Application Archiving and Decommissioning to a low cost, standards-based solution - in a compliant manner.
The modern business environment has probably never been more dynamic and fast-paced than it is today. As organisations grow and adapt to their changing markets they are discovering that there has also been underlying changes to the information they create and collect:
- Data is growing at an ever increasing rate
- The nature of it is changing, becoming larger and more complex
- Application numbers are growing
- Compliance requirements is becoming more complex
The list goes on.
This presents CIOs, IT Managers and application owners with a number of new challenges, so how to you go about alleviating some of this pain?
One of the more compelling answers is in Application Archiving. We face two scenarios in Application Archiving. The first is active archiving where we are archiving an application’s data on a regular basis. The second is application decommissioning which is in effect a one-time archive of all relevant data from an application.
Between 60% and 80% of data in most business critical systems is in its final state or static. Unfortunately this data resides in high-end, costly infrastructure architected to meet business and customer demands where this level of service is really only required for the
Active Archiving (sometimes referred to as Infrastructure Optimisation) takes this data and archives it on a periodical basis. By moving this data into a lower-cost, compliant archive customers are able to free up storage, reduce back-up times and reduce compute usage, thereby forestalling capacity upgrades.
Organisations are finding themselves with a growing number of applications that support their business. This could be from organic growth, acquisition of other companies or by replacing applications with newer ones as time goes on. Many of these older applications become inactive. That is, the data is no longer being updated, it is sometimes searched or queried but the applications have to be kept for compliance reasons.
These “legacy” applications also tend to attract a disproportionally high share of IT spend to keep them running.
Application Decommissioning is the process of extracting important business and/or compliance information from the legacy applications, shutting them down and potentially allowing for the decommissioning of the associated hardware. When a number of the applications are decommissioned into a centralised archive we are also able to realise some additional benefits:
- The data is now in one place so and compliance, in the form of security, retention and holds, can be managed centrally.
- The data is also now accessible from the archive where it previously may not have been because of proprietary technology used in the legacy application. It can be queried, used by Business Intelligence tools or could become part of your Big Data initiative and become part of a data lake.
Application Portfolio Assessment
Understand what you have and what you may be able to free up
The Application Portfolio Assessment is a short exercise to catalogue and classify your applications with the aim of forming a candidate list of applications for archiving and/or decommissioning.
It is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all enterprise applications but a reasonable catalogue of applications that is used to create the business case for an archiving programme.
From this list we filter out application that aren't a good fit for archiving or decommissioning. The remaining applications are then prioritised by factoring in items such as the business value of the data, the relative strenght of the business case for each application, the complexity of the application and any current risk associated with the application and its data.
To keep the exercise short but effective we leverage existing sources and automate where possible. We also use Rough Orders Magnitude (ROM) for the dollar metrics initially as, at that point, we are mainly interested in business case relativity. Detailed calculations can follow for the business case based on the selected applications.
How do I get started?
If you are unsure of which applications are candidates for archive and decommission or don’t have a complete picture of the portfolio then consider undertaking an application portfolio assessment. If you already have a list of candidate applications and want to realise some IT savings then it’s time to move forward!