Google Cloud has extended its mainframe migration services to include a new option that enables parallel processing – customers can simultaneously run their mainframe workloads on prem and in the cloud, with the ultimate goal of moving those resources to the cloud.
The new service, Dual Run for Google Cloud, is in preview status and lets customers run workloads on their existing mainframes and on Google Cloud concurrently without interrupting operations. Enterprises can then perform real-time testing and determine application performance and stability in the cloud.
A large challenge with mainframe systems is the tight coupling of data to the application layer. Companies would have to stop an application for some period of time in order to move it, modernise it or transform it, according to Google Cloud.
With Dual Run, once a customer is satisfied with the functional performance equivalence of the two systems, the new Google Cloud environment can be made the customer's system-of-record and the existing mainframe systems can operate as a backup as needed, Google Cloud stated.
"By moving mainframe systems to the cloud, organisations have an opportunity to better utilise their data, implement stronger cybersecurity protections, and build a foundation for their digital transformations that will drive their future growth," said Sachin Gupta, vice president and general manager of infrastructure at Google Cloud, in a statement. "Dual Run simplifies this process and reduces any associated risks."
Dual Run is built on top of technology developed by Banco Santander, one of the largest banks in the world, and it has already been proven to be effective in the highly regulated financial services industry, according to David Chaos, global CIO at the multinational company. Santander uses Dual Run to bring its mainframe data and workloads onto Google Cloud's infrastructure.
The new Google Cloud service has similarities with a recently announced service from Kyndryl and Microsoft that ties together Kyndryl’s zCloud mainframe service with Microsoft’s Power Platform, a low-code application and workflow-automation package that brings access to cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Teams.
The aim of the Kyndryl/Microsoft service is to make it easier for organisations to access and integrate mainframe-based data with cloud-based resources and combine that data with other information to build new applications. Ultimately though, that service is directed at customers interested in maintaining a hybrid mainframe/cloud operation rather than moving the mainframe apps totally to the cloud.
Google Cloud offers a variety of other mainframe migration tools such as Radis and G4 that work to move specific applications from the mainframe to the cloud.