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Migrating Back to Windows Server Platform

Migrating Back to Windows Server Platform

While Microsoft has acknowledged that customers migrating to Linux are taking away from their business, there is another movement in the works as well, that mainframe developers are sure not to be pleased by. A number of customers are transitioning back to Microsoft's Windows Server Environment from legacy systems, and the various server platforms in use in these enterprises. There is even an active body promoting the move to Windows.


With the help of the Mainframe Migration Alliance (MMA), formed in 2004, customers are being encouraged and helped to make the move from legacy environments to Windows. The reasons cited by the MMA for customers to adopt Windows Server include, reduced pressure associated with the need to continually upgrade costly IT environs, a dwindling pool of internal programming and management skills, equally receding industry resources and investment, and the need for more flexibility in IT ecosystems.


One convert, Fujitsu Consulting, said that legacy problems were one reason they moved to Microsoft's .NET platform. Greg Forlenza, senior vice president of marketing and solutions, said, "Our clients continue to wrestle with significant legacy application maintenance costs and a steady decline of readily available mainframe resources. Our focus is to help them move to Microsoft .NET, where they can take advantage of the agility of the platform to accelerate development and redirect valuable resources to more productive uses."


Other members that have migrated to Microsoft's platform include, Covansys Corp.,Fujitsu Software Corp., Getronics NV, Information Analysis Inc. (IAI), M2O Ltd., Modis Inc., MSS International, NetManage Inc., ObjectStar International Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Infotech Ltd. and Transoft join existing alliance members CGI Group Inc., Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., EDS, Fujitsu Consulting, Micro Focus International Ltd., Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Sonata Software Ltd. and Sophisticated Business Systems Inc.


The MMA has launched a community Web site that provides support to customers to help them transition back to Windows Server. The MMA will provide case studies detailing how other companies made the move, and offer financial advice in the form of calculations showing the return on investment (ROI) for mainframe migration projects. The momentum in mainframe migration will continue according to the alliance, and they will distribute more tools as this happens.


About a dozen companies were quoted by the MMA to illustrate the range of companies moving to Windows Server, and their reasons for doing so. Ananth Appathurai of Tata Consultancy Services was quoted, "Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) helps customers maximize their return on IT investment and reduce the cost of supporting mainframe applications by transforming legacy mainframe applications to the Microsoft platform. TCS delivers this value to customers through a focus on key drivers for change, the development of transformation road maps that address current and future needs, and a continuing effort to reduce the impact on current business. TCS has deep domain experience in the execution of migration plans including final implementation and knowledge transition, and draws on proven reengineering methodologies that mitigate risks and ensure project success. We combine numerous 'reverse' and 'forward' engineering tools and processes that improve productivity and product quality with our tested best practices in executing legacy to .NET transformation projects for customers worldwide."


Other companies expressed the benefits of belonging to the MMA, such as ObjectStar, whose president, Stuart Kerr, echoed a sentiment shared by many of the companies cited, said, "With these enhancements to the Mainframe Migration Alliance, companies will now be able to quickly access information to help them with their migration planning. ObjectStar is pleased to participate in, and bring our significant software solutions and migration expertise to, the alliance."

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