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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Offers a Mainframe Modernization Service for Customers to Move from Their Mainframes

AWS Offers a Mainframe Modernization Service for Customers to Move from Their Mainframes

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During re:Invent 2021, AWS launched a mainframe migration service allowing customers to migrate and modernize their on-premises mainframe workloads to a managed and highly available runtime environment on AWS. The service called AWS Mainframe Modernization is currently in preview.

Today customers have various options to move mainframes to the cloud by either so-called "lift-and-shift" and leaving applications as-is or refactoring them by decomposing them in as composites of microservices. However, the migration will entail several steps to discover, access, migrate, test, and operate them in a cloud environment - a challenging and complex process. Therefore, AWS brings its mainframe modernization service to simplify the migration process for its customers looking to move their mainframes to the cloud. 

William Platt, general manager of migration services at AWS, said in a press release:

More and more customers are modernizing their applications by moving them to the cloud to take advantage of the elasticity and agility of AWS and to reinvent customer experiences at a lower cost. But, for most enterprises, migrating their mainframe applications to the cloud is uncharted territory. With today's launch of AWS Mainframe Modernization, customers and systems integrators can now more quickly modernize their legacy mainframe workloads in a predictable way and get rid of much of the complexity and manual work involved in migrations.


With AWS Mainframe Modernization, customers can assess and analyze their mainframe applications for readiness, choose which path they want to take — replatforming or refactoring — and then the service comes up with a plan. If they decide replatforming, the service will provide compilers for converting code and testing services to ensure no functionality is lost. While if they wish to refactor or decompose the application — for example, if the components could be run in EC2, containers, or Lambda — the service can automatically convert the COBOL code to Java.

Bringing a mainframe migration service to allow customers to get rid of their mainframe by moving it to cloud AWS will be at odds with mainframe manufacturers and specialist software vendors, such as IBM, Unisys, Bull, NEC, and Fujitsu. For example, a respondent on a Reddit thread stated:

Everything that works in business doesn't have to be destroyed just because it's old or there is a cost to it.

If they really wanted to revolutionize the cloud, they would work with IBM to bring a virtual mainframe to the cloud. IBM could maintain their mainframe business and have a purpose in the cloud, and Amazon could gain more business.

AWS Mainframe Modernization is currently available in preview today in US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), EU (Frankfurt), and South America (São Paulo), with more availability in additional AWS regions in the coming months. Furthermore, pricing details are available on the pricing page, and more information is available in the documentation and FAQs.

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