Today, many enterprises are looking to modernize their IT landscape – including their AS400 systems (that run mission-critical legacy applications that are difficult to maintain and expensive to operate) – to gain higher scalability, agility and cost benefit.
This white paper analyzes the challenges of modernizing AS400 systems along with various modernization approaches and useful architecture patterns that maximize the benefit of AS400 modernization. This will be useful to an IT decision-maker in any organization looking to modernize their existing AS400 system.
IBM AS400 (also known as ‘IBMi’ or ‘IBM iSeries’) is an application server with proven robustness, scalability, reliability, security and low cost of ownership compared to MIPS in IBM Mainframe (also known as ‘IBM z’). The advent of newer technologies forces an increased need to modernize AS400 systems to harness greater value.
Every company that uses AS400 systems wants to leverage and reap the benefit of the large volume of valuable information stored in it. However, limitations such as the monolithic nature of the code base, 5250-based ‘Green Screens’, tightly coupled Business Logic along with high cost of Server/OS upgrades, create greater challenges to the modernization of AS400 systems.
In the case of the AS400 system, unlike IBM Mainframe systems, IBM does not charge customers based on the number of transactions (MIPS – Million Instructions per Second), but it’s a sunk cost instead. In other words, the AS400 system is not an expensive server to maintain and hence the modernization should deliver benefits beyond reducing cost. AS400 systems need a customized approach that reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), unlock insights from hidden data and increase system agility while delivering consistent business value.
Given the large AS400 footprint on the IT landscape and the variety of technologies, databases and supporting software involved, a one-size-fits-all solution for AS400 modernization is unlikely to succeed.
AS400 system modernization is complex and requires different approaches depending on the requirements, workload and risk profiles.
Common causes for delay in AS400 Modernization Projects are:
- Limited view of the existing AS400 application landscape
- Lack of clear business plan to address the future business needs
- Understate/Unaware of the potential risks involved
- Lack of proper funding for long-term modernization projects
- Various type of Modernization patterns such as: Re-Hosting, Re-Engineering, Re-Architecting and Re-New are available to consider
In order for an organization to execute their AS400 system modernization successfully, they must have a clear strategy along with a dedicated plan, modernization methodology and future-proof architecture.