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Step by Step to Success: Mainframe Migration to the AWS Cloud

Have you considered the benefits of transitioning from your legacy system to a dynamic AWS Cloud environment? What if you could migrate with ease, guided by the expertise of LzLabs and AWS? Are you aware of how Ansible Automation can redefine your operations, reduce risk, and enhance efficiency? Read on as we answer these questions and chart a course through the steps of a successful mainframe migration, including a customer example.

Did you know that a significant number of businesses today still rely on legacy mainframe systems, which are often costly and inflexible? In an era where agility and cost-efficiency are critical, migrating these systems to the AWS Cloud offers a transformative solution.

This blog explores the journey of mainframe migration, highlighting the strategic collaboration between AWS and LzLabs. The combination of the AWS cloud and the LzLabs Software Defined Mainframe® (SDM) provides a secure, high-performance platform.

Ansible Automation plays a pivotal role in the migration process. It simplifies the deployment and management of applications on AWS. By automating routine tasks, it significantly reduces the risk of human error and increases efficiency. This automation extends to application testing, ensuring consistent and reliable results.

The importance of a gradual and prioritised migration

Mainframe migration is a complex process that needs to be well-planned. The step-by-step approach paves the way to managing the process, mitigating risk, and ensuring that critical business functions are maintained during the migration. It’s essential first to migrate the applications, respectively the mainframe workloads or data that deliver the most value and are the least complex to achieve early success and build confidence in the process.

Integration of applications that are still running on the mainframe

Some applications and data may remain on the mainframe even after a migration. Seamless integration of these legacy systems with applications hosted on the SDM is critical to ensure smooth operations and data consistency. AWS and LzLabs offer a powerful platform with comprehensive tools and services that facilitate the interoperability of legacy systems and cloud applications, paving the way for the step-by-step mainframe application modernisation.

Key Strengths of AWS and LzLabs for Mainframe Modernization

  1. Secure and scalable environment: AWS provides a robust, secure, and highly scalable platform that enables sensitive business data and applications to be migrated to the cloud securely and efficiently.
  2. Performance tuning: AWS provides advanced options and services to optimise the performance of applications migrated to the cloud, which is especially important to take full advantage of the cloud.
  3. Ansible Automation: The Ansible-based “OneClick Deployment” provided by LzLabs enables a fully automated and standardised setup in the AWS cloud, allowing customers to build a complex SDM environment in hours instead of weeks, which includes all the servers and services needed to run legacy mainframe applications productively. This automation solution consists of an extensive and detailed setup guide with the associated Ansible playbooks and a few operations scripts. This enables customers to manage complexity better, reduce error-prone processes through standardisation, and thus simplify management and support. Such a sustainable deployment provides the basis for future integrations and developments as well as agile configuration management.

Customer Case Study: A Global Automotive Manufacturer

This customer case study illustrates the effectiveness of a well-planned mainframe migration to the AWS Cloud. This manufacturer, known for its long tradition of innovation, faced the challenge of modernising its resource-intensive applications on the mainframe. By using the LzLabs SDM, the company has achieved faster delivery of customer-facing services. This not only led to a reduction in operating costs but also improved the quality of service. The manufacturer used an agile approach to transition business processes to modern technologies, which allowed for a smoother and more effective transformation. This strategic decision prepared the company for future challenges and ensured it remained competitive in a rapidly changing automotive industry. The client highlighted the following findings and insights:

  • Improved system utilisation and efficiency: With the help of SDM, the company was able to significantly reduce the utilisation of its systems, creating more efficient operating conditions.
  • Flexibility and step-by-step migration: The SDM allows customers to switch to new technologies in small steps. This step-by-step approach allows for flexible adaptation to changing conditions and needs.
  • Positive feedback from users: After a short period of familiarisation, users prefer the new SDM-based systems and want to work exclusively with them.
  • Supporting digital transformation: SDM technology supports the digital transformation of the business and enables a more efficient and modern way of working.

The introduction of the LzLabs SDM is seen as a critical element in the IT strategy that contributes significantly to the modernisation of the company’s IT infrastructure and systems.


Migrating legacy systems to the cloud is a critical step for companies that want to thrive in the digital era. A prioritised, step-by-step project approach that considers the integration of existing mainframe applications, supported by the LzLabs Software Defined Mainframe® (SDM) on the stable and secure AWS cloud and using a standardised automation solution, empowers organisations to overcome the challenges of migration and usher in a new era of agility and efficiency.

The LzLabs Software Defined Mainframe® is an AWS Qualified Software. Read the Press Release here.

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