Tidying Legacy – to the Cloud

IT managers and CIOs at midsize companies know the drill: Older IT applications and environments which, although less and less used, but must be operated in the data center.

A recent study shows, for example, that many companies that use SharePoint, are now operating 2 to 3 different versions of SharePoint and several farms. Everyone is talking about SharePoint 2013, SharePoint Online / Office365 and the new SharePoint 2016 - but actually old SharePoint 2007 and 2010 farms cause high costs.

The core problem of legacy platforms is that it is becoming increasingly expensive to keep them in operation. Old hardware, old operating systems and old backup software are expensive to maintain. Support and maintenance contracts, if still available at all, are also very expensive. But what to do with the workflows, the in-house developments and all the data that have been accumulated in SharePoint 2007 or 2010?

The solution to these and other legacy applications could be a Migration to the Virtual Private Cloud.

The same applies to applications implemented and running on Windows Server 2003 or SQL Server 2005. The regular support for these Servers from Microsoft has expired. A Migration is often difficult and expensive, so it is not worthwhile. But shutting them down is also not an option for many, as there are still important reference data therein, which are often used by a few users, and must be kept for another 5 or 10 years. The risk of legacy platforms becomes clear here: The manufacturers offer no more support and no more patches. The Admin team often does not have the necessary know-how any longer to further take care of the old systems. What to do with the risk that appears in all the lists and books?

Another frequent legacy platform used at many German SME's is Lotus Notes / Domino. In the 90s many workflow applications were used in the form of Notes databases, e-mail was managed with it, the Lotus Notes platform was for all users within the company in operation. Mid-00s, many companies have standardized their email landscape on Exchange and Outlook. Remained in Lotus Notes are often only small groups of users and many users of workflow applications, for whom a change - ie new development on a different platform - is not worth it.

  • The CIO / IT director gets rid of these applications from his inventory / from its data center.
  • The application runs isolated in an outsourced environment in the cloud.
  • The connection between the corporate network / data center and Virtual Private Cloud can be very well controlled, ie error in the legacy application is not spread, worms and viruses of old, bad patched platforms and servers can "contingent" be held within the outsourced VPC network and compromise the corporate network less.   
  • Backup and long-term archiving on cloud storage is super easy.
  • Access by external specialists, who have more experience with the old platform than our own troops is super easy to implement and also remains limited to the VPC, ie no external "experts" are in my network, my desktops on my virtualized server environment in the data center, with my troops or my outsourcers.   
  • Clients of these platforms can be abstracted via Cloud Desktops (AWS Workspace), which is in favor to Windows desktop administrators, since they no longer have to install, configure, patching, and support old, "comic" clients on current Windows Desktops / Notebooks. The clients can be operated together with the servers optimally in VPC from the experts in the legacy platform.
  • Last but not least: Legacy platforms usually have an ever decreasing number of users. Often the internal platform has been designed for 10,000 users, but currently only a fraction of those uses the application every now and then. That means in the cloud a corresponding adjustment in the migration can be made, which reduces the cost massively, for example, by degradation of high-availability cluster or by downsizing to large servers.
  • The less users, the less costs platform. In the AWS cloud also later virtual machines can be reduced if less user / fewer resources are needed, or the platform can be enabled only during certain operating periods, so you will pay only for a few hours, in which the platform is actually running.