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codal insights

AS400 migration to the cloud

Gibson Toombs
September 3rd, 2021
5 MINUTE READ

Is your business currently powering its mission-critical tasks on legacy AS400 software? If so, it may be time for an upgrade. The power of cloud computing has presented new opportunities for thousands of organizations that currently rely on IBM power systems—a server of computers built in 2008—to run their AS400 applications. 

With cutting-edge tools and a solid modernization strategy, you can migrate critical applications like ERP systems from IBM’s physical servers to a cloud environment—helping to increase scalability and maintain a competitive advantage for your company. 

In this article, we discuss the benefits of AS400 to cloud migration, how to get started with legacy modernization, the different cloud providers to choose from, and how Codal can help guide your business through the process. 

Benefits of AS400 to cloud migration

Migrating legacy systems to the cloud can play a crucial role in future-proofing your organization. Here are the results you can expect from a well-planned and well-executed cloud migration strategy:

  • Flexibility: When AS400 applications are migrated to the cloud and longer rely on hardware, they move faster and are more adaptive to changes in your business needs. 
  • Accessibility: As long as you have an internet connection, you can access your business’ data via desktop or mobile devices. 
  • Security: Cloud services often come with built-in, customizable application security measures, so you can sleep easier at night knowing that your company’s and its customers’ sensitive information is protected. 
  • Cost-saving: Cloud environments are cheaper to maintain than physical servers. Plus, under a “pay-as-you-go” model, you can only pay for the amount of cloud computing you need each month.
  • Scalability: With a more agile system, you can accommodate spikes in demand, as well as adopt powerful new technologies—such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)—to streamline workflows. 

Challenges with AS400 migration to cloud 

Despite the many advantages of legacy modernization, migrating AS400 applications to the cloud can be a long and complicated process—which is why many companies resist the change. Here are the main challenges businesses face:

  • Lack of technical knowledge: The number of working developers experienced with AS400 software is shrinking every day. And a solid migration strategy requires an expert grasp of legacy technologies and cloud solutions, which many organizations simply don’t have in-house. 
  • Security concerns: Businesses that manage highly sensitive information—such as those in the healthcare sector—can’t risk a data leak during their cloud migration. And in most cases, stakeholders lack the tools and expertise necessary to plan and execute a totally secure migration. 
  • Change management: Cloud migration enables new workflows through automation, which can disrupt a business’ internal processes and culture. Some organizations are simply not prepared to undergo these changes. 
  • Database restructuring: The AS400 database is outdated, making it difficult to integrate with other system applications. This means the database must be restructured for a cloud environment, which requires significant time, effort, and technical knowledge. 

Now, let’s dive into how you can overcome these challenges. 

How to successfully migrate from AS400 to the cloud

The first and most important step in AS400 cloud migration is hiring a team of legacy modernization experts. This is where an agency like Codal comes in. With a deep understanding of AS400 software, cloud computing, data security, and so on, we can help identify the best strategy and technical solutions for your organization. We’ll take the lead on restructuring outdated applications, introducing powerful new technologies, implementing multi-layered security measures, and optimizing workflows—while you focus on running your business.

Once you’ve found a partner that can handle the technical challenges, it’s important to nail down your exact goals for migrating AS400 applications to the cloud. Are you looking to cut down on certain operational costs? What are the biggest scalability issues facing your business? Which processes, in particular, can be optimized via automation? Understanding the highest priority items and the biggest challenges facing your organization will help you and your cloud migration partner come up with the best strategy moving forward.

The next step is to make a plan. There are various AS400 cloud migration approaches, from simply re-hosting critical applications in a cloud environment to re-architecting those workloads as cloud-native solutions. A good cloud migration partner will help you nail down the right cloud provider and approach, given the immediate and future needs of your business. They will also put together an execution plan, with a detailed timeline and milestones, as well as the steps necessary for backing up, transferring, and restoring data. 

With a reliable team of developers and a well-thought-out strategy, the execution of your AS400 cloud migration should be smooth and painless. However, even after all applications have been successfully moved to the cloud, the work is still not over. It’s imperative to have a maintenance plan in place so that your team can quickly react to any system performance issues that need fixing.

Cloud providers

Which cloud environment is best for your business’ unique systems and workflows? Here’s a quick look at the top providers to choose from when migrating AS400 applications to the cloud:

  • IBM: Since AS400 software is an IBM product, it makes sense that so many businesses leverage IBM Cloud when updating their legacy applications. This environment is known for its robust security, automation, and disaster recovery solutions.
  • AWS: Users of Amazon Web Services (AWS) have access to Infinite I, a toolkit that allows developers to efficiently recompile and deploy AS400 applications in the cloud.
  • Google: By migrating legacy AS400 applications to Google Cloud, organizations gain access to a wide range of other cutting-edge cloud resources, as well as Google’s 24/7 support plan.
  • Azure: Like AWS, Microsoft Azure offers a smooth migration and deployment of AS400 applications through the use of Infinite I. 

Team up with Codal for efficient AS400 cloud migration

Migrating AS400 applications to the cloud can be a long and complicated process, which is why so many companies avoid modernization and continue running mission-critical tasks on outdated software. However, by relying on legacy systems, businesses lose their competitive edge, as well as miss out on opportunities to cut costs, enhance data security, and improve scalability. 

Codal can help guide your business through the entire modernization process, from determining the best migration approach to choosing the right cloud provider, executing the migration of data and apps, to providing ongoing maintenance. 

Ready to get started putting together an AS400 migration to cloud strategy for your company? Get in touch with Codal today!

Gibson Toombs
AUTHOR

Gibson Toombs

Gibson Toombs is a Technical Content Writer at Codal. His writing career began in 2015 after graduating from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Since then, he has worked on many projects, covering a wide range of technical topics, from solar energy to cybersecurity. When he’s not taking complex ideas and turning them into easily-digestible pieces of content, Gibson can be found playing guitar and writing songs at his apartment in Chicago.

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