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Distributed SQL Summit Recap: Mainframe Modernization

Jimmy Guerrero

VP Developer Relations

At the Distributed SQL Summit 2020, Brenesh Stanslas Flower Mary – Senior Architect, Wipro Digital, presented the talk “Monolith to Microservices.” In the talk he demonstrated how it is possible to take a large, intertwined mainframe monolith and break it down into microservices using a practical approach. The end-to-end approach he demonstrated made use of Wipro’s “moderniZ” platform which addresses the modernization (or transformation) of UIs, data, and services.

Challenges with Mainframes Today

Brenesh pointed out that although many organizations are well down the path of moving new (and some legacy applications) to the cloud or cloud-native technologies so they can take advantage of the cost savings, horizontal scaling capabilities, and ability to iterate faster on new features…modernizing mainframe applications pose a major challenge. Aside from problems with the available tooling, simply finding developers and administrators who can continue to work on mainframes is becoming increasingly difficult. Putting these things together means that it can often take a typical mainframe shop 6 to 9 months to roll out new features. Nowadays, with business and development agility being everything, it is hard to see how mainframes can fit into this new paradigm dominated by the cloud.

The Mainframe as Opportunity

On the flip side this does create a massive opportunity for modernization. Given that:

  • 71 of Fortune 500 companies use mainframes
  • 68% of the world’s production workloads run on mainframes
  • 92 of the world’s top 100 banking, financial services and insurance workloads run on mainframes
  • Mainframes handle over 30 billion transactions per day

And when we combine the above with the fact that 80% of transactions are inquiries and that those inquiries drive 65% of MIPS costs, it obviously creates a massive opportunity for modernization.

Modernizing the Mainframe

YugabyteDB data tier of modern mainframe Wipro Digital

So, how does an organization move these inquiries into a database to drive down costs and at the same time align with the organization’s cloud strategy? Brenesh makes the argument that a distributed SQL database like YugabyteDB can be part of an overall solution for mainframe shops looking to modernize. Other things to consider in a modernization journey that Brenesh covered in the talk included:

  • Transcoding mainframe code like COBOL to more modern languages like Java
  • Migrating data, objects and schemas to a modern database
  • Identifying from the runtime good candidates for microservices
  • Refactoring services into APIs
  • Building new UIs or transforming existing ones
  • Creating a develop and test environment
  • The target environment – for example, Kubernetes, AWS, or GCP

Wipro’s “moderniZ” platform, modernize mainframe into microservices

For the balance of the presentation, Brenesh demonstrated how Wipro’s “moderniZ” platform could be used to successfully navigate the above considerations to successfully take a legacy, mainframe application and modernize it into microservices based one, ready for the cloud.

Want to See More?

Check out all the talks from this year’s Distributed SQL Summit including Pinterest, Mastercard, Comcast, Kroger, and more on our Vimeo channel.

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Jimmy Guerrero

VP Developer Relations

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