Application modernization is a high priority as businesses look to achieve new technological capabilities while resolving the performance issues, slow response times and user interface limitations of legacy apps. In a recent Wakefield study, 92 percent of respondents said their organizations are either currently modernizing legacy apps or actively planning to do so.
The process is typically more challenging than expected, however. The same study found that 79 percent of app modernization projects fail to achieve their goals. The problem is often a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.
In their efforts to transition to modern, cloud-based operations, many organizations simply “lift and shift” apps to the cloud without rearchitecting, replatforming or otherwise modernizing them. This often results in unexpected costs and performance issues. In many cases, legacy apps designed to run on dedicated servers fail when running on cloud server clusters, forcing organizations to repatriate those workloads back to on-premises infrastructure.
Effective app modernization usually requires a lot of upfront work to modernize the application infrastructure — the collection of components, systems and services necessary to support and run software. This can include servers, databases, networks, operating systems, and other software tools. Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) analysts refer to this as an “infrastructure out” approach to digital transformation.
Here are some key technologies organizations should consider when modernizing application infrastructure:
- SD-WAN. Nearly half of respondents to an ESG survey said they are implementing SD-WAN solutions to create a more cloud-like experience for their on-premises data center infrastructure. It creates a flexible and agile networking infrastructure for modern apps that span on-prem data centers, public clouds and edge networks.
- Hybrid cloud. Hybrid clouds orchestrate public cloud, private cloud and on-premises infrastructure, creating a single platform for deploying and managing application infrastructure regardless of location. It ranked as the No. 1 infrastructure investment priority in the ESG report.
- Containers. Containerization is a virtualization technique in which applications and all their dependencies are encapsulated in small, portable bundles that can be easily deployed and moved across different environments. This creates the application portability organizations need as they embrace multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
- Microservices. This is a way to divide applications into smaller, loosely coupled services that can be developed, deployed and scaled independently. According to ESG, more than a third of companies use microservices to design and build cloud-native applications that can also run on-premises.
- Infrastructure as code. This technique enables the provisioning and management of infrastructure resources through code. Instead of manually configuring and managing infrastructure components like servers, networks and storage, IaC allows you to define and manage resources using a programming language understood by infrastructure provisioning tools.
- DevOps. DevOps combines software development and IT operations principles to facilitate modernization efforts. Practices such as auto-scaling and infrastructure provisioning help organizations design and implement scalable and resilient application architectures.
- Hyperconverged infrastructure. HCI combines storage, compute, networking and virtualization into a single integrated system. It helps organizations simplify their infrastructure and gain greater flexibility and scalability.
- Serverless computing. Serverless architectures abstract away the underlying infrastructure management entirely, allowing developers to focus on writing code in the form of functions or microservices. This accelerates the app development and deployment cycles while reducing management requirements.
- Automation and orchestration. Tools such as Ansible or Kubernetes Operators provide numerous built-in modules for managing servers, networks, databases, load balancers and cloud services. This allows you to automate tasks such as provisioning and configuring infrastructure, deploying applications and managing containers.
No single tool will suit all applications, but organizations can combine these techniques to create the flexible and scalable infrastructure necessary to support application modernization efforts. Technologent has the expertise, toolsets and mature processes necessary to support your modernization efforts. Contact us to learn more.
July 7, 2023