October 06, 2021

Article
3 min

Modernize Your Application Infrastructure to Reduce Costs

Cloud-ready, cloud-optimized and cloud-native applications help organizations lower the total cost of technology ownership.

Joshua Corbett

Organizations often start their journey to a modernized IT architecture in an effort to solve a problem with on-premises applications that has become untenable. 

Typically, the on-premises environment has become too costly or burdened with technical debt. In addition to hiring people to run them, organizations also have to pay licensing. For legacy technologies, such costs can pile up quickly, particularly if they require extended support for a product past its end-of-life date. 

When organizations seek to modernize their applications, they have three primary options. Let’s look at how these fit into the overall trajectory of modernization.

Migrate to Infrastructure as a Service with Cloud-Ready Applications

Some organizations prefer lift-and-shift migrations in which an application and its associated data move to the cloud with minimal changes. An organization may choose this approach because it doesn’t want to tackle code changes or touch certain workloads. This move will address concerns about security and support, moving the workload to a modern operating system in the cloud. 

However, to achieve maximum value, this migration must be done strategically. Otherwise, the organization is simply running the same application on someone else’s infrastructure. If the migration just moves the application from a capital expense (CAPEX) model to an operating expense (OPEX), it may be more costly over the long term.

Modernize with Cloud-Optimized Apps via Containerization

The next leap is to replatform, moving to cloud-optimized applications running on containers and Platform as a Service. This is where CDW’s DevOps approach often brings the most value. We help customers move beyond the lift-and-shift approach to maximize the value of either a public cloud adoption or a private cloud space.

If an organization has underutilized caoacity, for example, CDW can provide a container platform to add containerization to the same infrastructure the organization is running in its data center. This allows the organization to derive even more value from its hardware.

What you end up with is a cloud-optimized application that has been containerized. It takes some elbow grease to containerize the application and replatform it, whether in the cloud or on-premises, but the organization gains agility and heightens security by lowering the application attack surface. 

Organizations can take this approach over time, starting with simpler workloads. It’s a little bit of code change that delivers a big return.

Modernize with Cloud-Native Apps on a Microservices Architecture

Many IT professionals want to jump right into cloud-native applications running on microservices and serverless architecture. If the organization is mature enough to make this transition, it can be a great move. New applications are the best candidates, but if organizations want to do a full teardown and rebuild with existing applications, we can help them figure out which ones are suited to being cloud-native and which ones should be containerized. 

Modernizing application infrastructure is a matter of identifying the best environment for each application to meet business objectives. When customers engage our Digital Velocity Solutions team, our goal is to help them lower not only their financial costs but also their human capital expense. 

Reducing administrative overhead keeps people working on projects that deliver business value, which ultimately lowers the total cost of ownership and increases agility in a competitive market.

Story by Joshua Corbett, a Field Solutions Architect for CDW, focused on pre-sales solution design, providing design and engineering activities for hybrid cloud projects and solutions. He has more than 15 years’ experience with data center technologies and cloud native systems and more than eight years’ experience in digital transformation strategy touching on containers, DevOps, app modernization and cloud optimized and cloud native tooling and development.

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