Modernizing Mainframe Workloads with AWS

In today’s era of digital transformation, the mainframe’s continuity stands out against a backdrop of the constant change in global enterprise IT. To achieve digital transformation, CTOs and CIOs are under pressure to make their organization more agile, more flexible and lead organization to become more efficient, digital and competitive to stay ahead in this fast-evolving business environment

Written by TAFF Inc 09 May 2022

A lot of companies are migrating from legacy mainframe systems to modern cloud networks in recent times. This migration is a complicated process that consists of many steps like discover, access, migrate, test and operate in a cloud environment. But more often, companies end up facing several technical hurdles while migrating to the cloud. 

AWS has gone the extra mile to offer a unique platform service that will enable customers to migrate their on-premise mainframe workloads into a fully customizable runtime environment in AWS. This will ensure all the above-mentioned steps are already done by AWS certified partners. Some of the popular businesses that have already benefited from this unique service offering are New York Times, U.S Department of Defense, ARRAY Information Technology, etc.

Why modernize to AWS?

Scarcity of Domain Expertise

Most of the modern technological workforce lack the required skill set necessary for working in Legacy mainframe technology. Since this is considered as an outdated technology, only a few people are studying it. It will be difficult to find the right talent required to manage your legacy mainframe systems in the long run. 

Limited Flexibility

Cloud is both flexible and scalable whereas mainframe is not. A report by IDC shows that businesses that migrated to AWS has witnessed a 51% reduction of their operating cost and also their downtime is largely reduced by 94%.

Very High Costs

Bare metal servers or traditional servers are highly expensive to install and also to manage. Operating costs will eat into the company profit margins. This is where smart businesses migrate to AWS to reduce their operating costs and increase the profitability of the business. 

Core Features of AWS Modernization service


Analyzer enable developers to use artificial intelligence, knowledge and analysis that are required for migration. Analyzer will help developers to asses, scope and plan migration and modernization of mainframe applications into cloud. Analyzer will highlight the application dependencies and complexities.

Developer IDE

AWS modernization service offers a feature-rich and on-demand IDE that enables developers to write code faster. Some of the standout features of this IDE are smart editing, instant code compilation, debugging and unit testing. This developer IDE is available for both the refactor and replatform patterns on demand.

Managed Runtime

The Managed Runtime offered by the AWS modernization service continuously tracks the clusters to manage enterprise level workloads running with self-healing compute and automatic scaling. You can access and manage the Runtime using APIs, AWS CLI and AWS console. 


You can refactor either manually or automatically using the AWS modernization service. Refactoring is enabled by AWS Blu Age which converts legacy applications into modern macroservices or microservices. Some of the programming languages it can refactor/convert include COBOL, RPG/400, PL/1 AND NATURAL into agile Java services. 


Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) enables automation to offer agile and rapid development across each and every stage of the development process. AWS modernization services enable developers to deliver code changes frequently with a high level of reliability. This reduces time-to-market for new functionalities. 

Migration Patterns


Replatforming in AWS modernization is achieved using Micro Focus Enterprise Suite. Replatforming preserves the application code and artifacts that minimize the changes to the overall structure of the code. There is no need for the customer to learn new technologies. Though the changes are barely minimal the complete application is converted to a modern cloud-based service that is automatically managed. 

Automated Refactoring

Here the full legacy application is entirely converted into a modern Java application while preserving the underlying functionalities. This is done using the AWS Blu Age that creates layered applications with an Angular frontend and API-based Java backend. This reduces the cost of the operations and improves the overall quality of the application in the cloud.

How it works?


The initial phase of AWS modernization includes analyzing the existing mainframe system for application structure and checking the level of readiness for migration. This is where the customer can learn about the complexities of the system and discover various dependencies associated with their application. Then come out a well-defined strategy and evaluate potential code changes. 


This is where the service will implement necessary code changes that are essential for migration and write code for new capabilities. 


In this stage, modern runtime environments and applications are created which are then deployed on their respective environments. 


The final includes running various applications and environments. Once they are in running stage, monitoring of applications is also automated. 

Benefits of AWS modernization service

1. Hassle-free approach to migrate and modernize your workloads to AWS cloud while still keeping the Mainframe framework intact.

2. It offers application and infra-agility to speed time to market, since data is migrated to the cloud which is scalable and highly available.

3. Provides managed security, elasticity and cost-efficiency, so that business can focus on their core line of tasks rather than spending time on building and managing IT infrastructure.

4. Provides multiple toolchains that offers flexibility for customers to choose from.

Start Your Modernization Journey Now with TAFF

In this era of ‘new normal’, enterprises need their IT systems to be agile, efficient and robust to face the challenges experienced during these unprecedented times. Major setbacks are faced by the enterprises running their critical workloads on Mainframe systems.

To address the modern business demands, it is time to act now by modernizing your mainframe strategy. However, mainframe modernization can be complex, time-consuming, risky and expensive. That’s why at TAFF, we’ve developed a highly automated solution to migrate legacy applications built with languages such as COBOL to modern languages hosted on on-premise or cloud platforms, such as AWS.

We are officially a certified AWS partner. We can analyze your existing on-premise mainframe application and seamlessly migrate it to AWS without disrupting your business operations. Ready to Start Your Mainframe Modernization Journey? Contact us today

Written by TAFF Inc TAFF Inc is a global leader and the fastest growing next-generation IT services provider. We create customized digital solutions that help brands in transforming their vision into innovative digital experiences. With complete customer satisfaction in mind, we are extremely dedicated to developing apps that strictly meet the business requirements and catering a wide spectrum of projects.