completely analyzed and transferred to an Amazon EC2 instance with the least amount of risk. At 2:03 he puts forward that Amazon EC2 instance ensures that the COBOL code is run successfully and effectively by allowing the vertical scalability.

The concept of handling the transactions monitors present in the mainframes is explained in detail from 2:47. Here Craig states that these monitors also perform a little similar action, where the COBOL code is taken, analyzed, transferred to the EC2 instance, here the user interface (UI) to the mainframe is also pointed towards the EC2 instance. For this, the scalability can be achieved by adding smaller machines and use the load balancer to bring up clones of the application.

At 3:26, he states that this ensures that instead of going to the EC2 instance, the request is sent towards the load balancer and It sends the request to the EC2 instance. Craig brings out an interesting aspect of this approach at 3:49 by stating that the company uses its own set of tools along with the third-party tools for the code commit process. He adds on that the microfocus environment is used for the development purpose. This has allowed the plugging into Visual studio, or eclipse and then plays into the DevOps environment

At 4:18, he states that the enterprise server completely allows the running of the mainframe COBOL applications on any operating systems like Windows or Linux. At 4:36 he states that the latest release version has the support for the docker containers that allows the legacy COBOL applications to run on the DOCKER environment. He adds on that these techniques have greatly helped in running the COBOL code on a device without the process of refactoring taking place.

At 5:10, Craig begins to talk about the relational database like db2 or hierarchical database like IMS that exist in the mainframes. At 5:30 He conveys that the relational databases move quickly to the RDS (Relational Database Service) while the hierarchical databases are normalized, converted to the relational environment. At 6:02 Craig confidently states that the security aspect of the mainframes is maintained well by looking into the racks, their profiles and are mapped to the active directory.

At 6:30 he also states that some files present in mainframe that can’t be archived can be taken to the S3. At 6:50 Craig highlights that considering over 12-18 months on average, nearly 80% of people do the migration of the mainframe workloads to the AWS environments. He has thereby given a clear explanation of the migration process of the mainframes to the AWS.


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