Over time, app management changes its R's
Virtual resources, real costs: VMware, Cloud

More R's for APM's Migration Uses

The third R of the application portfolio management process is Retire, but it might well lead to special storage for HP 3000 app data. A business application can be retired, said Birket Foster in a webinar today, when it has no more business value. However, just like the 3000 itself, retiring software can demand specific decommissioning procedures.

"The application may have to be a system of record," Foster said, "and although it has no more business value, it has a requirement from a compliance point of view. Its data must be preserved in the right manner." In some cases, such compliance has kept 3000s online years after an expected decommissioning date.

Traffic lightsWhile using APM for migration planning, the R's of Rehost, Replace and Retire are most often the paths taken. But there's also a Re-Platform choice that can be appropriate. Rehosting can mean something as direct as migrating the data "and changing a database on the way over, and updating the toolsets in dev, test, and production environments." In a re-platform, "the old system might be dying, but it takes three years to go through the replacement process." Replacements can be done in as little as 3-6 months, but in a larger organization it can take years. Just picking up an app and moving is a re-platform. 

"Sometimes, your time is worth more than money," he said. If it's going to take three years, "and my disk drives are already dying, I need to re-platform," Foster said. This is "a temporary move to get you to where to need to get to. You still don't know which of those three R's it would have been — it's just that you need to do an emergency fix." 

If the app can stay where it is, "There could be a Retain, if I'm happy with the platform that's currently there," he said. "It needs to have the green light, if we're to use an application dashboard. Green apps can stay where they are. They work both for the business and for the technology."

Five R's in all are likely to make up the scope of a project MB Foster's working on for the Canadian government, work that affects thousands of applications across all of the government's departments. The government wants to consolidate datacenters as well; it's running more than 700 today. UDACentral, the company's data migration wheelhouse, is at the heart of that MB Foster work. Like any APM triage, that project will require an early start in cleaning data. 

If you don't start early, you will run into problems. For example, there are many reasons to do a close review of your data mapping requirements. Legacy data types may not have no equivalent SQL data type. "It's important to have someone on your team try it early, for these technical reasons," Foster said, including things like repeated fields, reserved words, overloaded fields, or data names that might be reserved words.