How to get mainframe modernization right
Around a third of modernization projects that lift and shift mainframe workloads to a distributed architecture often fail, according to a regional executive at Rocket Software.
In an interview with Computer Weekly, Praveen Kumar, Rocket’s vice-president for Asia-Pacific, singled out a few factors that have been driving organizations off the mainframe: the lack of skills to manage mainframe workloads, the rising costs of doing so and the slower speed to market.
“All three factors are interlinked, because if you have fewer skills, your costs go up, giving you fewer resources. Every time there’s a change on the frontend, you tend to spend a lot of time at the backend,” he said.
But for organizations, such as banks and insurance companies that spent a few years to move some mainframe workloads to distributed architectures while holding on to core banking systems, Kumar said: “What they found was that the processing power they had on the mainframe for the core was just insane.
“We’ve seen examples in the US, where people wanted to go to the distributed side, but the processing power was just not there,” Kumar said. “It goes back to the root cause – when people built software in the earlier days, especially around core banking, they learned to use the hardware capacity of the box whereas modern software today is built to scale horizontally.
“The moment you want vertical scaling, you’ve got to use the power of the architecture that your CPU supports. That’s where challenges start to emerge because of the high volume of transactions,” he added. Kumar said while there are large banks running...Read more