What to do with legacy systems that were never designed to be part of cloud

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reinvention imperative

Enterprises that have been in existence for more than a few years inevitably include some kind of legacy IT systems that run the business on a daily basis. CIOs are increasingly pressed to take advantage of cloud-based resources that promise better performance, lower overall costs, and better usability, but legacy systems were never designed to be part of cloud environments. Dave Link, CEO of ScienceLogic (IT monitoring solutions provider), believes that hybrid cloud infrastructures can help CIOs make the transition to cloud services.

"CIOs will need to be better prepared to exploit the rapidly-maturing IT Infrastructure market that is being subsumed within cloud platforms, combining the best of modern infrastructure and tool sets in their maturation process. The landscape is changing, with converged infrastructure 2.0 where your internal infrastructure meets with public infrastructure, more secure platforms, greater choice of offerings, all demanding a choice to be made by the CIO.

"It becomes increasingly important for CIOs to understand where their best execution environment truly exists. That environment may be a function of security, robustness, performance, cost or features, for example. That being said, you need an easy way to make the decision, an easy way to make the migration, and an easy way to control and manage all of these moving parts.

"Perhaps more importantly you need a way to trust and validate the quality of service, support, performance and costs that you are getting from your cloud provider(s). The way to do this is through a systematic management system – of which the legacy technologies are ill prepared. At the same time, in their desire to take advantage of the promise of cloud, most CIOs don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The reason hybrid cloud is gaining so much attention is because enterprises are finally able to exploit the cloud with greenfield apps while leaving legacy infrastructure largely unmodified.

"As the cloud continues to aggressively support all workloads, this enables CIOs to embrace and stop the legacy spending hemorrhage (often over 60 percent of annual CIO operating budgets) while making migration to the new converged infrastructure of 2.0. This essentially enables CIOs to embrace the BYOA model (Bring Your Own Application) and get much closer to utility compute while answering the CEO question: “Why are we not doing more with cloud computing to achieve speed and some cost savings?"


 Jeetu Patel, general manager of EMC's Syncplicity business unit understands the issues and offers his comments regarding cloud deployments. Read his article, "Deciding on cloud-based technologies is a non-trivial task."

Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software and services through business strategy.