Why the Clock is Ticking on IMS DB to DB2 Migration: One Company’s Mainframe Migration Journey

 “Legacy” is often used as a term to describe aging mainframe applications that are still entrenched in so many of todays’ largest global organizations. But what does Legacy Application mean? In the case of IMS, legacy means 25-to-40 years of business processes, knowledge, and data that are embedded in the database and are very specific to the user organization and vital to on-going operations.

A hierarchal database platform that has been on the mainframe since the early 1960s, IMS is still a significant part of mainframe data processing today.  And that goes for a surprisingly large number of global household names.  But, with (1) a shrinking pool of IMS experts, (2) the need to take advantage of new business intelligence tech, and (3) the high software licensing costs, many of them are feeling the pressure to migrate applications to DB2.

One additional problem complicating the need to migrate from IMS is that, as each year passes, the challenge of transitioning these IMS applications to newer platforms becomes an even greater task.  In fact, in many cases, an application rewrite is just not viable. Many rewrite or re-platform projects start, but are never completed due to significant complexity, risk to on-going operations and/or a lack of funding and resources. The result is that these inflexible, aging applications continue to operate today with no clear future modernization strategy.

What’s more, while this IMS technology continues to manage huge volumes of transactions and data on a daily basis, the staff who wrote and provide support to these “legacy” applications are fast leaving the workforce, creating massive risk to on-going operations. Apart from the challenges of keeping applications current with new technologies and supporting multiple database platforms, the cost in software licensing alone makes a solid case for a new migration strategy.

The combined challenges of a shrinking pool of IMS experts and keeping applications current with new analytics technologies and software licensing costs create huge risk and are driving many organizations to finally migrate to DB2.

The combined challenges of a shrinking pool of IMS experts and keeping applications current with new analytics technologies and software licensing costs create huge risk and are driving many organizations to finally migrate to DB2.

One company that finally “bit the bullet” and migrated their entire IMS database environment to DB2 with Syncsort’ s innovative, transparent data migration tool — DL/2  presented the results of their IMS-to-DB2 migration project on a recent webcast (now available on-demand). Damon Anderson, manager of data services, walks through his organization’s selection process, including a pilot stage, the full migration project, and the operational and fiscal benefits that his organization is now enjoying post migration — following the complete elimination of IMS DB.  

Syncsort and DL/2 has been the key IMS-to-DB2 migration solution for organizations that have finally realized that a transparent data migration is the most attractive, viable, and low-risk route to DB2.

If your organization is still maintaining IMS DB on the mainframe, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to hear the first-hand experiences of Damon and his team as they made the successful move to DB2.

Bill Bostridge

Authored by Bill Bostridge

Bill Bostridge has been working closely with clients in North America for the past 13 years on IMS to DB2 migration projects with DL/2. He has a broad knowledge of the complexities and challenges that customers face when looking to migrate their legacy applications to DB2 and has been at the forefront of developing our very satisfied DL/2 US client base.

1 comment
  1. Hi,

    I am interested to listen what was discussed on July 19th session, Could you please help me if you have a recorded version of the meeting, so that i can go through that.

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