People may come and go but applications live forever. Well, not exactly: that mindset leads to the application retirement problems that many organisations face today. Often, applications remain intact and running on corporate networks long after their useful life is over, but gracefully shutting them down is no simple matter.
“The challenge of data management for major companies is a serious issue,” explains CEO of Logikal Consulting, Gerald Naidoo.
“It involves both archived data that has to be retained for compliance as well as the common situation of having legacy applications that must be retained or replaced. Application functionality, architecture, or business rules often change over time that can render an application obsolete. This leaves an organisation’s application portfolio less than optimised.”
He adds that a Gartner research paper found that on average, 10% of the applications in an un-optimised portfolio are candidates for retirement. An additional one-third can require migration or rationalisation.
“Considering that many enterprise organisations have numerous applications spread across many server platforms with numerous database servers on the back-end, the value of decommissioning these application servers quickly becomes evident.
“However, application retirements go beyond just the hardware and software costs. Maintaining and managing the infrastructures needed to support legacy applications takes expertise, often specialists.So while the cost benefits of retiring applications may be clear, the risks associated with application retirement can be vague.”
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Companies can now install an appliance – the world’s first – that offers businesses a new option for retiring applications while alleviating the uncertainty normally associated with such decisions.
The Solix ExAPPS appliance is not hardware that needs software loaded onto it, and it is not a software solution that needs to be configured. It is a single device with its own, built-in software that makes data management almost a plug-and-play experience.
“Recognising the need for a solution that automates application retirement while preserving application data integrity, this product is a pre-built, pre-configured, and pre-tested appliance that can be plugged directly into the corporate network for the single purpose of application retirement,” says Kevin Mani, managing executive at Logikal Consulting.
“It’s a best-fit in many industries because it is cost-effective and platform agnostic.”
Organisations only need to use a Web browser to point the Solix ExAPPS at an identified target application’s data using a Web browser. Once it sees the application, ExAPPS begins the process of migrating all of the application’s data, including its objects, reports, and the context of how the application data is used and referenced, to the Solix ExAPPS secured repository in an immutable form.
This process guarantees data cannot be modified and remains safe to meet compliance, regulatory and governance requirements. Since this is a fully automated process, it is repeatable and eliminates the manual, ad hoc nature of past application retirement attempts that relied heavily upon consultants, system integrators and third parties utilities and migration tools.
“Once an application is retired and the data moved over to the Solix ExAPPS appliance, business users or IT can query the ExAPPS appliance and report on the legacy data using standard enterprise reporting tools.
“Depending on how the Solix ExAPPS is utilised, organisations may see huge savings. ExAPPS compresses legacy data by up to 90% and a single Solix ExAPPS Appliance can replace multiple physical servers, applications and storage in the data centre, significantly reducing operating budgets and increasing operational efficiencies,” adds Mahesh Chavan, chief technology officer for Logikal Consulting.
The benefits of shutting down aging or unused applications are easy to see but as anyone who has ever been asked to turn off such an application knows, there is always the risk that someone will request the application data later on.
The Solix ExAPPS takes these concerns about application retirement off the table. “Using the Solix ExAPPS appliance, organisations can quickly and easily deploy a solution that enables them to achieve their goal of cost-effective application retirement,” Mani concludes.