A Blog by Mat Clothier, CEO, Cloudhouse

The cloud has brought many opportunities for businesses but becoming cloud optimised comes with major challenges too. Businesses with critical applications entrenched in legacy operating systems will be scratching their heads wondering how they migrate those applications into the cloud.

IDG’s Cloud Computing Survey found more than a third of enterprise-level IT chiefs are under pressure to migrate all applications and infrastructure to the cloud. Nine-in-ten plan to have some of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud this year, with the rest completing migration by 2021.

But with the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 end of life January deadline approaching fast, the complexity of migrating applications that lack compatibility with cloud systems might seem increasingly daunting.

However, new innovations in application compatibility packaging make it entirely possible for enterprises to continue using crucial legacy applications in cloud environments such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.

Caught in the middle

It’s long been considered that critical middle-tier and back-office applications are ‘stuck’ on legacy Windows systems and cannot be migrated to cloud-friendly systems without costly and time-consuming recoding or refactoring for compatibility.

Extending the life of current systems is one alternative, albeit a costly one. Microsoft is prepared to sell Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) on a per-device basis. However, the price is set to increase each year until January 2023 – not exactly an option CFOs will favour.

To persuade enterprises to shift workloads into Azure, Microsoft offered three years of free support for VMs on operating systems after the Windows Server 2008 R2 end-of-life deadline. Yet enterprises are reluctant to bite for fear of being locked in with one provider.

Some enterprises choose to stay on the legacy system and contain it as safely as possible by using virtualisation, but the downside to this is that they are still retaining older, unsupported and unsecure lT – the very thing the original programme is often established to remove!

While it can simplify deployment, virtualisation can’t address all application-to-application conflicts. There are also ongoing compatibility problems when it comes to integrating with a cloud-provider’s system.

Future-proofing for a cloud-first age

Application compatibility packaging services provide complete solutions for enterprises moving into the cloud. Applications are effectively plucked from legacy environments by experts in application packaging and optimised to work just as they should in any cloud system. For the end user within the enterprise, it simply appears as though the application has simply been cut and pasted from the legacy system into the cloud environment.

Our advanced application compatibility packaging technology is able to take care of everything, from the packaging, to the required redirection and isolation needed to make the application compatible with the external cloud service environment. Furthermore, the apps are abstracted from the enterprise’s underlying operating system and optimised for Windows-as-a-Service without the need for any recoding or refactoring.

Application compatibility packaging is a simple process and once complete, the application is effectively ‘evergreen’ – future-proofed to work in the cloud with any third-party tool, and immune to the effects of Operating System updates.

IT teams should no longer have to take their chances by keeping critical applications in outdated, unstable and unsecure operating systems, and they needn’t risk being locked into one single cloud vendor either. The cloud-agnostic approach of application compatibility packaging eliminates the danger of being locked in to one vendor and instead empowers enterprises to use their critical applications seamlessly across different cloud architectures without restraint.

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I am Priya Saxena, a supermom, virtualization enthusiast and a developer by heart. I started my career 11 years ago as a passionate engineering graduate

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