There is a lot of talking about mainframe offloading to integrate pre-existing architectures and skills into a high performance and agile system. At the same time, we are witnessing a very rapid growth of the omnichannel paradigm, which is radically changing the way companies develop their offer.
There are many companies that depend on mainframes, which if used incorrectly are very expensive and costly to maintain. Furthermore, systems of this type have been designed to serve a limited number of users and are not suitable for scaling to meet today's needs for speed and performance. Companies need to keep legacy systems operational, which contain much of the business logic and regulatory requirements, and integrate them into the normal evolution of the corporate’ ICT.
The mainframe offloading is expensive and fraught with pitfalls, but not necessary today. The data contained in the mainframe can be stored elsewhere, using a modern database that solves the problems of accessibility, speed and integrability that are often encountered.
Indeed, the information entrusted to legacy architectures is the only one of the data flows to be managed in less than one second and on huge numbers of target devices. Think about the information coming from the IoT (Internet of Things) of all kinds, from electro-medical devices to factory sensors, from vehicle controls to sensors immersed in the road surface.
The renewed approach of Mia-Platform provides a complete set of tools. Thanks to this technology, for example, it is possible to decouple the bottlenecks from the outgoing flows, bringing all the data - origin, administration, control, user - within an architecture of immediate response, enormous flow capacity and simple to enrich, improve or maintain.
Thanks to Mia-Platform, the mainframe maintains its value, but does no longer ostruct the development and fast delivery of new performing solutions, alongside the most recent technologies.
The Mainframe offloading
What is mainframe offloading? How do you build this solution? Systems access resources much more today than in the past. The legacy system is not suitable for these intensities and must be protected from a large number of requests. The ideal solution involves the creation of an intermediate layer that decouples both calls and data, for example by extracting the data and then storing it on a high-performance database, thus guaranteeing 24/7 availability and updating of data. This database is inserted into an overall system that manages various data sources within an event architecture.
The overall system has six categories of elements: an event architecture, a message broker, data streams, microservices, APIs, and high-performance data stores. In this way, the Systems of Records (SOR) find all the technology necessary to give the channels fresh, updated and complete information.
The entire architecture can be implemented with Mia-Platform Fast Data, a solution based on a set of microservices that identifies the relevant part of the data within big data or data lakes, to speed them up in the flow.
Five steps are enough to describe the mainframe decoupling procedure of Mia-Platform: data collection, database generation, Single View aggregation, real-time data display and updating. Let's see them together.
- Data from the mainframe is collected and duplicated on a high-performance non-relational (NoSQL) database. In this way the legacy system is protected from too many and slow accesses.
- Thanks to Apache Kafka, all the data streams coming from the SORs converge in the database. Systems of Records such as CRM, e-commerce or other systems request access and change data.
- An event-based architecture reads the changes on the SORs and updates the data on the database in real time.
- According to business logic, data is aggregated into single views, unique views on information organized in a functional way.
- Starting from the Single Views, the information is exposed to the channels via APIs or push notifications.
The control of all operations takes place from a single point, Mia-Platform Console, which offers centralized and handy management of all tools.
The benefits of mainframe offloading
At the same time, this solution eliminates all the bottlenecks generated by legacy systems and even by recent ICT updates. The mainframe offloading impacts on all the dimensions of innovation: costs, upgrading, performance, scalability and UX.
In addition, the offloading brings the legacy system back to the level of use for which it was designed, eliminating the costs of excessive use. The only investment required is creating a light layer of communication with the new architecture, much cheaper than buying a new hardware and transferring the related skills.
This approach delivers the highest performance available today in PaaS, with fast handling of large volumes of data available 24/7/365. Furthermore, PaaS is inherently scalable with immediacy and great capacity. In defining a typical project, we report a lead time of less than 4 weeks with a guaranteed uptime of 99.5%, a decrease of costs by 37% and a reduction in time-to-market on new projects of 47%.
Even the final user can benefit from it, as Mia-Platform allows to build the best user experience on the channels with information always available and updated within a few milliseconds.
Mia-Platform allows you to improve time management, operations and costs of the data flow components, thus positively impacting many of the expense items. The first improvement is the lengthening of the life cycle of existing systems with a reduced investment, thanks to its ease of integration. The resulting system then allows a truly centralized control according to the most recent DevOps approaches, with immediacy in case of changes or additions. The Console allows a simplified management, starting from daily activities up to more complex operations: for example, the standardization of data ingestion activities and a marketplace of configurable microservices and plugins that allow you to quickly create new services in a few clicks.
For error management there are methodologies and tools to keep data consistent or for the investigation in case of mismatch.
In the background, but no less important, there is access to the best open source technologies, with zero lock-in.
Ultimately, the entire Mia-Platform solution can be easily updated in any dimension: new type of data source or destination, new services or logic, any adaptation in the ICT architecture.