At VirtaMove, we know a lot about Windows App migration because we’ve done a lot of migrationsNigel Stokes
We’ve successfully completed thousands of migrations for customers, saving these customers millions in remediation and re-platforming costs. We’ve seen a lot and have solved many problems. Whether you need to move applications to modern datacenter servers or onboard apps to the Cloud, we know what to do and how to help.
1. Modernizing legacy applications to run on modern servers
The problem: Critical business applications are running on servers with an End of Service (EOS) operating system like WS2000, WS2003, or WS2008. The challenge is to move these apps to new servers in order to address IT compliance issues and improve performance.
As experts in application migration, we know that it’s challenging to:
- Identify all the applications that are running on servers
- Locate and get access to application owners
- Identify who uses applications and how frequently
- Identify application dependencies, authorization codes, certificates, and distributed database connections. Often, 32-bit applications need to be remapped to 64-bit target servers.
The VirtaMove solution: There are many complex issues to consider when moving legacy Windows Server applications to the Cloud or to new datacenter servers. The benefits of migration, however, are not difficult to grasp. Moving a legacy app to a new, supported OS improves security and performance. New server hardware and storage means improved processing speed. Migration also closes malware exposures (like Wanna Cry and Petya), because these exposures don’t exist on Windows OS versions WS2008 R2 or greater.
VirtaMove’s intelligent automation tools offer many benefits:
- You get a new, clean install without the file clutter and buildup associated with years of use.
- VirtaMove identifies users associated with legacy applications and migrates them too. This extends beyond just moving the user details – it also matches security controls applied to file or registry permissions.
- Thanks to an intelligent agent, VirtaMove preserves the existing password for any account.
- Re-hosting to new servers is often part of a modernization project. With VirtaMove, you’re not restricted to keeping the original server names. Name re-mapping reduces downtime because the original server can remain live while testing is performed before cut over.
- If you migrate legacy applications that users know, the user experience and application support practices remain the same and you can avoid disrupting your business and retraining people.
With intelligent automation tools, you can understand and monitor all connections and application dependencies and determine the features and functions of legacy apps that people use, so remediation and future re-platforming can be undertaken wisely.
2. Cloud onboarding
The problem: You want to migrate legacy applications to the Cloud to improve scalability and exploit new Cloud-based application management tools. As experts in Cloud onboarding, we know that migrating, running, and monitoring legacy applications in Cloud environments presents daunting challenges:
- Most legacy OS environments like WS2003 or earlier are not supported in clouds.
- Yes, you can copy entire machine images or Virtual Machines (VMs), but doing so is time consuming and labor intensive, and guess what – the responsibility for software and OS patches falls back on the customer.
- The security of both the application and data are at risk while a Cloud transfer is in process. Many Cloud environments have significant bandwidth restrictions, resulting in slow transfer rates and long exposure times.
- If an application is broken on the source system, it will be broken in the Cloud. Therefore, verifying the application before migrating it is important. However, most Cloud management tools don’t support legacy OS versions and all application dependencies and authorization issues must be resolved manually.
The VirtaMove solution: Let’s say that you want to move WS2000 or WS2003 applications to a private or public Cloud, but applications are currently running in a VM. You can incur the overhead of moving an exact image of a VM to the Cloud; however, the VM will be burdened with an outdated OS and new Cloud tools will not be available to you.
The better approach? Move legacy applications to a native Cloud-supported OS like WS2008, WS2012, or WS2016 as you do the Cloud migration. This is called a staging approach to migration. Staging offers significant benefits:
- The application (whether standalone or tiered) can be tested/verified on a staging server before deploying it to the Cloud.
- The staging server can act as a cloned Test or Development environment.
- Updating the OS during Cloud onboarding closes security exposures. Via an intelligent agent, VirtaMove compresses and encrypts data transfer, which means faster and secure transfer for your data and application.
Cloud onboarding allows for automated OS maintenance, provides the processing advantages of a clean install, and unlocks Cloud tools for managing and monitoring application performance.
VirtaMove automates the migration of legacy applications to the public, private, or hybrid Cloud environment of your choice. If you need to change it up later, you can simply automate the migration of applications back to datacenter servers or to another Cloud environment, which means that you’re never locked into a Cloud, VM, or OS version.
3. Containerize and isolate applications
The problem: In regulated businesses, customers need to modernize certified applications that are running on legacy operating systems so that they can enable these apps on a supported OS. In many industries, like Insurance, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Banking, customers must verify compliance of business applications to rigorous, auditable standards (HIPAA and HITECH, for example, are compliance standards in regulated Healthcare-related businesses). Once an application is certified, making changes requires a time consuming and expensive re-certification process.
The VirtaMove solution: Avoid the pain of re-certification by using VirtaMove to containerize legacy applications and run them in isolation on modern OS and server environments.
Containerization allows customers to run several close variations of applications, each dependent on unique but similar software stacks on the same server. The isolation provided by VirtaMove containers avoids conflicts between different stacks (for example, database and driver variations) and eliminates the need to manage multiple servers and license multiple OS platforms for each application. In addition, security and performance are improved by virtue of running on a modern server platform.
4. Create identical application images for Test, Development, or backup
The problem: Software development is a demanding business. Under pressure to meet deadlines, software developers might forget about the detailed installation scripts and configuration data required to create identical Cloud or Test copies of an application. Having identical Test and Development environments ensures that you’ve synchronized and are testing the current development version of software. Where identical development environments are not available, you’re likely to see frequent problems with version and feature regression. Having a backup copy of both Development and Production instances is also critical for business continuity.
The VirtaMove solution: VirtaMove containerizes applications. Containerization accelerates the development and testing of new software by making it easy to create identical copies of the software on both datacenter and Cloud servers, on newer OSs such as Windows Server 2008 R2 , WS2012, or WS2016. This eliminates the need to worry about recreating an installation process or scripts. It lets the developer focus on building software that solves business problems rather than worrying about the details of configuration.
Using VirtaMove, applications containterized on WS2008 can run seamlessly on WS2012 or WS2016. Once applications are containerized, backup copies of the containerized applications can be stored for recovery or distribution purposes. The master copy of an application stored in a container can be used to create a fresh, uncluttered installation of an application, free of malware or other exposures.
If you’d like to learn more about how VirtaMove can help with Windows application modernization challenges and how we can save you time and money, 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.