Modernization is at the core of today’s IT systems, with teams actively aiming to bring their organizations into the 21st century by transforming supportive software, underlying platform bases, frameworks, and applications. The underlying goal of modernization varies between businesses although primary drivers include the need to simplify operations, improve efficiency, adapt to business requirements, and increase agility.
Legacy applications are the primary business drivers since they comprise most of the software that drives business revenues. Let us look at factors to consider when monitoring legacy apps.
What is a Legacy System?
In computing, a legacy system is an outdated application program, computer system, or technology used by an organization because it continues to perform the duties it was initially configured to do. Legacy systems do not have maintenance and support, and their growth is limited. Replacing them is equally demanding.
Since businesses constantly evolve due to reorganizations, changes in management, market conditions, laws, and the economy, some systems gradually become obsolete. IT systems are also continuously evolving to accommodate these changes, making it challenging for IT managers to comprehensively view them because different people install updates and adaptations over time.
Legacy systems play a crucial role within an organization. This is one of the reasons why they still exist in some companies. IT managers should identify an organization’s legacy system and whether they are worth maintaining. Legacy systems are integral to day-to-day operations, so their replacement and modernization must be intricately planned and assessed to minimize potential risks.
There are several concerns associated with working with legacy applications over time. Some of these considerations include:
- Lack of comprehensive deployment processes, including numerous manual tasks for deploying and creating a build. This results in a lack of trust while deploying new forms.
- Lack of automated testing, which causes regression issues: This may be particularly frustrating since fixing some creates more problems in other places, causing a lack of trust in the bug-resolution process.
- Lack of proper documentation over the years makes large segments of code base impossible to decipher.
- Poor code application or quality architecture is dictated by several factors (lack of capability, deadlines, etc.), causing challenges when making changes to the legacy system over time
These special considerations for legacy systems highlight the need for monitoring to optimize business operations and growth.
Differences Between Legacy Systems and Modern Applications
Modern applications differ from legacy systems in several ways. However, what makes them relatively similar is the role of these applications in business growth. Here’s a breakdown of the critical differences.
- Service to service
- Proactive monitoring through AIOps
- Managed using automation powered by vendor tooling
- Integrates via API
- Security entails secrets management, data encryption, identity and access management (IAM), and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Accessed via the public internet
- Accessed from IoT & mobile devices
- Client to server
- Reactive monitoring by humans
- Managed using manual human effort
- Integrates through proprietary plugins
- The core form of defense is a firewall
- Accessed behind a firewall
- Accessed from laptops & desktops
The transition towards modernization is inspired by the need to ensure cost savings, reliability, better performance, mobile access, and large-scale usage. A company’s executives are the primary drivers of change as they understand the need to stay competitive in a highly dynamic technology landscape.
The Challenging Aspect of Monitoring Legacy Systems
The primary challenge associated with monitoring legacy applications is the manual processes that profoundly depend on humans. Contemporary monitoring tools transcend the application stack to track data and events from external applications and third-party networks. Automating this form of monitoring and supplementing it with machine learning. It is nearly impossible to track these processes successfully using traditional manual monitoring techniques that assess basic metrics such as latency, network requests, and uptime.
Security monitoring is another significant challenge associated with legacy applications. These applications are not designed for over-the-air or automated updates. Their security configurations are primarily static, and when lifted and shifted to the cloud, they may expose gaping vulnerabilities.
Monitoring is also complex when an application is part modern and part legacy. This is true for applications that are in the migration process from being monolith to microservices. The varied communication patterns and resource types may be challenging to track.
How AIOps Solutions Can Help Connect Existing Legacy Systems to Modern Applications
Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) is the application of AI and relevant technologies, such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to traditional IT Ops tasks and activities. Through algorithmic analysis of Observability telemetry and IT data, AIOps help SRE, DevOps, MLOps, NoOps, BizOps, and IT Ops teams to work faster and smarter so they can identify digital service issues promptly and address them quickly.
AIOps unifies the management of modern and legacy applications. For instance, it gives the user:
- Predictive security: There is an increased need for predictive security monitoring, with the increased susceptibility of security issues popping up when using legacy applications. This is the role of AIOps: They spot vulnerabilities and anomalies and detect patterns in legacy systems before they escalate and affect users.
- Legacy automation: AIOps underscores automated processes compared to manual ones. AIOps enables automation for both legacy and modern applications.
- Unified glass view: AIOps enables an end-to-end view of all systems, whether modern or legacy. Unlike a contemporary monitoring tool designed specifically to monitor modern applications, a robust AIOps solution spans both modern and legacy applications.
Forward-thinking corporations understand the importance of monitoring their legacy systems. Modernization enables your organization to remain competitive. Plus, modernized legacy systems require less support from your IT professionals, allowing them to concentrate on other tasks that add value to your organization.
AIOps Solutions from Broadcom can help simplify the modernization process and help organizations get the most value out of the transition, streamlining how IT operations teams collaborate and work with other stakeholders.
Contact A&I Solutions to find out more about the AIOps solutions by Broadcom Software and how they can help your business.
- On September 20, 2022
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