Enterprise Systems migrating applications from mainframe to Cloud

By Jacqueline Southwick, Information Technology Services

palouse cloudsPULLMAN, Wash. – For more than three decades, WSU’s IBM mainframe — a highly secure and reliable platform for large-scale online and batch transaction processing — has effectively managed WSU’s business applications.

With recent advancements in cloud-based technologies, WSU is now embracing the opportunity to transition to a mainframe cloud solution or Mainframe as a Service (MFaaS).

MFaaS is a subscription service that addresses legacy mainframe challenges while providing scalability and flexible financial models to support growth. MFaaS allows operators to scale mainframe capacity to be in alignment with organization’s unique requirements.

Cloud-based advantages

Migration to the new MFaaS model provides WSU with the following immediate, universitywide benefits:

  • Sustainable and dynamic – The MFaaS solution allows WSU to move away from the physical legacy mainframe, located in the heart of Pullman campus’ Information Technology Services Data Center.  WSU will now run applications and services within the IBM cloud-based MFaaS. This change allows WSU to replace end of life hardware, making our mainframe environment more dynamically sustainable and extends the lifespan of mission-critical applications.
  • Security – The IBM MFaaS solution runs within a Tier-4 Data Center, providing WSU an environment to run mainframe applications with the highest level of redundancy and security. This Tier-4 Data Center also offers options not available within current onsite mainframe environment.
  • Recovery – The IBM MFaaS cloud solution provides WSU additional disaster recovery options to ensure business continuity.
  • Cost savings – The IBM cloud-based MFaaS also offers WSU significant future cost savings over the next several years, providing the ability to scale down services as we retire or modernize mainframe applications.
  • No major conversion – The MFaaS model migration requires no major conversion efforts, thus maintaining critical business continuity during the migration. WSU will test the cloud-based service by running live mainframe applications, both on the on-site mainframe and the new cloud-based mainframe, to confirm all processes run identically prior to the final transition. Once all processes are confirmed, migration to the cloud will proceed, and ITS will retire the onsite mainframe.

Migration underway

The transition to the MFaaS subscription model is currently underway and the migration team is finalizing the project testing timeline. The team’s plan includes incorporating current mainframe users into the pre-migration activities and testing. ITS anticipates all testing will be completed on schedule to be ready for final migration the weekend of Nov. 18. Once migration is complete, WSU will enjoy a new, reliable, secure and cost-effective mainframe solution to run applications and maintain services.


Media Contact:

  • Jacqueline Southwick, communication coordinator, Information Technology Services, 509-335-1192, jsouthwick@wsu.edu