Give IBMi Machines Space to Breathe. Migrate Jobs to Cloud

Mar 18, 2021 Rima Dutta

Even after 30 years of continuous technological evolution, iSeries/AS400 still stands strong as the solid, one-word answer to most of the business operations across mid and large-size enterprises. A multiuser, multitasking, and optimally secure system, it performs jobs spanning across a plethora of domains. Web & e-commerce serving, Java application development; you name it and IBM has got it.

However, nothing comes without a baggage of “buts”; AS400 is no different. While the machine runs mission-critical tasks, a significant portion of storage is spent on minimal, mundane jobs that have low business value. Running these on AS400 not only escalates the operating cost but also strikes a severe blow to the agility of the system.

Symptoms that your AS400/iSeries isn’t getting enough air to breathe:

  • Aging Gear: Ten years ago, handling financial, operational, and analytical workflows would have been duck soup but with time, the sturdy AS400 is beginning to squirm under the weight of modern applications. It is scalable, reliable, and stable. But all of this does not change the fact that it was built in 1988 and has been aging since then. Overburdening the system architecture will only act as the catalyst in the process.
  • Storage Deficit: If frequent requests for additional databases have been disrupting your budget estimations, you’d know how important it is to address the elephant in the room. Instead of skyrocketing your IT budget on additional storage, why not opt for sustainable strategies for data storage management? AS400 minus batch jobs can buffer the repetitive financial thrust of investing in additional storage.
  • Security and Compliance Issues: Anything associated with the Internet is vulnerable to attacks. AS400 is anything but an internet ninja. Cloud, on the other hand, has spent all its years in the internet-cradle, making it quite an obvious choice when it comes to battling internet attacks. To top it off, the old AS400 systems may or may not have all the requisites as per the modern IT regulations.
  • High Operational Costs: With great stability comes great expenses; firms are in a continuous quest to cut down expenses without compromising with the functionalities. Indulging the in-house team in routine jobs is the last thing that you’d want as it is indirectly proportional to the goal of cost reduction. Moving them to the Cloud is generally less expensive than an on-premises server and an excellent way out.

What JOBS can you consider to pull out of your AS400/iSeries?

Batch job patterns for AS400 are broadly categorized into two classes- File Based Processing & Near real-time processing, both of which can be easily streamlined to the Cloud for better performance.

File-based processing, on the Cloud, works in a similar manner to on premises. Once the physical files are created, they are sent to the cloud for quick access and long-term persistence during additional processing and analytics.

Near real-time processing involves redirecting different data streams directly to the cloud after processing and analyzing.

While there may be a spectrum of jobs that enterprises might want to shift to the Cloud, we have curated a list of the most considered ones:

  • ETL Data Processing jobs: 64% of IT professionals involved in big data-driven decision-making have already migrated the technology stack to the cloud. Switching to cloud-based warehouses not only empties the AS400 space but also scales, computes, and stores your data with minimal latency.
  • Autostart jobs: Repetitive tasks like acquiring, managing, and maintaining documents, routinely deletion of work files before a system backup, etc. can easily be shifted to Cloud. With this, organizations can leverage analytics to take better future operational decisions.
  • Ad hoc reporting: Ad hoc analysis and reporting facilitate business decision-making and reduce IT workload. These jobs do not require the user to be signed in to the system and can run even when the user who submitted the job signs off. Such job patterns are best suited for migration to the cloud.
  • Data distribution & transmission jobs: EDI-related file processing is best suited for migration to distributed solutions on Cloud. This electronic interchange of business information can be automated on the Cloud, saving time & resources while reducing the burden on the AS400 setup.

Cloud computing allows ubiquitous access to data via the internet, making things a lot easier and convenient for the in-house teams.

“But can’t my business survive without Cloud?”


“Why should I additionally invest in Cloud when things are just fine?”

Of course, your business can survive without Cloud, but it cannot thrive. Period. To propel things forward and make your business future-ready, enterprises need to come up with ways that’ll facilitate this vision, and weeding routine jobs out of the system is the first step toward it.

How can migrating jobs to Cloud help you?

Shrinking resource pool, machines approaching senescence, pre-occupied systems, and storage deficit; what if all these hurdles could be eradicated with just one blow?

Migrate job patterns that do not require user attention to the Cloud. Fast forward a year or two and this is how organizational attributes will evolve:

  • Efficiency: Migration of lesser jobs on the Cloud creates ripples of improvisations which then add up to an enhanced wave of system efficacy.
  • Profitability: Cloud is a one-time investment that will take up all menial jobs off the shoulders of the IBMi. This leads to lesser maintenance costs & a longer life-span of machines.
  • Scalability: The ease that you get to scale up or down is one of the keystone features of the Cloud, one of the primary reasons why businesses are such an advocate of the Cloud.
  • Storage: Batch jobs take up a significant portion of the AS400 portfolio, thereby, decelerating its prime features. With a slight drift, AS400 can be back to being its normal-indomitable-self.

Our Approach

THINK SIMPLE, BUILD POWERFUL is our mantra and we apply the same to all our projects. A simple yet effective five-step line of approach is what we aim for, a brief blueprint of which is stated below:

  • Initiate: This is the stage where we define objectives and prioritize tasks that need to be migrated from the AS400 setup to the Cloud.
  • Assess: A thorough technical and functional assessment of every aspect that needs to be migrated.
  • Plan: When you move jobs from AS400 to the Cloud, methodical planning of how you may migrate your requirements to the Cloud is a mandate.
  • Migrate: This is where all the planning and brainstorming comes to life. We execute the process and run a complete system test.
  • Maintain: After a successful migration, we provide L2/L3 support with ongoing system tuning.

Why Nalashaa?

We, at Nalashaa, leverage our years of experience in Cloud kinetics and deliver the best possible solutions to our clients. After spending over a decade in the realm of AS400/IBMi, we may rightly say that, at Nalashaa, we are experts at end-to-end AS400/IBMi services including migration, modernization, integration, and support. We provide optimal cloud computing solutions that resonate the best with your needs. If you’d like to discuss the possibilities and room for improvisations and enhancements, we’d be happy to assist you.

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Rima Dutta

Made my favourite sandwich using the best of both worlds - Technology & Writing. The girl next door who talks to the camera, cries watching K-dramas and has an unhealthy obsession with momos & fictional characters.