Application Modernization

The benefits of the cloud-native approach for your legacy application.

The themes of the modernization

12factor represents for us the key method to take on the modernization of an application. As the name suggests, it consists of 12 operational principles to successfully accomplish the development of a modern application. They touch topics that can be divided into four areas.

  • Infrastructure

    Containers and their orchestration (Docker and Kubernetes) represent maybe the most important step towards a modern application.

  • Process

    To make full use of the new infrastructure’s advantages, a critical factor is the adoption of DevOps practices and the strict use of Agile methods.

  • Architecture

    Microservices are an architectural style that manages the developing of a single application like a suite of modular and independent services.

  • Communication

    Using modular and self-contained services allows us to base the communication processes on APIs that are lightweight and technologically agnostic.

Cloud Migration

The migration phase is crucial in the modernization process of an application or service and the right strategy will determine the costs/benefits ratio that best fits every situation.

Rehosting

The solution that is faster and less expensive in terms of resources is Rehosting. The legacy application will be taken from the previous on-premise or cloud infrastructure and migrated to a new one, with little to no amount of modifications on it’s codebase.

This allows us to not interfere during this phase with the already running application workflow, guaranteeing continuity at the disadvantage of not allowing access to the full potential of a complete cloud-native approach (flexibility and scalability first). Rehosting is the best strategy when you are trying to immediately cut costs of a on-premise infrastructure or you only need to increase the resilience of your application or service. Furthermore, very often applications can be rapidly refactored once in the Cloud and so Rehosting becomes a fundamental first step for the future development of cloud-native practices.

Replatforming

Replatforming finds its place in between Rehosting and a total Refactoring. The legacy application will undergo some limited modifications that will allow it to significantly benefit from the cloud-native approach advantages.

Replatforming proves to be the best strategy when you’re trying not just to cut costs on on-premise infrastructures, but also take advantage of the Cloud infrastructure characteristics to automate some tasks and reduce some managing expenses.

Refactoring

The last and broader strategy consists in a complete Refactoring of the legacy application. It will be re-architected (completely or partially based on necessities and resources) to fully benefit from the Cloud environment while keeping all of its peculiarities. In the Refactoring process will be introduced cloud-native frameworks (for example GKE) for a better efficiency and high performances.

Refactoring doesn’t just stop at migrating a legacy application from an on-premise infrastructure to a Cloud one, but represents a real change of perspectives. Even though venturing into a complete reconstruction of an application or service might look hazardous, the cloud-native approach allows you to execute this transition in a safe, controlled and gradual way.

Why modernize a legacy application

  • It allows you to not waste resources

    Venturing in a total reconstruction of a working application or service is hazardous. The advantages of the Cloud-Native approach can be gradually implemented on your already running application, thanks to defined and focused steps.

  • New life to your legacy application

    Your application or service, thanks to this type of operation, can emerge from its obsolescence and come back to competitiveness in today’s market thanks to the scalability and resilience offered by the Cloud-Native approach.

  • Quickly cutting management and infrastructure costs

    Legacy applications often come with noteworthy costs connected to its management and the maintenance of its on-premise infrastructures. With the right expedients a modernization process is able to quickly cut those costs.

The right strategy for your legacy application

Modernizing an application means to take a path that leads to adopting the cloud-native approach, benefitting from the great advantages that comes with it: scalability, resilience and flexibility. This path doesn’t necessarily have to be an abrupt breach with the already running processes, the right strategy can guarantee an efficient and seamless migration.

Indeed, not every legacy application or service needs to be fully replaced. Very often a few focused interventions are enough to bring a product back to competitiveness and to start benefiting from the advantages of the Cloud infrastructure.

Application Modernization is an iterative process that allows you to adopt the Cloud-Native approach for your application step by step and following a different path based on your necessities, introducing the benefits of the Cloud-Native approach progressively and following your objectives, reducing to a minimum the waste of already executed work and the time-to-market.

Application modernization: all the advantages of the cloud, with no waste.
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Application Modernization in practice

Zambon
Drupal, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud

The new web ecosystem of Zambon’s websites is Cloud-Native and benefits from a modular structure of contents: a single Design System to build and manage multiple websites.