Paul Evans, worldwide director for Application Modernization Services at HP, in Palo Alto, Calif., said the company found that its customers were looking at modernizing their older applications based on two basic needs: to create a more agile legacy environment that lets IT respond faster to changing business requirements; and readying applications for those companies that are interested in moving toward a services-based architecture but arent able to based on older application technology.
"What were saying is…some applications are legacy that are not capable of SOA [service oriented architecture], so [users] have to modernize them first, then they can be part of SOA," said Evans. "We tried to apply SOA to legacy applications but it really doesnt work. Customers understand that they have to modernize first, then they can move to SOA."
HP is focusing on a specific set of concepts around application modernization: re-engineering, re-hosting, retiring or retaining. Options may include porting and migrating applications to upgraded platforms, replacing legacy mainframe functionality, or reengineering applications using a service-oriented approach.
"Mainframe plays a valuable role. Youre not just going to throw it away," said Evans. "But we may advise a customer that a portion of the code remains on the mainframe, and a significant portion of code moves to a more nimble platform."
The offerings are based on technologies and services that HP currently has in place, including portfolio rationalization that helps companies determine where they should spend their resources and time in upgrading their systems, based on what will best impact business. A modernization workshop includes, among other services, a process overview and application review. An application analysis includes analysis of legacy application characteristics along with a modernization plan. Finally, application transition services are in place to help users design and implement modernization strategies. When all is said and done, HP offers support, monitoring and control services that transition users from the old environment to a new, operational one.
Last June HP announced its SOA portfolio of services that provides recommendations on what SOA can and cant do for a company, based on its environment. This new Application Modernization Services portfolio is a drill-down one level on the initial SOA services, according to Evans. "We see this as two pieces of the jigsaw of an adaptive enterprise," he said.