AS400 AWS migration: A quick guide

Gibson Toombs

September 13, 2021

3 min read

Many organizations still use IBM AS400 to power their mission-critical applications. However, the proprietary software and hardware are outdated, creating the following problems for AS400 customers:

  • Excessive licensing costs
  • Difficulty integrating with modern third-party tools and applications, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning software
  • Difficulty finding programmers with AS400 experience
  • Unreliable data security
  • Clunky interfaces and other technical limitations that slow down development workflows

If your company has reached its limit with its legacy system and wants to leverage newer, cutting-edge technologies, consider migrating your AS400 system over to Amazon Web Services (AWS). A growing number of businesses—particularly those in healthcare, finance, and manufacturing—are making this transformation, resulting in the following benefits:

  • Streamlined development workflows
  • Lower operational costs
  • Greater business scalability
  • Better data analytics
  • Stronger information security.

Despite the many benefits of application modernization, there are still quite a few organizations hesitant to invest in cloud migration services. These are typically mature businesses that have been doing things the same way for decades, long before private and public cloud platforms were available. Stakeholders may choose to stick with a legacy application due to:

  • A lack of technical knowledge and resources
  • Anxiety around switching to new tools and processes
  • Fear of losing data, or disrupting internal workflows and customer experiences, during the migration process

While these are valid concerns to have, they shouldn’t keep your business from leveraging the power of Amazon’s cloud environment, especially as more and more competitors in your industry make the transition. With a digital transformation consulting service like Codal, you can bypass these issues and get the most out of your new cloud solution.

Let’s say your business is ready to migrate its existing AS400 applications to an AWS cloud platform. You probably have a lot of questions, like: What does this cloud migration process look like?

AS400 AWS migration is accomplished by using a software development solution called Infinite i. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Infinite i?

Infinite i is a development toolkit that allows AS400 applications to be recompiled and deployed on AWS, ultimately providing greater flexibility, along with the ability to leverage more advanced tools.

Once the code is recompiled by Infinite i on AWS, it executes as a native application—meaning there are no more IBM components involved, and therefore no more IBM licensing or support fees. The IBM i operating system is replaced by Linux, while the application middleware is replaced with Infinite i components, including a runtime system, compilers, utilities, migration tools, and database connectors.

When it comes to data migration, Infinite i can replicate all of the same functionality included in the DB2 database, plus many other capabilities. Data can be stored in an internal environment, or migrated to an external database like MySQL, Oracle, or Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). For data being transferred between applications, Infinite i uses SSL/TLS encryption to ensure security.

Another advantage of Infinite i on AWS is its rapid scalability and low costs. The underlying code can be updated in a matter of minutes to accommodate spikes in user traffic, and under Amazon’s pay-as-you-go model, you’ll only have to pay for the amount of cloud computing your business uses each month.

How to migrate AS400 applications and data to AWS

The length and complexity of your business’ cloud migration process will depend on its unique goals and requirements—or the amount of data and applications that need to be moved over, as well as any new technologies and workflows being implemented. In general, AS400 AWS migration takes anywhere from one to ten weeks.

Here’s a step-by-step look at what that process may look like:

  1. Nail down your current technical business needs and goals for the future.
  2. Back up all data and applications.
  3. Set up the new Infinite i on AWS infrastructure.
  4. Transfer the backup data from the AS400 server to Infinite i on AWS.
  5. Rebuild applications for AWS native execution.
  6. Integrate third-party tools and applications.
  7. Run application tests.
  8. Conduct any necessary training for in-house developers.
  9. Perform ongoing maintenance and support to avoid unexpected system errors.  

Get started with AS400 cloud migration

AS400 AWS migration comes with a wide range of advantages, from increased scalability, to lower operational costs, to better data management. However, the cloud migration process can be complicated, requiring significant time, effort, and technical expertise to be successful.

This is why it’s so important to team up with a digital transformation agency like Codal. Our team has over a decade of experience modernizing legacy systems, and that includes migrating data from IBM i to AWS—as well as IBM cloud, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

As trusted AWS partners—with expert knowledge around Infinite i and other key technologies—we can help guide your business through the cloud migration process, implement cutting-edge solutions, streamline development workflows, run tests, conduct training sessions, and perform ongoing system maintenance and support.

Interested in learning more about AS400 modernization and how Codal can help modernize your business? Reach out to learn more!

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