Migrating Legacy Systems to the Cloud

Posted by Gretchen Weaver on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 @ 10:15 AM

How can I support legacy systems and still adopt cloud?

Legacy applications and systems are an important component in nearly all established organizations. With investments already made, it’s hard to abandon them when new technologies like cloud become available. Yet, many IT professionals are still eager to start leveraging the cost, scale and other benefits of cloud-based object storage. However, several obstacles present challenges when running legacy applications on the cloud. This "Ask Avere Anything" video takes a look at those challenges and discusses how they can be easily solved.



Many existing applications are essential to enterprise workflows and cannot easily be replaced. They are important not only in terms of investment, but also in user familiarity and time efficiencies. Re-development of these often mission-critical apps can take a long time and present new, unexpected challenges. 

In essence, using existing applications just makes sense for most enterprise organizations. But writing off the possibility of using them with the cloud is not necessary. 

Cloud RoadBlocks: Legacy Applications On the Cloud

1. Latency. Your current applications need quick access to data. As storage systems get larger, more complex, and farther away (cloud or remote data center), latency increases and becomes more troublesome for users.

2. Protocols. Your existing apps use different protocols for network-attached-storage vs. object storage. 

3. Time. Another major issue often associated with legacy applications and cloud is time investments. It takes time to adapt apps to work in the cloud, which means that IT professionals are now using their time to make changes to applications rather than working on other valuable projects.



We'll let Keith Ober, an Avere Systems Engineer, talk through how to migrate legacy applications to the cloud, without painful application rewrites. 


Hi, my name's Keith Ober. I'm a systems engineer with Avere Systems. And today, I'm here to talk to you about how you take your legacy infrastructure and you enable yourself to leverage cloud resources.

I'm going start with the application side, because that's most important to many of my customers, and what I see in the field. What I see with these applications is that these application stacks have been around for a while, and they leverage standard protocols, NFS and CIFS, to legacy NAS systems.

This is spread across many different infrastructures.

I see it in government, I see it in commercial space. One of the challenges is that they have this infrastructure and this model is in place, and they want to leverage today the advantages in scale of cloud.

They look at cloud providers, and the cloud providers offer a very low-cost storage solution using object storage. This object storage is accessed today via the primary protocol, S3. To migrate to an object store today requires adjusting your applications in many cases. Being able to communicate in S3 is a substantial difference to the way this architecture really operates behind the scenes.

And that's where Avere comes in. We can help you both integrate with your legacy systems on-prem, be it NAS infrastructures, and we can accelerate what you have in place today. But we also give you the flexibility to communicate to an object store in a cloud provider. We communicate over the S3 API calls, and still provide you with the NFS and CIFS access that your applications are used to.

We give you the opportunity to leverage the cost-effective tier. And in cases where you're no longer having to expand on-prem NAS, now you can tier off some of your data to an Amazon or other cloud provider. You essentially have a massive amount of storage that you can leverage at a lower cost per terabyte. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Avere Systems. I'd love to share more details with you on this.

Thank you.


Learn more about modernizing legacy, government IT environments by downloading this white paper, Considerations for Modernizing the Government Data Center.

White Paper - Modernizing the Government Data Center

Topics: Data Center Management, Cloud Storage, Federal Government