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Cloud-native approach to legacy software updating

Updated: Jul 9

Cloud-native approach to legacy software updating

Introduction

Any organization is today navigating the rapidly evolving technology landscape. In an increasingly complex and uncertain environment, the tasks can be both thrilling and alarming. The need is to make the right strategic decisions that will shape the future of your company.


The main issue is modernizing the legacy software that manages the company. It is a need, but at the same time, it is a risk. Embracing a cloud-native approach can be a game-changer in achieving these objectives. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies like Kubernetes, microservices and event-driven architectures, you can transform the way your organization operates, making it more agile, scalable and cost-effective.


This approach will enable your company to respond quickly to market changes, customer demands and regulatory requirements, giving you a competitive edge in an increasingly digital world.


A Cloud-native approach

The management can find a challenge to convey the value of the cloud-native approach and its impact on business results to other stakeholders within the company. By demonstrating the benefits of Kubernetes, microservices and cloud-native solutions, such as increased scalability, cost savings and improved customer experience, every company can build support for this innovation strategy.


There may be misconceptions surrounding the cloud-native approach, such as the belief that it is only suitable for new projects or that it cannot be applied to legacy systems. At Airspot, we can help dispel these myths by demonstrating how the cloud-native approach can be effectively applied to modernize legacy systems, create new event-driven practices with cloud events and k-rules, providing tangible benefits to the organization. To go straight to the point, any modern update to legacy systems requires a shift to an event-driven architecture. This is a software design pattern that detects any important business moment (eg. transactions) and acts on all of them in near real-time.



An Event-driven architecture

Listening to data flows within your organization is the way to develop modern software, without risking your legacy software. The result is a more efficient, flexible and cost-effective system, that provides a better customer experience, while reducing the burden of maintaining legacy systems. The company will leverage data in many new ways, in order to achieve better results and the highest resilience to face future challenges and changes.

In many cases, companies may be hesitant to make changes to their software assets, due to the fear of negative side effects resulting from significant changes to the existing code. In reality, there is no need to modify the existing system: if you have access to legacy software that can be modified, then the risk becomes negligible.


Airspot's strategy is to identify relevant data flows and listen to them. The data is extracted and aggregated in new ways, according to different contexts from the original ones, which allows optimizations and new sources of activity. The data collected through listening can be repurposed in various ways, such as analytics, workflows and datasets for machine learning, thanks to the development of specific peripheral logic.

In this way, the legacy software will gradually be drained and, if possible, it can be completely replaced by a modern and agile information system.


Integrating Kubernetes Event-driven Autoscaling, or K-Rules, with Cloud Run is an ideal solution to provide event-driven autoscaling for applications. K-Rules can help manage the event flow, subscriptions and delivery within the application environment. This ensures optimal resource usage based on actual traffic patterns and improves the overall responsiveness and performance of the system.


Measuring and Training

Today’s organizations often face a skills gap in specific areas, such as Kubernetes, microservices, cloud-native development, cloud events or K-Rules.

Airspot can offer comprehensive training programs and knowledge transfer sessions as part of its consulting services. Leveraging the latest technologies and best practices is enabling a smooth transition: this fosters a culture of innovation within the company that will stay forever.


Modernizing the legacy system is not only an efficiency issue. It implies reducing costs and providing a better customer experience. It is necessary to have key performance metrics, in order to track progress: adopting a cloud-native approach can help achieve these goals by tracking performance improvements over time.


Detailing the Cloud-native approach

Dealing with legacy software involves modernizing and integrating legacy systems into a cloud-native architecture. In the scenario Airspot works on, the legacy software acts as an event source that triggers new business logic in greenfield microservices.


Table - Cloud Native Approach



​STEP

​CLOUD NATIVE APPROACH

​1

Identify legacy software, important events, and required actions using Event Storming framework.

2

Create an event-driven architecture for triggering new business logic.

3

Implement an API gateway for a central entry point, enabling better scalability, security and manageability.

4

Use containerization (e.g. Docker) for efficient deployment of microservices in any cloud environment.

5

Leverage cloud-native technologies (e.g. Kubernetes, Istio, Knative) for the orchestration and management of microservices.

6

Continuously monitor and optimize system performance, architecture and microservices.



Airspot leverages Google Cloud technologies

A comprehensive set of robust software technologies, for both greenfield and brownfield software development, comes from Alphabet’s Google. Their technologies are continuously enriched and updated. Using this approach, you can easily modernize your legacy systems and build new functionality in a cloud-native architecture.


In Airspot sauce, the architecture might be basically built on five main components: legacy software, Google Pub/Sub, Google Cloud Run, Google Apigee and Google Cloud Logging.

Let’s take a quick look at all of them and their usage.

The legacy software generates events that are published to Google Pub/Sub. This component Sub collects events from the legacy software and forwards them to specific subscribed programs (microservices). Google Cloud Run provides a serverless environment to run the new microservices. Each of them is subscribed to Google Pub/Sub to receive events. Google Apigee provides security, routing and other API management functionalities for the microservices running on Google Cloud Run.The entire system can be monitored and checked by Google Cloud Logging.


Overall, this approach to dealing with legacy software can help solve a wide range of problems and provide significant benefits for organizations looking to modernize their systems.


Making a more robust Organization

Using this approach to deal with legacy software can also present several opportunities for organizations. To name some of the most important ones, Security, Legal Conformity and Agility are the ones to start with. Let’s check a longer list.


Table - Innovating Legacy: Solutions



ISSUES

Innovating Legacy: Solutions

​Scalability

Modernize with cloud-native architecture for auto-scaling, consistent performance and handling traffic spikes.

Agility

Build new functionality in microservices for a more agile, flexible system that can be easily modified and updated.

Cost

Reduce costs using cloud-native technologies, pay-as-you-go pricing model and avoiding specialized hardware.

Integration

Create event-driven architecture and use API gateway for more integrated, efficient system that easily communicates with other systems.

Security

Leverage built-in security features and ensure up-to-date protection with cloud-native technologies.

Legal Conformity

Ensure compliance with data protection regulations, privacy laws and industry-specific requirements using cloud-native technologies and best practices.



Increasing competitiveness

Adopting a cloud-native approach can help organizations stay competitive by providing a more efficient, scalable and secure system that can respond quickly to changing market conditions.


By modernizing legacy systems and building new functionality in a cloud-native architecture, organizations can leverage the latest technology and tools to create innovative solutions that meet the needs of their customers.

Moreover, building new functionality in microservices and using an API gateway, can provide a more seamless user experience, by integrating different systems and data sources.


Conclusions (link IoT Manifesto Linkedin)

As we venture into a future shaped by rapid technological advancements, we pave the way for boundless innovation. Embracing the potential of event-driven architecture, implemented with a cloud-native approach, can be a viable path. By partnering with experienced professionals, we can seize this opportunity with zero risk, unlocking the potential for full modernization, efficiency and upgradability.


Tuning into the data flows within your organization unveils a new path to developing modern software and safeguarding your legacy systems from risk. The outcome is a transformative shift towards efficiency, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, enhancing customer experiences and alleviating the challenges of maintaining outdated infrastructure.


This visionary approach empowers your company to harness data in unprecedented ways, propelling you toward superior results and unmatched resilience against the relentless tide of change. Together, let us journey to a brighter, more interconnected future, where innovation knows no bounds.


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