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What are the points that need to be taken care of while planning legacy application migration to cloud-native environment? How to identify and deal with unfit apps? Cloud allows enterprises to modernize their traditional set-up to obtain a sharp competitive edge. Forward-looking enterprises are migrating legacy applications to the cloud, and deploying containers to isolate functions by developing new features in real-time. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Legacy applications can be a real challenge for enterprises that are considering capitalizing on the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. The journey begins by making an in-depth analysis of points that need to be considered while migrating legacy apps to the cloud-native environment. This blog will explain how legacy application migration to cloud-native environment can disrupt CI/CD practices, and why DevOps should be the focal point of your business strategy.

Points to Consider While Migrating Legacy Applications to Cloud-native Environment

Legacy application migration to cloud-native

1. Deciding on the migration to cloud-native.

You can rehost your legacy application in the cloud by merely overcoming a few security, access, and vendor-related concerns. Some of the challenges that can pose a threat are related to ensuring the private cloud server security, approaching a public cloud vendor while assessing storage to the host and ease at accessing your data and applications.

However, you won’t notice a radical change in your app’s operational efficiency or their scope of future development merely through simple cloud migration. It’ll only help you to save on your cost, improve your on-site and off-site access to application and data storage.

If you want to go cloud-native, containers are a prerequisite. Containers, service meshes, serverless architecture, immutable infrastructure, declarative APIs, and microservices are part and parcel of cloud-native. These techniques enable high-impact changes, accommodate the DevOps teams, and provide scalability.

Cloud-native considers your access to scaling and development capabilities. This differentiates modern apps from legacy apps. It empowers enterprises to develop and run highly scalable apps on private, public, or hybrid cloud.

2. Role of dockers and containers.

Cloud-Native is containerization. Containers and the cloud go hand in hand. Containers allow programs to utilize the potential of the cloud and enable abstraction at the application layer. Every container has specific requirements to run an app, where you can run that code. They effectively convert monolithic application development strategies into separate services wrapped within a container. For modern application development, a container-based approach has become a standardized approach that is resilient, flexible, and quick to deploy.

Docker includes everything you need to run your application: code, system tools, runtime, system libraries, and settings. Bifurcate applications from infrastructure to quickly deliver the software. You can manage infrastructure the same way you manage your applications. With a strong, cohesive ecosystem, Docker is the leader amongst other programs that support, build, manage, and maintain containers. It is open-source, cost-effective with purpose-built capabilities, and many support features. Another open-source clustering platform is Kubernetes that facilitates automation and manages containerized workloads. Both Kubernetes and Docker, modernize the codes and capabilities of the legacy applications.

However, not every legacy application qualifies for cloud migration and cloud-native.

Old applications, coded in the outdated language, or badly designed are the first to get disqualified. The migration may not be worth the value for those that are mainframe-based, written in Cobol/Fortran, or developed using a proprietary language. A massive amount of rewriting is required if the applications have tightly coupled functionality and datastore. The most suited method for such apps is rehosting, or else the application will need to decouple the data from the application

3. Containers for legacy apps that qualify for cloud-native.

The ideally suited legacy applications (like Java and .NET) can be easily bifurcated into smaller components and placed in containers without unnecessary rewrites. Invest your time to find out the application’s functional primitives, package those identified primitives using container services, and develop the components together to make it unified.

Cloud-native apps branch out the data from an application. It enables every application to get modified without affecting the rest and allow data to get shared across applications and containers. Construct a framework to deliver data access ‘as-a-service’ for application to use, and you can hasslefree decouple the application from its data. This enables you to change the data without breaking the application, supply other containers access to that data and deliver a truly modernized application outcome.

4. Ability to identify and fix the errors.

Be agile in terms of identifying and fixing the errors while migrating legacy applications to cloud architecture. Changing an application entirely can have consequences on operational efficiency.

Divide applications into smaller components to build and edit them at a robust speed and use the generated data for various purposes. You need to minutely identify the errors, and understand how your application is functioning. Containers with their distributed nature can locate the reasons for the occurrence of errors and network failure, which was difficult through traditional troubleshooting, and debugging tools.

5. Debugging, DevOps, and Containers.

Within the test environment, record and replay debugging, also known as ‘flight recorder software’ has delivered accelerated methods to overcome glitches. The operations of an application are recorded to provide log data and the exact execution phases. Developers can view this within an Integrated Development Environment.

Whereas, traditional record and replay debuggers offer unmatched flexibility to developers who test new codes, and enhance the outcomes, but are not feasible in the production environment. The test environments can never replicate a production environment.

The best approach is the one that is proactive towards errors that arise while migrating legacy applications to the cloud-native architecture. Invest in the cutting-edge observability tools that work well in cloud-native, microservices, and serverless environment. During and after the migration, DevOps must be the focal point of the cloud-native strategy.

It is a strategy that increases speed, functionality, and uptime to your journey of going cloud-native. In comparison to monolithic, the CI-CD approach is preferred to development and operations teams. Moreover, containers and microservices are the best fit for DevOps due to the modular ‘DevOps approach’ to programming as well as development.

Full observability and rapid root cause analysis hold much importance in DevOps. Not to mention, putting reputation and revenue at risk, unidentified root-cause solutions can have an impact on uptime, cyber threats, and overall performance. Invest in observability tools to deliver the kind of perspective on your containerized applications and swiftly resolve the errors. While these tools will help you take advantage of DevOps methodologies in a cloud-native environment, the investment will simplify the migration.

To wrap up

By developing applications that capitalize on the potential of the cloud environment, Cloud-Native is much more than the cloud. Moreover, this application architecture needs to be coupled with a well-designed DevOps strategy. Start with categorizing the legacy applications that qualify and that do not qualify for migration to save on your costs and efforts.

It should not be the case that you have to start from scratch because the changes involved in the applications to get benefited from the cloud are too many. For some applications, methods like refactoring and containerization can transform their performance. Cloud-Native and DevOps can propel your operational efficiency.

With our Cloud-Native services, gain real-time visibility of your deployments as we combine observability platforms with a DevOps methodology to make your legacy application migration to a cloud-native environment more Agile. Partner with our cloud-native artisans to know more about services!

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