Red Hat Updates App Modernization Toolkit for OpenShift

Red Hat has made generally available an update to the tools it provides for migrating monolithic Java applications to Kubernetes environments. The update adds tags that make it easier to classify monolithic Java apps in addition to adding analytics tools to more easily identify dependencies.

In addition, Red Hat adds automated retrieval of applications for analysis, including HTTP and HTTPS proxy configurations, to the latest version of its Migration Toolkit for Applications.

Finally, Migration Toolkit for Applications 6 adds support for role-based access via integration with the Red Hat Single Sign-On tool.

Migration Toolkit for Applications is based on the open source Konveyor project that Red Hat launched in collaboration with IBM Research last year. Elements of Konveyor include the following tools:

Crane: A tool that makes it easier to migrate applications between clusters running different versions of Kubernetes.

Forklift: A tool that makes it simpler and faster to migrate virtual machines to Kubernetes that would run on top of KubeVirt, a layer of software that enables legacy applications running on virtual machines to be deployed on top of a bare-metal instance of a Kubernetes cluster.

Move2Kube: A tool that translates existing artifacts into Kubernetes-native concepts. It was originally developed to replatform applications running on the Docker Swarm container engine or the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment to Kubernetes.

Tackle: A tool that helps assess the viability of refactoring legacy applications into containers that also provides a common place to inventory applications.

Pelorus: A set of tools for measuring software delivery performance, including lead time for change, deployment frequency, mean time to restore and change failure rates.

The Migration Toolkit for Applications is a curated instance of Konveyor that is optimized for the Red Hat OpenShift Platform based on Kubernetes.

Ramon Roman Nissen, a senior program manager for Red Hat, says these tools enable IT teams to pursue a more holistic approach to application modernization when moving applications into a Kubernetes environment. The goal is to make it easier for IT teams to understand the complexity of any given project so they can better prioritize their efforts, he adds.

In general, organizations must decide whether to merely rehost a monolithic application or whether to refactor them completely to run as truly cloud-native software based on microservices than can automatically scale up and down as required. In addition, IT teams need to determine whether they might want to refactor an application prior to migration or begin that work after first rehosting it on, for example, a cloud platform.

Regardless of approach, the volume of monolithic applications that are candidates for modernization is considerable. A recent 2022 State of Application Modernization Report sponsored by Red Hat finds 54% of organizations plan to modernize their custom applications during the next year, with more than a quarter of these workloads being migrated in the next six months. Overall, survey respondents note that 80% of applications will be modernized in the next two years.

The challenge, of course, is the actual level of modernization effort being made. In most cases, rehosting an application is only the first step in a much more ambitious effort that requires developers to reconstruct monolithic applications in ways that are not easily automated.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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