No RISC more FUN… get rid of legacy IT!

25 05 2011

1295700707040It’s been more than 2 years now that I’ve been working on migration projects with customers willing to modernize their IT and keen to replace legacy, costly, outperformed systems.

Besides the usual reasons given for IT and services upgrades(appearance of social medias, new business models, new devices…), there are clear drivers for migrating and companies which are limiting themselves to a mere Unix strategy need to understand that there are issues on the horizon. Aging RISC infrastructure with leases expiration leading to short term refresh or renewal, important CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) requirinq longer amortization, high consumption costs (power, data center space, cooling), knowledge reduction inside and outside the company (people just don’t want to work on old technologies!) and an increased dependency on 3rd Party Prodcuts (3PP) are the most obvious challenges.

The aging RISC infrastructure and the infamous vendor lock-in situation is by far the main driver. Looking at a sample on Oracle/Sun’s strategy, there is no product roadmap for SPARC processors and the SPARC-based server portfolio split between CMT/SPARC and Fujitsu MSeries is unclear – the least to say, even with the newly introduced T3. The OpenSolaris project was shut down by Oracle and replaced by Solaris 11 Express. Oracle runs numerous license changes and the confusion affects IT consolidation strategies. In the end, the monolithic, all-inclusive hardware/software offering creates a new risk for the end customer.

So options are to change now or later, but the necessity to change is not questionable nor it is questioned. However and even when the decision to modernize is taken, there are still migration roadblocks to overcome. Predictable blocking points generally include the complacency of (large) organizations or the resistance to change when the latter is considered a technological jump / a disruptive change. The traditional challenges in such a change are to maintain functionality, to optimize performances while reducing TCO, leveraging in-house engineering expertise, facilitating change management and streamlining development operations.

… it is all about taking smart risks when the stakes are high.

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