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Built to Last: A Stateful Re-Install Makes Legacy Apps Legendary

The advantages of a stateful re-install

Here’s the point. You can’t just abandon legacy apps. WS2003 and WS2008 apps have been around for 10 to 15 years. They’ve proven that they’re built to last. Install scripts may be missing, developers are gone, app owners have left, and new owners don’t know their apps. The software ISV could even be out of business. Nonetheless, legacy apps are important. They’re a store of business and process knowledge. Vital know-how is systematized in legacy apps. They’re valuable assets that endure.

Companies can’t lose or ignore a decade or more of business knowledge captured in old apps. You need them. Even if the plan is to modernize and redevelop aging apps, you need to understand them to rebuild functionality. The first step in building any new app is understanding the performance of the old app. They’re a baseline for redevelopment. That knowledge can’t just disappear and is not easily rebuilt.

Legacy is critical to an organization’s day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to maintain, support, improve, and integrate with the new systems. The common belief is that moving apps to new servers and a new operating system will break them. However, you can move legacy apps forward without disrupting them. It’s called a stateful re-install of legacy apps on new servers.

How do you move stateful legacy apps?

Most applications are stateful. Historical data (such as client, user, preference, and configuration data) persists and is needed from one session to another. Stateful applications tend to be monolithic, difficult to change and scale, and enduring. Much of the software used by enterprises is stateful software. Statefulness poses challenges. How do you move a stateful app forward, yet maintain all the historical functions that makes them so valuable to an organization?

VirtaMove’s V-Migrate product uses a lightweight container as a moving box for stateful apps. Our intelligent migration software automatically discovers apps across your network, and then packages them and all their components into a container on the new destination server. The containerized application is isolated from the underlying operating system and is portable. Perfect for testing on a new OS and a new server.

Fortunately, there’s no permanent reliance on our container: it can be removed at the end of the migration. When the container is removed, the app is re-installed on the new destination server. It then runs natively on a modern Windows Server OS, with all its configuration, patches, and upgrades.

Benefits of a stateful re-install

There are many advantages to re-installing apps on new servers. Benefits include:

  • A new server and modern operating system closes known security exposures on old W2000, WS2003 and WS2008 servers.
  • Re-installing eliminates WannaCry, NotPetya, and malware risks. New hardware closes security holes. Your apps run on a secure, supported OS.
  • Running on new hardware improves performance. New servers are faster.
  • Stateful re-installs allow apps to be split or consolidated. It’s a chance to reconfigure where apps are installed.
  • Software components, such as IIS and SQL, can be upgraded for new servers.
  • A re-install reduces clutter, eliminates unnecessary apps, and lets you install on modern datacenter VMs or the cloud. It reduces OS patch management and lets you manage servers with advanced DevOps tools.

Squeeze more life out of legacy apps

Together we can make legacy apps legendary. A stateful re-install is the best first step in modernizing apps on new servers. It extends their useful life and helps you rediscover vital app knowledge. Full redevelopment and a rebuild can still happen, as the business needs it. Improvements can be addressed over time, as budget permits. Upgrades can be planned, developed, managed, and installed as usual. You can manage legacy apps using a conventional change management. You’re not forced into app redevelopment simply because you want to run on modern servers.

An automated re-install on a new server is cost effective. It provides a ten times improvement in the number of apps that can be re-installed into production by a trained engineer in one month.

Give your legacy apps a second life and help them last. If you want to understand more about what VirtaMove does, schedule a demo on our website, email, or give us a call. We are pleased to show you what we do.

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