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Microservices Expo: Article

“Move Your Mess for Less”; Solaris Modernization

Run Solaris 2.6 & 7 apps unchanged on Solaris 9 & 10

Much has been written about applications that are stranded on Solaris 2.6/7 OS and rare-as-unicorn hardware. In fact, much of it has been written by me. My trusty biz dev leader suggested that I take an ROI run on the topic in my next blog .... which is this one. But I just can't bring myself to do it.

Why? Because I can't see building an elaborate spreadsheet showing how AppZero is the best option, when the choice is a no brainer that my 7 year old son could make.

Let's play the model out and you tell me if a spreadsheet would help clarify the choices:

1.  Magical thinking: Just close your eyes and do nothing. The do nothing option has worked this far for you, hasn't it? And, in the statistically guaranteed eventuality that the hardware fails, you have a set of Bond-like people (James) ready to jump in with rapid-fire duck tape. After all, unexpected events only happen in the movies and to your other IT friends. You're on a lucky streak - so when you look in the mirror and ask, "Do you feel lucky?"  The answer is "yes". Your compliance team will not find you amusing.

2. Call in the cavalry: Bring in a team of pros and replace the apps with brand, shiny new ones. IBM, among many others, will gladly show you a multiyear and multimillion dollar path to a SOA base set of services to replace the critical but aging back office services. In the meantime, we suggest you budget a week to move your old apps to new Oracle hardware via AppZero where they can safely run for the duration of the new development project.

3. Binary compatibility: Port your application using a set of tools authored by the guys from TrecLogic, now part of Zylog. The tools will give you some insight into how difficult this path might be. The challenge becomes clear when the code has been lost, or when a third-party component is no longer available or has substantially changed. (See option #4 if this is the case).  Even when it looks like a go, you're not necessarily in the clear. We recently saw a case in which an app used a register as a return variable placeholder, which Solaris 10 now uses for a completely different purpose. Ooops. The fact that this problem didn't rear its ugly head till regression testing made for a very expensive failed porting effort.

4.  AppZero scoop and move: This approach can be run up the flag pole and be operational in 48 hours. No recompile, no source code. Move your mess for less - time and money -- and run on reliable servers. Benefits are long; time and risk is short.

All fun, games, and references to my 7 year old aside, business applications that have stood the test of time and are providing a necessary function for the business can be modernized in an extremely short period of time using AppZero. We offer a simple, pragmatic, tactical approach to saving money and ensuring that these systems are on a solid foundation now and into the future.

I've never claimed to be a marketing genius, but I think "move your mess for less" trumps spreadsheet here. I rest my case. Feel free to cast a vote.

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of the discussion.  So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at http://twitter.com/gregoryjoconnor.

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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