GCN Google is preparing a mainframe modernization service designed to simplify and mitigate the risk of migrating mainframe workloads to the cloud – a complex process that can be fraught with pitfalls.
The preview service, dubbed Dual Run for Google Cloud, was unveiled at the company’s Google Cloud Next event and aims to address the most common risks and concerns associated with mainframe projects.
Details on how exactly this will work were sparse at the time, but the basic premise of Dual Run appears to be the following from what we can tell from Google.
Mainframe applications are typically the most mission-critical in any business that uses them, and any disruption caused by downtime could be an economic disaster – just ask UK bank TSB.
Dual Run allows such workloads to run concurrently on the existing mainframe and in Google Cloud, allowing a company to run tests and collect data on performance and stability without disrupting operations — at least according to Google.
Once customers are satisfied with the functional equivalence of the two systems, the applications running in the Google Cloud environment can be made the organization’s system of record while the existing mainframe systems can act as a backup, Google claims.
While Google isn’t a name you might associate with mainframe expertise, potential customers might be reassured by the fact that Dual Run’s underlying technology was developed by one bank, Santander, to facilitate its own transition of its core banking services into to facilitate the cloud.
Santander said the software, which it calls Gravity, has enabled it to bring data and workloads to Google Cloud, and it has already migrated 80 percent of its IT infrastructure, including a core banking platform that handles financial transactions like money transfers, deposits or Loans performed are processed.
“Dual Run for Google Cloud, leveraging the innovation we have developed internally at Santander, will be critical to the digital transformation of many businesses and is a testament to the outstanding technology developed by our teams,” said the Group leader of Banco Santander operations and technology director Dirk Marzluf.
But Dual Run is just part of Google’s Mainframe Modernization Solution (MMS), which the company says includes proven processes and tools for a low-risk migration to Google Cloud.
Google said its cloud consultants and outside consultants will advise and help design the customer’s cloud architecture, dependencies, and steps for mainframe migration and modernization.
These outside consultants include Atos, Capgemini, Infosys and Kyndryl, IBM’s former IT infrastructure services division, which recently announced a separate agreement with Microsoft to build data pipelines between mainframe systems and the Azure cloud.
Tools Google has alongside Dual Run include G4 for application discovery and code refactoring to migrate Cobol, PL/1 or assembler programs to cloud-native services. This is based on technology acquired by Google when it acquired Cornerstone Technology in 2020.
It also has a mainframe connector that allows data to be moved between the mainframe, Google Cloud Storage and BigQuery, Google’s data warehouse service.
The giveaway that this isn’t just another on-demand cloud service is that prospective customers must contact a Google Cloud account representative to access Dual Run and the company’s other mainframe migration tools .
However, according to Google Cloud VP and GM Sachin Gupta, modernizing enterprise IT infrastructure can be an important step into the cloud age.
“By moving mainframe systems to the cloud, organizations have the opportunity to make better use of their data, implement stronger cybersecurity protections, and lay a foundation for their digital transformation that will fuel their future growth,” Gupta said. ®
https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/12/google_cloud_dual_run_service/ Google Adds Dual-Run Service to Mainframe Migration Tools • The Register