VMware has made generally available a tool that makes it simpler for IT teams to discover, analyze and then encapsulate legacy applications in containers.
Ashok Aletty, vice president of engineering for modern applications at VMware, says the Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu, an application development and deployment platform based on Kubernetes, is designed to make it simpler to replatform monolithic applications. The tool itself is based on a 5R framework for replatforming applications using a set of industry best practices, he adds.
Application Transformer for Tanzu creates artifacts such as Docker files, container images that comply with the Open Container Initiative (OCI) format, Kubernetes manifest YAML files and scripts to generate secrets for use in the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid environment. It guides IT teams through a few simple steps before automatically filling in variables. IT teams can also customize and override those variables.
Aletty says Application Transformer for Tanzu supports the discovery of a broad range of application types running on Linux or Windows platforms using more than 200 application signatures and introspection of virtual machines. IT teams that have custom applications can also create their own signatures. The level of information gathered may vary by application. For example, with WebLogic and Tomcat-based applications, Application Transformer for Tanzu can collect a vast amount of information from server types, application names, processes, software versions, directory location and file folders.
VMware is now making a concerted effort to provide IT teams with the tools required to build and deploy microservices-based applications on Kubernetes clusters. Naturally, VMware would prefer those applications to be deployed on its own distribution of Kubernetes. As such, VMware is now providing a range of cloud-native application development tools that now includes Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu for reengineering legacy applications.
It’s not clear to what degree organizations will be reengineering legacy applications to run on cloud-native platforms such as Kubernetes. However, many organizations are moving to at least carve out functions of monolithic applications that lend themselves to reuse across multiple microservices-based applications invoking application programming interfaces (APIs).
In most cases, IT teams will be running microservices-based applications alongside those monolithic applications for years to come. VMware is making a case for relying on a single provider for the infrastructure required to host both classes of applications. As part of that effort, VMware is positioning itself to provide the hybrid cloud computing platforms that will enable those applications to span multiple clouds, edge computing platforms and on-premises IT environments.
Regardless of what platforms are used, there is no doubt enterprise IT environments are becoming a lot more complex. As such, there’s a greater need to rely more heavily on automation to manage those environments. Each IT team will need to determine what level of automation best suits their requirements as enterprise computing continues to evolve. Continuing to rely solely on existing manual processes to manage modern applications is not feasible when most IT organizations are already shorthanded.