What to do with legacy apps that can’t migrate to the cloud

Some applications are not pragmatic to move, so find a way to make them someone else’s headache

What to do with legacy apps that can’t migrate to the cloud
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About 20 percent to 30 percent of your applications are not economically viable to move to the public cloud. These are applications with no platform analogs in the cloud, such as traditional mainframe applications. Or, even if there are platform replicants, they are not of enough business value to invest in the migration.

Many hope that these applications will just go away upon moving to the cloud, but most hold significant business value and can’t yet be retired. If you’re looking to get out of the data center business, what are you to do with these outliers?

There are a few options to consider:

First, move to an MSP (managed services provider) that can host the legacy platforms to run your legacy applications. The idea is to pick an MSP that’s able to accommodate your use of cloud-based resources as well as your legacy applications, and one that can do so from a single, well-managed set of services.

Once you find an MSP that does both, outsource as much as you can. Let them operate your cloud-based applications and data, as well as your legacy applications and data. I’m a firm believer in making things somebody else’s problem.

Second, move to a colocation provider or colo. You can think of colo providers as real-estate agents for data center space. They provide the racks that you’ll need, as well as power, networking, and cooling. Just like an Airbnb, you pay for use of that portion of the data center.

Although this could be a fit for enterprises that need to maintain control and still want to touch their legacy servers, this is basically a DIY approach that comes with a lot of the risks, not to mention extra work.

Of course, there are five factorial amounts of options, and certainly hybrids of the two I’m mentioning here. The underlying theme is to get out of the data center business as fast as you can and enjoy a freer life.

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