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How Moving Legacy Applications to a Modern Operating System Extends their Useful Life

At VirtaMove, we believe that moving legacy applications to a modern operating system extends their useful life. We’re focused on how to help customers extend the life of their legacy applications. We’ve successfully moved thousands of Windows 2000, WS2003, and WS2008 applications to new virtual machines and servers running WS2008, WS2012, and WS2016.

Why do customers move legacy applications to new servers? There are five tangible benefits to running legacy applications on new servers:

  • A new operating system closes known security exposures on older WS2000 and WS2003 servers. A move to a new OS also addresses compliance issues related to running on an unsupported OS.
  • Running on new hardware improves system performance and lets users do more work.
  • Stack components such as IIS and SQL Server can easily be upgraded during the move of legacy systems to a newer operating system.
  • Moving legacy applications to a modern, greenfield OS instance opens the possibility of moving applications to the cloud, where they can be managed with modern cloud management tools and easily scaled to meet demand.
  • Once moved to a supported OS, the life cycle of legacy applications can be extended and normal enhancement cycles can occur to address new functional requirements, such as GDPR, multi-tenancy, or Azure SQL.

Legacy applications on new servers: a smart move

There can be business advantages to redeveloping an application. However, getting a CFO to sign off on application redevelopment isn’t easy. The business case for application redevelopment needs to be strong because CFOs know that the biggest ROI comes from not investing on risky projects with uncertain pay offs. You get a great ROI from not investing money, not retraining staff, and not disrupting your business with a big application redevelopment project.

Companies can get great returns from moving legacy applications to new, faster, secure servers.

Be smart, buy time

If application redevelopment is planned or underway in your business, then you probably need to buy time. Planning for application redevelopment requires significant time, investment, user involvement, and sign off. Once a redevelopment project is started, it takes time to redevelop applications, test them, educate users on new systems, run old and new systems in parallel, and finally cut over and roll out applications.

Application redevelopment projects frequently suffer from delays due to missed business requirements, scope creep, the learning curve that comes with new systems, technical problems, staff turn over, and a host of other project problems. Redevelopment projects also usually run old and new applications in parallel for a time (often months) to ensure a smooth cut over, minimal disruption, and to confirm that all business requirements have been met.

While redevelopment is underway, you still need to run your business.

Moving old applications to new, faster, secure servers buys time to properly plan and implement redevelopment. It buys time to undertake appropriate planning, parallel testing, and successful redevelopment.

Extending the application life cycle

When you move legacy applications from an old server running an unsupported OS to a modern supported OS instance on new hardware, nothing really changes from an application life cycle perspective. Moving is essentially a fresh install on a new OS. You get to extend the life of the applications on a new OS.

The upgrade cycle and maintenance process for the application stays the same. Application upgrades can be developed, managed, and installed as usual. Development, test, and production instances can be managed in a normal way. Application improvements can be planned and implemented over time as needed and justified. Given a solid business case, full redevelopment can always be undertaken in the future, as the business needs it. You’re not forced into application redevelopment simply because you want to run on modern servers.

There are many advantages to running older applications on a fresh greenfield OS instance. Instead of tracking complex patch levels on legacy OS instances, you can take advantage of new DevOps tools to monitor and manage the modern OS on new servers or in the cloud.


If you’d like to learn more about how moving legacy applications extends their useful life, how VirtaMove can help you buy time to properly plan for application redevelopment and extend the life cycle of legacy applications, give us a call, register for a free demo, or send us an e-mail. We’re always delighted to show you what we can do.

Contact us for more information

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