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white paper

Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Micro Focus Reference Architecture (MFRA) is a z/OS mainframe rehosting infrastructure blueprint for the Windows platform. It is designed to reduce the risk and complexity of migration by providing a proven framework to the components required for moving COBOL and PL/I mainframe applications onto the Microsoft Application Platform. The MFRA gives organizations a clear and demonstrable understanding of the behavior of their mainframe applications within a distributed environment. It allows them to validate their migration project in a real-life scenario that can be tailored to their specific needs, giving insight into the immediate benefits it could have on performance, flexibility and productivity. Organizations that have migrated mainframe applications are typically able to: Reduce application costs by up to 80% Halve the time required to complete batch processes Double the number of online transactions achievable in the same time Modernize applications sooner by enabling IT to deliver new functionality 40% faster INTRODUCTION The success of a software development organization or IT department depends on its ability to adapt to market needs. As product lifecycles become shorter and the needs of consumers grow, organizations find it increasingly difficult to keep pace. Unfortunately, this often leads to organizations adapting the way they do business to overcome the cost and business limitations of their existing infrastructures. These can result in negative adaptation, where capabilities and functionality are compromised because of the limitations of technology. Examples include: Real-time dashboards unachievable because business analysts work on data that is 24-72 hours old Product releases being pushed out or deferred Product releases being of a poor quality due to pressures on testing cycles Escalating call center staff costs to compensate for limited customer facing systems Budget for new projects and innovation redirected to maintain existing assets This list is by no means exhaustive, but serves to paint a picture where technology limitations hold back an organizations ability to innovate and grow. These are typical of the type of issues facing organizations with mainframe assets. Organizations that have relied on the mainframe for their core business often perceive that their infrastructure and innovation options are limited because of the complexities of the mainframe environment. This belief extends into a perception that open, distributed systems cannot scale or perform as well as the mainframe. As a result, organizations believe that modernization comes down to an either/or decision: Either continue the course with the existing mainframe infrastructure or rebuild a modern distributed environment. This is not a true reflection of the full story. Todays infrastructure options are widely varied depending on the needs of the business, and their starting point. A startup organization has many choices and options when planning an infrastructure: storage, servers, software configurations, user interfaces, and databases are all available to be purpose built. Few companies have the luxury of starting with a completely blank piece of paper. Those that already have an established technology environment find that their direction is determined by where they are now, mapped across to where they want to get to. Their challenge lies in finding a way to carry over the stability and power of the mainframe to the flexibility, agility and cost-effective environment of distributed systems. As an unintended consequence, many organizations choose to adapt their systems to meet the limitations of the technology approach available compromising on the capabilities that their systems can deliver to the business. The Micro Focus Reference Architecture addresses this and reverses any capability shortfall, by helping companies adapt the technology to meet the true business demands of their systems.


WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

MAINFRAME PRESSURES AND MODERNIZATION According to a recent Standish Group survey, 85% of the CIOs surveyed do not see the mainframe playing a central or strategic role in their organizations in 5 years time1. The drive to move away from the mainframe has been bolstered by a number of factors including, flexibility, innovation, the availability of skills and cost. While the performance of mission critical applications running on the mainframe, and how they serve the business, is seldom questioned, the costs associated with supporting the mainframe environment have grown to such a level to prompt organizations to look for alternatives. One widely held, but incorrect belief, is that moving away from the mainframe must involve rewriting (manually recreating the business logic) or replacing mainframe applications with commercial off the shelf (COTS) applications. While rewriting or replacing key applications do provide an alternative approach, for many the associated risks are simply too high. Risk evaluation of approaches to modernization When the UKs largest retailer, Tesco, assessed the options available to update its technology platforms, the CIO drew up a table of risk based on in-depth analysis of the alternative approaches. He identified that three of the four approaches investigated returned unacceptable levels of risk:

Modernization method Rewrite

What is involved? Manually recreating business logic residing on the mainframe using alternative languages and technologies Replacing mainframe applications with commercial off the shelf (COTS) applications

Risk factors Replicating business logic built up over years, often by people no longer working on the project, is high cost and high risk Will not replicate business logic 100%, putting unique competitive advantage at risk as systems are compromised by a one-size-fits-all approach. Required functionality may eventually be available but only after significant customization and professional services. ROI can take years and risk is moderate to high Costs will continue to rise and the business will remain inflexible to change. Skills retention will become an issue. Risk to the business is moderate to high Moving the application as it is, with minimal changes to code and no re-training of staff. The lowest risk approach


Do nothing

Continuing mainframe based technologies, without adaptation Migrate mainframe applications to a distributed environment


The Micro Focus Reference Architecture provides a low risk, highly adaptable approach to rehosting applications off the mainframe and onto alternative platforms. It delivers substantial cost savings as many of the software packages on the mainframe are readily available on the Windows Server environment and it is more likely that newly hired support staff will have Windows Server experience as opposed to (or in addition to) mainframe support experience. Once the applications have been migrated, the savings made can be re-invested in providing the new capabilities required to drive business agility, efficiency and accelerated time to market.


WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

MICRO FOCUS REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE OVERVIEW The Micro Focus Reference Architecture (MFRA) for Windows is a documented and proven environment to demonstrate mainframe workloads, interfaces, and core systems running on the latest generation of the Microsoft Application Platform. Using this environment as a blueprint, organizations will find that Micro Focus technology in conjunction with Microsoft provides significant operational and economic advantages over existing infrastructures. Built over 35 years of delivering customer success, Micro Focus has developed an array of tools that help organizations build business applications, rehost and modernize existing mainframe applications onto lower-cost, agile platforms; ranging from an integrated development environment (IDE), application server, testing and several analysis tools. The MFRA demonstrates these technologies working together, along with additional components from technology partners, to map mainframe components to the Windows environment. While the MFRA is designed to help any organization with a mainframe achieve the business flexibility and the cost benefits of distributed Windows servers, customers with mainframes running 1000 MIPS and below stand to gain the most. A study by IDC revealed that 85% of all mainframes worldwide are running at or below 1000 MIPS2. For that reason, the technology outlined in the reference architecture is designed for the specific purpose of providing organizations a viable production alternative to a 1000 MIPS environment. Additional processing capability can easily be gained by expanding to a larger server. The Micro Focus Reference Architecture maps the services and features that exist on the mainframe and are most critical to the operation of production level applications across to alternative environments to return the same, or better, uptime and reliability as the mainframe. Aligning IT with business goals Mainframe rehosting with the MFRA is the best method to align IT with the goals of the business. It is also the lowest-risk, highest-return alternative to rewrite or replacement strategies. To accomplish this, the Micro Focus infrastructure focuses on the following areas: Execution environment The execution environment runs as a virtual mainframe - mainframe applications run just as they do on z/OS, with no change to the business logic of the programs. In addition to the execution, this focus area delivers the management and monitoring of applications and provides an environment for CICS and IMS transactional programs written in COBOL and PL/I. Batch job JCL is also supported.

Communications interfaces Communications interfaces enable the rehosted platform to continue its interaction with various systems and applications that allow for human and machine-based interaction. These interfaces make the rehosted applications more flexible and allow for business and customer system integration. Batch infrastructure Micro Focus Server contains a robust batch infrastructure that drives job schedulers, high-speed sorting, output management, backup and various resident and thirdparty library utilities. Applications are only one part of the equation. Without the underlying data store, rehosting projects would be impossible. Micro Focus Server contains features to enable both rehosting of data still residing on the mainframe and high-speed access to that data.



WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

In addition to covering the major components, the MFRA maps additional elements that are critical to the operation of a mission-critical environment, including: Transaction processing Operation management Security Virtualization Batch processing Job scheduling Output management Data services and storage Development services Communications interfaces

Figure 1: Mainframe alternative reference platform


WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

Figure 2: Mainframe application execution environment

MFRA YOUR PROVEN BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS With the MFRA, organizations can test their mainframe workloads running in a Windows distributed environment. The MFRA is a flexible environment that can be adapted to meet specific hardware requirements and is designed to accommodate additional software technologies as required. These simply plug-in to reflect the application needs to demonstrate the capability of the rehosted environment. The MFRA is currently available for demonstrations in the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Redmond, Washington, USA and in the Microsoft Technology Center in Reading, Berkshire, UK. Online demonstrations are also available. The MFRA in the Redmond (USA) MTC runs on HP hardware while in Reading (UK) it is resident on Dell hardware. In addition to the hardware and software flexibility, the architecture is also designed to work with industry leading partners like LRS for output and print management, Syncsort for high speed sorting and CA for job scheduling.


WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

SUMMARY OF KEY TECHNOLOGIES IN THE MFRA Table 1: Key technologies and mapping Product Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition and Active Directory SQL Server 2008 SharePoint Server Micro Focus Server Enterprise Edition Micro Focus Studio Enterprise Edition Visual Studio Visual COBOL Team Foundation Server System Center LRS VPSX CA Workload Automation Syncsort DMExpress Rumba OnWeb Description Operating system foundation and application platform, directory services, access authentication and policy management Relational database, BI, analytics and reporting server Collaborative portal server for content/document management, social networking, database applications, BI and workflow Deployment environment for COBOL and PL/I applications Graphical IDE for rehosting mainframe applications to lower-cost environments Integrated development environment and framework COBOL application language support for Visual Studio Source code management Operation management Output management Job scheduling High-speed file sort operations Terminal emulator (IBM 3270) Instant Web enablement and Web service generator

SUMMARY The MFRA demonstrates a proven mainframe rehosting infrastructure for Microsoft Windows server platforms. It gives organizations insight into a viable alternative to the mainframe for mission critical production ready environments and showcases the benefits it would have for their organization. Those that decide on this migration route will find this to be the lowest risk option that yields the fastest return on investment, enabling savings to be re-invested to support growth. Along with the economic and innovation benefits, migrating off the mainframe brings additional advantages as organizations look to rationalize the IT platform strategy: Reduce application costs by up to 80% Halve the time required to complete batch processes Double the number of online transactions achievable in the same time Modernize applications sooner by enabling IT to deliver new functionality 40% faster With over 600 successful migrations, the Micro Focus modernization and migration approach has proved that the MFRA combination of technologies and services delivers the lowest-risk migration solution available today. Organizations can see the evidence for themselves by bringing application subsets to the MFRA installations to see exactly how their applications would run on the Microsoft Application Platform.


WHITE PAPER | Micro Focus mainframe migration reference architecture

REFERENCES 1. IBM Mainframe Modernization Survey, The Standish Group, March 2011 2. Cohen, Lloyd and Hoang Nguyen (December, 2003). Server Census-Annual Shipments and Installed Base. IDC publication 30518.

About Micro Focus Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization and Management software enables customers business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk.

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