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The economic argument for application modernisation in the data centre

Image: Adobe Stock / Evgen3d

Whether for fraud prevention, online shopping, or managing urban ecosystems with IoT, billions of decisions are made in sub-milliseconds.

Data centres labouring with legacy systems are disadvantaged as they cannot handle today’s mission-critical applications. A dual challenge presents itself.  On the one hand, they will lose as they cannot compete. On the other hand, the cost of ripping and replacing a system with a modern data stack is expensive and time-consuming. This conundrum demands a solution, and fortunately, it comes in the form of continuous application modernisation.

The most effective way for legacy systems to transition and compete effectively is through application modernisation. By leveraging a real-time NoSQL multi-mode data platform that provides persistent performance at any scale and at an affordable cost, businesses can manage their legacy applications, treating them as an asset that can be improved and augmented rather than the pain of ripping and replacing. It also keeps costs under control by increasing efficiencies and reducing server usage. Should the real-time data platform offer a robust Document Store featuring JSON, all the better.

Why document store with JSON?

Application modernisation involves a shift from rigid, monolithic architectures to those that support diverse, dynamic development patterns using real-time data.  Real-time data must be processed soon after it is generated. Otherwise, its value is diminished, and real-time applications must respond within a tight timeframe, or the user experience and business results are impaired. Real-time applications must have reliably fast access to all data, real-time or otherwise.

Today’s data is generated, transferred, stored, and consumed in the JSON format, including real-time data such as feeds from IOT sensors and social networks and prior data such as user profiles and product catalogues. Therefore, JSON data is ubiquitous and growing in use. The best possible real-time decisions, increasingly based on AI/ML algorithms, will be arrived at using continually updated massive data sets.

A Document Store that stores, processes, and queries JSON document data in real-time and at an unlimited scale is best suited to replace legacy architectures. Further, a ‘doc store’ with JSON lets developers and data architects work in a familiar environment and language.

The process for modernising legacy architectures

There are three stages for modernising legacy systems: refactoring applications, optimally storing and querying data, and intelligent data processing at the edge to achieve real-time performance in a distributed environment. By doing this, organisations can ensure their data centres use modern data pipelines to augment their mainframes with an intraday operational data store and reduce reliance on the mainframe as the System of Record.

Flexible data models assist in each step, especially the handling of JSON data. The result is greater efficiencies and reduced costs while maintaining and outpacing mainframe performance, reliability, and scale.

Lowering Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

It can be unnerving for any organisation to embark on a modernisation programme, but if it is carried out in stages to keep disruption to a minimum it will significantly lower the Total Cost of Ownership.

To prove this, we worked with analyst firm Forrester to visualise a ‘composite’ organisation based on platform implementations carried out for several customers. The scenario involved an environment with 600 on-premise servers and six dedicated developers.

As the ‘composite’ company started implementing the real-time data platform and adding its plethora of data, it quickly found that it could reduce its server footprint, allowing some of its developers to focus on other problems. In addition, the new platform functioned as support for transactional, operational, and analytical workloads, and in every case, it improved business value and reduced costs.

Even when budgets are restricted, organisations that acknowledge the importance of modernisation and move forward with real-time data are improving their ability to deliver at scale for customers. They are also laying the groundwork for growth in the future. As more and more data becomes available and the demand for instant outcomes increases, companies must embrace the future today with continuous application modernisation.

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