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Addressing the rising legacy-to-cloud migration need

Despite a clear DR need for methods of migrating data from legacy systems into the cloud, the complexities that come along with it can be tough to handle without the right help.

Disaster recovery into the cloud is a normal business practice in the modern data center armory. That said, legacy infrastructure doesn't just disappear, and the complexity that infrastructure brings along with it can be a deterrent to even the biggest tech vendors out there to get involved. With all of its complications, is there hope for smooth legacy-to-cloud migration for DR?

While modernizing a data center is a common goal, even more contemporary organizations may retain applications that are critical to the business but were designed years before the cloud was a thing. Some of these programs can be decades-old and extremely fragile, not to mention that no one usually wants to touch the code and hardware that is considered legacy these days.

This has complicated failover into the cloud because these applications sat on physical hardware, and the hardware-to-virtual DR transition is a difficult one. Even normal DR was a prospect to be treated with extreme caution, especially considering the complexity and the cost. From a company perspective, it meant that, if there were dependencies when failing over into the cloud, it was a nonstarter. This was seen as a major stumbling block in legacy-to-cloud migration and recovery.

CloudEndure rises to challenge, gains a partner

DR and migration vendor CloudEndure saw this issue as a chance to have a unique selling point and became the only provider to support failing physical servers into the cloud under DR conditions. There was a specific set of supported hardware and software configurations, as all the changes needed to mimic the source hardware -- namely, x86. Virtualizing that hardware into a virtual environment is not a small undertaking, as it requires changing the underlying code and guaranteeing it would fail over correctly.

Virtualizing that hardware into a virtual environment is not a small undertaking, as it requires changing the underlying code and guaranteeing it would fail over correctly.

That, however, is only part of the story. CloudEndure also offered the capability to migrate those physical boxes to virtual ones, in the classic physical-to-virtual market that was exceptionally popular when virtualization started to become mainstream.

This meant that those legacy applications, as long as they met the requirements, could be failed over. To put it into context, it was a game changer for certain companies. It ended up in a partnership between CloudEndure and Sungard Availability Services (AS).

It seemed a good fit between the two companies as Sungard AS had been seen by some as being left behind in the whole "everything to cloud" space, its reputation being top-quality off-site DR services and infrastructure. This was such a shot in the arm that many investors bet big on the partnership, and things looked to be maturing at a great clip.

Enter AWS

Then, 2019 brought on some significant changes for the vendor. CloudEndure was bought out by AWS in January of this year. Recognizing the burden an unwieldy migration may place on customers, AWS was motivated to acquire CloudEndure's migration technology, as well as its disaster-recovery-as-a-service and backup-as-a-service capabilities.

While not initially detailing its future plans for CloudEndure technology, AWS recently announced that CloudEndure Migration would be offered at no charge to customers and partners. Along with cloud-based and virtual migrations, the service also includes a legacy-to-cloud option for those still looking to relocate applications from physical sites into AWS.

In addition, Sungard AS continues to offer recovery into AWS for physical and virtual workloads, according to an AWS spokesman. That feature uses the AWS and CloudEndure technology.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to state how the CloudEndure migration capability is still a part of AWS.

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