Reduce or eliminate costs of your legacy applications by adopting the Lemongrass application archiving solution on AWS

Posted 13 November 2020 by Ben Lingwood

For many enterprises, the use of SAP started decades ago. Since those early days, it’s often the case that old SAP systems have been replaced by newer versions, local and regional implementations have been replaced by global SAP global templates, and the ebb and flow of Mergers and Acquisitions mean numerous SAP (and non-SAP) solutions have been collected over the years.

In almost every case, this has resulted in many legacy SAP systems needing to be maintained for various reasons including data retention policies and statutory data requirements, the expense and complexity required to decommission these systems, or even having a “last box in the server room” preventing an “All in” move to Cloud despite its infrequent access.

In addition, there are a number of challenges with maintaining legacy SAP applications, including:

  • Payment extended maintenance for old versions, or run the risk of running without support;
  • Software license costs that significantly increase as systems move to end of life;
  • License keys that are expensive for low concurrency users;
  • Maintaining specialists support skills/contractors to ‘keep the lights on’;
  • Dedicated hardware is often expensive to maintain;
  • Systems access and passwords on redundant systems can pose a security risk;
  • Installation hardware is hard to source & maintain;
  • Network connections are required to keep the systems accessible;
  • Expensive & complexity of exporting data;
  • Statutory requirements on applications maintenance, regardless of cost;

There are no easy answers to these challenges and, traditionally, you have these three options:

  • Export the data into an open framework such as a Data Lake. With this option, replicating the business logic is extremely complex and requires all the functional logic the host application provides to be re-developed.
  • Use an ETL (Export, Transform & Load) to export the data – this helps reduce the complexity but still requires functional development, and the obvious problem of introducing another application and its associated overheads.
  • Continue to run “as is” and accept the cost and operational risks.

What Application Archiving from Lemongrass does is simply: 1. Keep the data in the existing application (thus removing all the costly data logic replication work), 2. Modernise the system image onto an AWS supported OS, and, if needed, a DB technical update to a supported version, 3. Blunt off interfacing, and 4. Freeze the system to change. Once this is done, we add some automation logic to enable a simple stop, start dashboard capability and scheduling, and then hand you the keys. Minimum effort, lowest cost, and a non-technical UI for a fraction of the cost of the alternatives. It’s that simple.

The objective in all cases is to keep legacy SAP application data available in an agile/low cost model, and stop spending to keep costly, unnecessary legacy applications available just for data access. You can also use archiving to free up infrastructure, manage compliance, and derive new value from data all in one place. Equally, archiving can increase productivity and service levels by providing fast, easy access to data while eliminating the need for new users to learn how to extract information from old, unfamiliar systems.

The benefits this provides to our customers include:

  • Dramatic cost reduction: Remove the cost and time required to maintain infrequently accessed applications/data without the need for complex archiving and management.
  • Automated Start & Stop: Applications can be gracefully started and stopped or set to automatically idle timeout to avoid accidental costs. When stopped, only minimal storage costs apply.
  • Migration to cost-optimized OS/DB: As part of the migration, applications are moved on to cost-optimized Operating Systems and Database versions, optimizing compute and licensing overheads.
  • Visible costing: A FinOps mobile application allows for daily visibility of costs and access to AWS price reductions and new machine images.
  • Optimize your licensing: Archived systems typically only require a handful of licenses, and, as there are no further application changes, maintenance license costs can be avoided.
  • Fully managed landscape: Fully technical managed landscape to the application layer with full backup and recovery capability to a managed SLA.
  • No need to maintain technical skills: This Lemongrass managed service avoids the requirement to maintain legacy support skills within the organization further optimizing RUN efficiencies.

If you would like to find out more about the business value you could achieve by cost-effectively storing and accessing data in the cloud, Lemongrass experts, Mark Hirst and Ben Lingwood, recently recorded a webinar (40 mins) covering how and why companies should adopt Application Archiving with AWS. Or, please contact us directly at info@lemongrassconsuting.com for further information or answers to any questions you may have.