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Modernizing Legacy Mainframe Systems with MFaaS

You might think that the nation’s nuclear program is run by cutting-edge IT technology.  However, a recent Washington Post article revealed how the U.S. Department of Defense coordinates the operational functions of nuclear forces using 8-inch floppy disks.

The Post also references a General Accounting Office report about federal government legacy systems, some of which are close to 50 years old. Agencies use computer languages from the 1950s and Microsoft operating systems from the 1980s and 1990s that are not supported by the vendor. At least one agency rehired retired employees to maintain its operating system.

This article enlightens us all to the fact that legacy IT systems are becoming obsolete, creating security vulnerabilities, and increasing unnecessary operational costs.  

Many older mainframe systems are in this category, which agencies are unable to modernize or replace due to technology obsolescence or prohibitive costs. Agencies find it difficult to upgrade mainframes as part of a capital purchase or Capex model.  

However, there’s an alternative. One option to address this critical issue is Mainframe-as-a-Service (MFaaS), which allows organizations to move legacy mainframe operations to a subscription Opex service model. Enterprise mainframe IT infrastructure – compute, storage and networking – can be acquired on an as-needed basis. This allows an agency to scale capacity to align with an organization’s unique requirements. MFaaS permits enterprises to maintain and keep pace with the modernization of mainframes while adapting to a more flexible and agile infrastructure in a cloud-based financial model. 

MFaaS enables an organization to transform its mainframe costs from a capital budget expense into an operational expense. The vendor owns and operates the infrastructure, while the client subscribes to mainframe services on a monthly basis. Legacy mainframe systems tend to support cyclical and predictable workloads. Therefore, an as-a-Service model allows an organization to accurately forecast operational expenses and effectively manage the mainframe budget.           

MFaaS reduces the headaches of mainframe infrastructure upgrades, hardware maintenance costs, support services for the mainframe environment, and negotiations with OEM vendors for hardware maintenance. MFaaS customers benefit from a vendor’s supplemental workforce – a real advantage for organizations facing the retirement of workers with mainframe skills. An as-a-Service Opex model allows an organization’s IT staff to focus on more mission-critical objectives. 

In addition to enjoying IT modernization and enhanced service delivery, government organizations can reposition their mainframe in an as-a-Service cloud platform to meet the provisions of the “Cloud First” mandate. Service offerings can be provisioned either on premises or off-premises in any data center hosting facility. 

So, if your organization is struggling with obsolete technology and reduced resources, you don’t need to wait until you can replace your legacy systems. Investigate MFaaS options with experts who understand how to modernize infrastructure and maintain compliance without overburdening your budget. Explore ViON’s as-a-Service offerings here or call us directly at 571.353.6000 to ask questions about MFaaS. 

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