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AWS Adds Mainframe Migration Competency

Amazon Web Services (AWS) this week added a mainframe migration competency to an existing channel program through which partners are trained to move application workloads on to the AWS public cloud.

AWS promotes the services and technical expertise of partners that participate in its AWS Migration Competency program to its customers. The addition of an AWS Mainframe Migration category to that program is part of a larger ongoing AWS effort to encourage customers to migrate mainframe workloads on to the AWS cloud.

Cam McNaught

In some cases, those efforts involve lifting and shifting those workloads by encapsulating them in Docker containers that enable those workloads to run on virtual machine hosted by AWS. In other cases, partners are helping customers refactor entire mainframe applications or a subset of those applications in a way that enables them to run natively on AWS, says Cam McNaught, director of AWS Partner Core.

The number of channel partners participating in the AWS Mainframe Migration program is relatively small. It includes larger global systems integrators (GSIs) such as Accenture, Atos, Cognizant, Deloitte, DXC Technology, HCL Technologies, Infosys, NTT Data, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. However, McNaught said there is room for smaller channel partners to participate in the program. “There is no set limit,” he said.

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However, the level of expertise required to successfully move, for example, a COBOL or Java application running on a mainframe into a public cloud is considerable. Most of the organizations running these applications have had them in place for decades. Many of them as part of a larger digital business transformation initiative are now evaluating options that span everything from modernizing them where they currently run to migrating away from mainframes entirely.

Regardless of whichever path forward selected by the customer the potential financial rewards for channel partners to one way or another modernize those applications is considerable assuming, of course, they have the expertise required to accomplish a task that usually requires months of extensive effort.

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