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A Tech Leaders 2023 Playbook

The Anatomy of a Successful Application Modernization
From embracing an Agile process to adopting DevSecOps and leveraging cloud adoption accelerators, this playbook is your go-to guide for achieving enterprise-grade quality in your application modernization journey. Share this resource with your team and get started on your modernization today!

App Modernization Expert: Paul

Part 2

Why Decouple Applications

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As organizations strive to rapidly respond to changes in the market, agility has become a key organizational capability. For businesses that rely on software to drive value, this means embracing container technology to modernize their legacy Java applications. By breaking down silos and eliminating legacy systems, container technology enables businesses to compose nimbler architectures that meet business requirements and technology trends.

Why Decoupling Applications is Critical for Legacy Java Application Modernization

Decoupling your legacy Java applications is critical to modernizing your technology stack and achieving digital transformation. Decoupled applications are more scalable, easier to maintain, and offer faster time-to-market than monolithic applications. With a decoupled architecture, you can easily replace or upgrade specific components of your application without affecting the entire system, reducing the risk of costly and time-consuming maintenance.

In the context of legacy Java application modernization, decoupling can help you overcome the challenges of outdated infrastructure, limited scalability, and outdated programming languages. By separating your application into smaller, loosely coupled services, you can gradually replace or upgrade individual components to newer technologies while preserving the existing system's functionality. This approach allows you to modernize your application over time, without the need for a full-scale overhaul, minimizing the risk of business disruptions.

Decoupling also improves the agility of your development teams, enabling them to work independently on different parts of the application, reducing the risk of conflicts and delays. Additionally, decoupling your applications can improve your security posture by reducing the attack surface and minimizing the impact of potential security breaches.

By decoupling your legacy Java applications, you can unlock the full potential of modern technologies like cloud computing, microservices, and containers, and achieve the scalability, agility, and resilience required for digital transformation.

Modern Platforms and Tools for Composable Architectures OR Our Approach to Composable Architecture with Containers

At Architech, we believe that a composable architecture requires modern platforms and tools that are transparent, extensible, scalable, resilient, and automated as much as possible. Containers can play a key role in this by allowing businesses to start their modernization journey without necessarily adopting a "rip out and replace" approach. Containers offer an efficient way to deploy, run, and manage microservices, and they can also facilitate the implementation of the strangler pattern, which can help gradually replace a monolithic application with a set of microservices over time. By working with clients to assess their existing technology stack and build on it, we help them identify the right mix of tools and platforms, including containers, to enable a smooth and successful transition to a modern, composable architecture.

For legacy Java application modernization, Kubernetes is one such platform that manages containerized workloads and services. It delivers the desired automation required for agility through declarative configuration, providing automated processes that work continuously to ensure the current state of the system converges to meet the desired state. This "reconciliation loop" is what makes Kubernetes so resilient, as it prioritizes self-healing, a core principle of cloud-native systems.

Kubernetes works on top of container runtimes like Docker which encapsulates all the tools, technologies, libraries, and code required to run an application into a single, portable package. Containers themselves are isolated OS processes that can run almost anything, providing development and operation teams with flexibility and choice, making containers integral to evolutionary architectures.

Checkout our article with insights on developing with Docker and Kubernetes: Ditching Docker Compose for Kubernetes.

Build vs Buy: How to Make the Right Choice for Container-Based Solutions

Build vs buy is a critical decision when it comes to modernizing your Java legacy applications with containers. On one end, you have more control and flexibility with a do-it-yourself approach, where you can choose the tools, networking, storage, monitoring, logging, and DevOps infrastructure to support your chosen infrastructure. On the other end, you have more prescriptive solutions, where most or all of the choices are made for you. The decision ultimately comes down to how much control and responsibility you want.

To determine where you fall in the spectrum, you need to consider your organization's maturity level when it comes to leveraging the cloud. This involves assessing factors such as ongoing management and maintenance of the cluster, upgrading and patching the platform, providing your own tools for visibility and development, monitoring, logging, CI/CD tooling, vendor support, and host OS. These factors will help you determine whether you need a community-provided upgrade option, a vendor-provided path, or both. You'll also need to consider whether you have the expertise to fully support a complex platform such as Kubernetes or whether you need a dedicated partner to back you up. By carefully weighing these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether to build or buy and choose the right container-based solution to run in a public cloud environment.

Embracing a Culture of Agility for Successful Container Modernization

However, technology alone is not enough. To effectively leverage container technology and ensure success in modernizing legacy Java applications, organizations must empower their people to drive outcomes and foster processes that enable them to collaborate and focus on results. This requires embracing a culture of agility and shifting left to instill a DevSecOps practice into the modernization process to safeguard data.

By breaking down silos and embracing container technology, businesses can compose more agile architectures that meet their changing needs today and into the foreseeable future. At Architech, we can help you assess your organization's readiness for the cloud and guide you on how to architect containers as part of your legacy Java application modernization journey. To learn more connect with our team today!

Solution Architect, Architech

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