How to cloudify legacy applications

A cloud partner can help to migrate legacy applications.

Adapting your existing portfolio to the cloud is a key part in the migration process for independent software vendors (ISVs), however it is not always a case of cut and paste and nor does it mean the whole product needs to be repurposed.

When ISVs move to Platform as a Service (PaaS), Gartner has noted that the biggest challenge tends to be transitioning from legacy systems, where a lot of past data is stored, and making them appropriate for the cloud.

Yet, to stay competitive and to encourage growth of their business, ISVs need to ensure their existing applications are ready for the cloud.

To make the transition easier, it is important to get a balance between knowing what works in the cloud and what will not.

As a recent whitepaper from Dot Net Solutions stated: "migrating and 'cloudifying' applications is rarely a case of 'lift-and-shift'".

ISVs should take a look at each product in their existing portfolio and analyse them from top to bottom, considering what purpose the initial code was supposed to serve. It may be that added functionality is needed in certain aspects, while some of the original product could continue to be effective in the cloud.

To aid in this assessment, it is worth employing an experienced cloud partner who will be able to make the functionality of a service more ready for newer platforms.

Additionally, ISVs are likely to be able to find a series of development tools similar to those that they are used to that are appropriate for use on cloud services. An example of this is SQLite, which is similar to its predecessor but more fit for purpose.

The important thing that ISVs must bear in mind is that their applications, when transferred to the cloud, are right-sized and fit for purpose.

Migrating to the cloud need not be a complete reinvention of what an ISV already does, looking back over past products could uncover some aspects that are still relevant to customers' needs.