Microsoft Workloads on AWS
SourceFuse: Helping enterprises save millions by modernizing their legacy Microsoft Windows workloads on AWS
Many enterprises running legacy Microsoft Windows workloads in their environment spend millions in licensing costs. These enterprises can significantly reduce or eliminate these licensing costs by modernizing their legacy applications running on Windows servers to open source and cloud-first alternatives on AWS.
Founded in 2016, SourceFuse is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner that helps enterprises across the world to modernize legacy Windows workloads—like .NET Framework SQL Server applications—through cloud-based technologies. SourceFuse specializes in the design and implementation of AWS services. Using Application Reusability Components (ARC) by SourceFuse, an open-source rapid application framework, the company speeds up the development and deployment of cloud-first applications.
To learn more about their approach and expertise in the migration and modernization of legacy systems to AWS, I chatted with SourceFuse’s senior architect Ananth Deodhar, senior enterprise architect, James Crowley, and director of strategic initiatives Vidur Yash Ahluwalia. They shared insights on SourceFuse’s standardized, tested, and proven factory model that helps modernize enterprises in highly-regulated industries, such as healthcare, financial services, and telecommunications.
Q: What is the biggest challenge for enterprises going through cloud digital transformation?
James: The biggest challenge is overcoming the misconception that digital transformation is simply migrating workloads to the cloud. We often see organizations that have started the digital transformation journey haven’t been able to capitalize on the full benefits of the cloud yet.
For example, they may have done a ‘lift-and-shift’ migration expecting to make cost savings, but in certain scenarios, some have seen the total cost of ownership increase dramatically. Or perhaps they are experiencing the same problems they had on premises because there was no optimization or modernization involved while migrating their workloads to the cloud.
Q: How does SourceFuse help their customers overcome this challenge?
Vidur: Our initial goal is to understand our customers’ pain points and their most pressing concerns. For example, their company vision for cloud digital transformation or what they see as success criteria after workload modernization. The key is understanding where our customers are on their modernization journey, after which we have deep-dive discussions about their technical and business challenges and how we can best help them.
James: Unlike many other service providers, we don’t do traditional lift-and-shift migrations. We understand that the initial move to the cloud is just the beginning of a larger digital transformation effort. We look for ways to modernize using cloud-first technologies.
Q: Interesting! So, what is SourceFuse’s modernization approach using cloud-first technologies?
Vidur: With our discovery-first approach, the presales team, led by a business analyst and a solutions architect, will spend anywhere from three to six weeks conducting a detailed analysis in order to provide a full assessment report. This includes a detailed roadmap, architecture diagrams, recommendations, and next steps to begin the modernization journey. The presales team also works on prototypes for proofs of concept (PoC) to support the business case for modernization.
James: Our overall application modernization approach is summarized at a high level in Figure 1. However, our key differentiating factor is that we have our own set of application reusability components—ARC by SourceFuse—to help customers adopt the use of containers and microservices. ARC is an open-source rapid application framework that leverages a catalog of pre-built microservices for audit logging, authentication, observability, and more. It enables a company to start with an empty AWS account and work on all kinds of product feature development within hours—rather than having to spend weeks setting up the required infrastructure.
That’s the foundation of SourceFuse’s approach to helping customers accelerate modernization. We use a factory model approach that our team of experts has developed and perfected over time to support consistent and repetitive tasks.
Figure 1: SourceFuse application modernization approach
Q: Can you provide an example of how you’ve modernized Windows workloads for an enterprise?
Ananth: Sure! One of our financial services provider customers had a public-facing website based on an older ASP.NET framework running on Windows Server. They had over 6000 GB worth of financial data, while ingesting and processing 5-10 GB of data per day. They were experiencing several challenges with workloads deployed across multiple data centers. Their quality assurance environments went down without warning and took up to eight hours to get them back up and running.
SourceFuse was engaged by the customer for a modernization-led migration to avoid recurrence of the same incident. Our team learned about their pain points and how critical it was for their internal systems to keep running while we modernized. The goal was to modernize with no disruption of service to accountants and banks.
During the discovery phase, we took an inventory of all their servers, then discussed what needed to be right-sized, how that would work in reality, and the benefits of migrating to AWS. Next, we built out a PoC that showed how we could modernize their systems with no downtime, by abstracting and isolating the legacy systems’ interfaces that ingested bank data. This was one of our largest modernization-led migration efforts, and now all their workloads run on AWS Cloud.
This customer now has a modernized infrastructure and their entire codebase that was previously dependent on Windows now runs on Linux and is deployed as Linux containers. These changes, while improving the reliability, performance, availability and scalability of their Windows workloads, also helped them achieve a 20% cost savings.
You can read more about how SourceFuse has helped other customers modernize their Windows workloads here:
- RateGain’s Windows modernization
- MTS’s modernization-led migration
- Firehouse Subs’ modernization-led migration
Q: That’s awesome. Are there any specific objectives you try to achieve when you start working with customers?
Ananth: Our main goal is to accelerate the modernization journey for our customers and reduce the total cost of ownership, operational cost, software cost and the infrastructure cost leveraging cloud-first services. It’s a tall order when dealing with enterprises that usually have a lot of disparate or legacy systems. However, over the years, we have been able to reduce the complexity and the time to modernize because of the investment we’ve made in our ARC framework and standardized processes.
Q: I’ve heard about ARC a few times in our discussion. Can you explain it a bit more?
James: We had been using a Node.js API framework called LoopBack to build microservices for many clients, and we found we were repeatedly creating the same kinds of microservices. We saw many commonalities, such as backup and SOC 2, HIPAA, and PCI regulatory requirements, so we grouped these microservices together. As a result, we launched open-source ARC, a ready-to-go pre-built set of microservices using MIT and Apache 2.0 licenses.
On the front end, we started out with some battle-tested and in-production APIs, and from there, we began adding pre-built UIs that can be used for a variety of applications. We now offer tools for the backend too, such as infrastructure-as-code modules that simplify provisioning resources on AWS at scale, including VPC, subnets, route tables, internet gateways—all the components needed to provision a network and all built in accordance with the AWS Well-Architected Framework.
Figure 2: The SourceFuse ARC Stack
Ananth: ARC provides the fundamental building blocks a lot of enterprises need to quickly set up and run their workloads in the cloud. And as technology continues to evolve and advance, we incorporate it within our solutions and services, ensuring that our customers are benefiting directly and that timelines are reduced for anybody getting started in the cloud.
Q. What resources do you have for our readers who want to learn more about SourceFus’s offerings?
Vidur: To learn more about how SourceFuse can help your enterprise get the most out of Windows modernization and the AWS Cloud, readers can watch our Modernization-led migration webinar with Keith Groom, global head of partner sales for Microsoft & VMware workloads at AWS, or watch our Talking Out Cloud Leadership Series.
About the Microsoft workloads on AWS Partner Spotlight series
Please continue to join us in this blog series as we highlight our AWS Partners’ capabilities in migrating and modernizing Microsoft workloads on AWS. As you do, we hope you’ll also ask the question: “What’s my organization’s plan for moving off SQL Server or Windows Server or whatever technology is keeping us from modernizing to better care for our customers?” Let AWS Partners with their specific niche offerings help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud.
AWS can help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud. Join the millions of AWS customers that trust us to migrate and modernize their most important applications in the cloud. To learn more on modernizing Windows Server or SQL Server, visit Windows on AWS. Contact us to start your modernization journey today.