Challenges in Modernizing Legacy Applications & 5 Ways to Tackle Them

The Cloud Age is upon us, and every modern organization is now in a race to migrate part – or all – of their data and applications to the cloud in order to keep up. One of the main challenges faced by most organizations during this inevitable cloud journey is the question of what to do with their legacy applications. Despite the rise of a number of cloud service providers to assist organizations in the process, frustration is on the rise because of long delays, and subsequent vendor lock-in.

Here are some of the challenges that cause roadblocks in the cloud migration process of legacy applications and how we at CloudNow would suggest working around them effectively.

Challenge 1: Unbreakable Monoliths

Legacy versions of applications, whether off-the-shelf or custom-built, are often designed as single, unbreakable monoliths.

In order to modernize such applications, create a comprehensive model of an application, including its network and storage configurations, the servers and how they will be deployed, along with the networking between different, individual components. Then deconstruct the same model into its building blocks and configurations into individual working parts. This will make it easy to create a virtualized application and implement using containers when combined with a software-defined infrastructure.

Challenge 2: Entwined Applications & Infrastructure

We often find that applications and their components, including network configurations and data, are entwined with the infrastructure on which they are hosted. This makes upgrades and updates to these applications a time-consuming process, often needing manual intervention for testing and updates.

The way to get around this is to abstract the applications, along with their data sources, data, as well as network and security configurations. This abstraction of applications into universally-operable components makes the move to another infrastructure easily possible. The process is made very simple and is executable without any code change. The complete portability of the abstracted application components makes it possible to compose the application into a new software-defined infrastructure.

Challenge 3: Tool Fatigue

Admittedly, it is not easy to manage the modernization of multiple applications. Too many tools (some infrastructure-specific, some application-specific) to manage too many applications can result in chaos. Not to mention the management of multiple vendor contracts, each with its own standards for pricing, schedules and fine print.

By integrating virtualized application environments with orchestration tools, the provisioning of new instances can be completely automated. And by directly connecting your catalog containing all application components with these orchestration tools to automate the provisioning of storage options.

Challenge 4: Security Measures

Looking to address the security issues surrounding your legacy applications after they are modernized and deployed in their new environment can often be more time consuming than it needs to be. Often, at this stage, there is a lot of friction between the teams handling DevOps and security.

Security should never be the last thing on your mind when it comes to modernizing applications. In fact, security needs to top your priority list and be factored into the process as an essential component of the overall application environment. In this way, there are fewer compromises made and fewer conflicts between teams. At CloudNow, we implement security at every layer as part of our DevOps approach.

Challenge 5: Escalating Costs

Traditionally, applications at large organizations are maintained in disconnected compartments – from department to department – adding to the difficulties of consolidating and testing. It also makes it difficult to estimate a budget for the infrastructure and platforms that are needed to effectively run the applications in their new avatars. Often, there is a lot of apprehension among organization heads over the unplanned escalation of costs while deploying the applications in their new home, the cloud environment.

An effective and proven way to effectively manage the modernization of applications without additional or unexpected cost is to first separate the legacy application into its essential components (as given under Challenge 1). That way, there is more clarity on which of them are needed and which are not. By maintaining a catalog of components, an organization can effectively make newer versions of the application with selected components in the desired combinations or simply clone the entire application as is – all with the help of a well-equipped DevOps team at an effective speed.

CloudNow is a cloud advisory services company that can help you choose your cloud and migrate your legacy applications in the most cost-effective and timely manner through full-stack expertise and a DevOps approach. Get in touch with CloudNow today.