Business expansion, acquisitions, and digitization of processes have led to explosive growth in enterprise application
portfolios. Application diversity and redundancy have increased dramatically, creating a huge technology debt with cascading,
negative consequences for IT and business alike.
Aging, poorly utilized applications and infrastructure have dragged along a growing cost burden, including unsupported
hardware, software, and specialized labor. The resulting increase in operational or “run rate” costs has put pressure on flat or
marginally growing IT budgets. As a result, new projects and innovation suffer, frustrating business owners.
In order to compete, businesses have to move faster, introduce new services, reach new markets, and stay in compliance
with regulatory requirements. With IT increasingly viewed as a bottleneck, business units have spun-up shadow IT teams or
adopted SaaS offerings to work around IT limitations.
Application rationalization and modernization programs not only reduce run rate expenses but also unlock the ability to
innovate faster—all within IT controls and security. Full discovery and prioritization of application estates enables businesses
to rationalize which applications need to remain, which need to be consolidated, and which can be retired, leading to lower
run rate expenses. By modernizing and migrating applications onto private or public clouds and software-defined
infrastructure, IT organizations gain greater elasticity, efficiency, and utilization—enabling faster innovation.
These expensive, multi-year projects, however, carry significant risk of delay and failure. According to Gartner, the top three
problems that hinder consolidation projects are internal politics, workload coexistence, and actual savings expectations.
The Delphix Modernization Engine transforms the economics and risk profile of application rationalization and modernization
initiatives. Delphix eliminates business unit resistance by minimizing disruptions to production operations and by enabling
early wins with lower risk non-production application environments. By offloading project workloads, Delphix eliminates
workload coexistence issues, and with automatic data delivery and virtualization, Delphix reduces project costs while
increasing ongoing run-rate savings.
In addition, the Delphix Live Archive feature addresses one of the largest objections and risks inherent in application projects:
meeting current and future legal and regulatory compliance requirements (e.g. delivering against Sarbanes-Oxley
#1 leaders across over 50 industries have accelerated application transformation projects by up to 50% with Delphix.
Key benefits of the Delphix Modernization Engine for application transformation projects are summarized next.
UNDERSTANDING THE MODERNIZATION
Business expansion, acquisitions, and digitization of processes have
compounded application portfolios across both public and private sectors
over the last two decades. A Gartner survey of over 500 executives across
17 countries estimates application data growth at 650% between 2010
and 2015 alone. The associated application and data footprint is largely
hosted in a growing number of data centers built on obsolete technologies.
The reported number of US federal agency data centers alone grew from
432 in 1998 to more than 2000 in 2010.
Meanwhile new and upgraded application software stacks were built to
demand and consume the benefits of Moore’s law. Aging, hardware defined
data centers built on poorly integrated, proprietary infrastructure stacks
fundamentally lack the utilization, efficiency or elasticity to deliver on that
demand in a cost effective and timely manner.
The consequences for IT teams are significant from a cost, risk, and agility standpoint. Aging and unsupported application
stacks limit the ability to upgrade software packages. An Accenture report suggests that 70% of global transactions still run
on legacy applications. The need for specialized labor to support legacy applications drive up operational costs. Premium
maintenance costs kick in for unsupported versions. Power and cooling costs grow linearly with physical infrastructure.
Invariably, operational budgets pay the legacy tax by taking away from innovation. Meanwhile unpatched security holes
introduce non-compliance risks. Slow change management processes cripple SLAs and in turn infrastructure has to be
overprovisioned with poor utilization outcomes. The stakes are still higher for lines of business where technology drives
revenue generation, competitiveness, & customer satisfaction.
By modernizing and migrating applications onto private or public clouds and software-defined
infrastructure, IT organizations gain greater elasticity, efficiency, and utilization—enabling faster
innovation. In the process of IT modernization, organizations also have an opportunity to retire
obsolete and redundant applications, optimize staffing models (insourced/outsourced), and
move to lower real estate cost zones. Application rationalization and modernization
programs not only reduce run rate expenses but also unlock the ability to innovate faster.
Full discovery and prioritization of application estates enables businesses to rationalize
which applications need to remain, which need to be consolidated, and which can be
retired, leading to lower run rate expenses. These benefits have coupled with the
high cost and risk of legacy applications and datacenters to fuel a massive
application rationalization and modernization push across industries.
For example, FDCCI, a massive data center consolidation and modernization
initiative spanning all US federal agencies, alone, has mandated the closure of
1200 data centers by 2015. This represents over 35% of all federal data centers at the time the mandate was issued.
Similarly, a recent NASCIO report on state government CIO priorities for 2014 highlights data center consolidation as the
second most important initiative. The private sector is no different. In a report on CIO priorities for 2013, the closely related
trifecta of cloud computing, legacy modernization, and virtualization—all made the list of top 10 priorities.
The trend towards application transformation isn’t surprising when you consider the benefits. Some examples follow:
• 80% of IT spend is “dead money” that keeps the lights on but doesn’t contribute to business growth or competitive
• An application rationalization survey suggests 88% of enterprises agree that that significant savings could be realized
across support, licensing and maintenance.
• The OMB estimates the FDCCI initiative (closure of 1200 data centers) will yield $3B in annual savings. These savings
are the result of significant improvements in core data center economics. For example, FDCCI expects server utilization
to increase from 15% to over 60%.
• A Gartner report suggests modernized data centers can:
° Support 300% capacity growth in 60% less space.
° Reduce operating expenses up to 40%.
At scale, the capital and operational cost benefit of modernization is staggering for any IT organization. However, the bigger
benefits are the ones that flow upward to the business itself. For revenue and growth driven sectors, application
transformation projects significantly increase IT agility. Business agility depends on application agility; and rationalized
application portfolios hosted in modernized data centers offer far greater application lifecycle velocity, data access, and data
availability. These benefits can accelerate revenue-generating projects and drive competitive advantage.
APPLICATION TRANSFORMATION PATH
The inhibitor to application rationalization and modernization isn’t the lack of technologies that support and enable the next
generation datacenter. Virtualization, converged infrastructure etc. have proven out the benefits of modernization in both
private and public clouds. The biggest obstacles lie in the transformation path itself:
Risk: For most IT teams, upgrading even a single application is a
high-risk project. The risk of failure and delays is logically far
higher with modernization projects that necessitate widespread
upgrades and platform changes just as a pre-requisite. The actual
migration and cutover to new data centers only compounds risk
due to business interruptions. Application owners often pushback
on project teams because they can’t easily test and validate
migration. The sheer scale and scope of modernization initiatives
also puts a long list of other projects and their benefits on hold.
Additionally, application retirement is often an explicit goal of
application portfolio rationalization. Yet, the reality is that while
applications can be retired, legacy data has to remain available
for compliance. The lack of a cost effective way to retain legacy
application data while maintaining accessibility only increases
resistance from security and audit teams. Consequently, critical
applications that would benefit the most from modernization are
pushed to the back of the list making the order (and benefits) of
Cost: Acquiring or building new data centers alone requires a
massive capital outlay. Applications running on unsupported
software need to be upgraded before they can even run on newer
hardware platforms. Similarly, legacy operating systems must be
migrated to newer linux based, virtualization friendly platforms for
compatibility with emerging pod architectures. The combination of
upgrades, platform changes, and the actual migration introduce
huge test-bed infrastructure costs. The operational cost burden is
equally significant. IT teams rarely have the bandwidth to directly
execute major modernization projects so expensive third party
services costs also have to be incurred.
• Concurrent upgrades & platform migrations
• Migration validation
• Competing projects
• App retirement & legacy data retention
• New DC build-out costs
• Application upgrades
• Hardware upgrades
• Migration testing capex
• Internal plus 3rd party opex
Quality: Extensive upgrades and platform changes invariably stretch modernization
project schedules. Huge fixed costs required for migration test infrastructure lead
to compromises that impose serialization and limit the quality of migration testing
and validation. Process overhead and wait times embedded in migration test bed
setup and refresh tasks eat into actual test times, extend timelines, and erode
The high cost and risk of application transformation projects eats into the ROI of
modernization by extending legacy data center operational costs and delaying the
benefits of modernization. For example, the FDCCI goal of closing 1200 data centers
by 2015 is now already far behind schedule. In a 2013 report, 56% of respondents graded their agency’s consolidation
efforts at ‘C’ or below. Additionally, only half the respondents believed the overall consolidation targets would by achieved in
time. The key challenges reported in the survey were lack of budget, overcoming mission-owner objections and shutting down
or consolidating applications.
DATA: THE BIGGEST CONSTRAINT
Data access is ironically both the impetus for application transformation as well as its biggest bottleneck. Consider an
organization looking to rationalize and migrate its portfolio of 500 applications from a legacy data center to a new,
modernized facility. Now, assume the production data footprint of these application stacks is roughly 500 TB in aggregate
and that the project team needs 3 additional environments to effectively test and validate the migration. As is generally the
case, existing development and test environments are needed for other ongoing projects so an incremental 1500 TB of tier-1
capacity would be needed just for the modernization initiative. Many organizations limit migration test environments to
control project costs and instead serialize the migration with a smaller number of test beds. On the backend, these
compromises manifest in the form of limited validation, higher project risk, and limited support from lines of business or
Test infrastructure costs aside, application transformation projects face an even bigger challenge when it comes to
operational costs around test data management. Project teams need frequent and iterative access to the latest production
application environments before a cutover can be made with a high level of confidence. Yet, each refresh of a test
environment from its production source can take days to weeks of coordinated effort across third party integrators managing
the migration project and production operations teams. Moreover, the constant movement of large data sets to test and
validate migration also introduces the risk of saturating network links carrying business critical traffic. When thousands of
systems have to be migrated, network capacity alone can force serialization and introduce lengthy delays. In large-scale
modernization efforts spanning hundreds of applications, these constraints only push out the benefits of modernization
further while eroding potential returns.
Within application stacks, the constraints are particularly pronounced at the database tier. While next generation, software
defined data centers enable rapid provisioning of virtualized servers, large application data sets locked in databases
continue to constrain agility and drive up costs. Because databases and underlying data sets are inextricably linked, the
reality is that utilization across application landscapes remains sub-optimal even in modernized data centers. Removing this
“data” bottleneck can not only accelerate application transformation projects but also deliver sustained benefits around
greater agility, reduced risk, and lower costs post-transformation.
• Inadequate test beds
• Process overhead
• Approval cycles
• Cross-team dependencies
DELPHIX MODERNIZATION ENGINE
The Delphix Modernization Engine accelerates application transformation projects by removing the biggest constraints
Virtualization: Much like a hypervisor abstracts
compute resources to create virtual machines,
the Delphix Modernization Engine abstracts
data from hardware and storage to create
virtual databases, application instances, and
file sets. Through intelligent block mapping and
sharing, Delphix eliminates the widespread
redundancy across migration test beds. Delphix
virtual application instances function just like
full physical copies, but consume a fraction of
the space and can be created in minutes. As a
result, Delphix can eliminate over 90% of
migration test bed storage and operational
management costs. More importantly, if virtual
environments are retained for their sustained
benefits post-migration, Delphix can entirely
eliminate the need to migrate non-production
application stacks. Virtualizing non-production
copies at the target data centers (after
production is migrated) can eliminate the migration workload for over 50% of all systems in scope. Through cost effective
migration test beds and V2P (virtual to physical) support, Delphix has a similar impact on production migration effort as well.
Efficient Synchronization: In data center
migration projects, the constant movement of
full backups from source to target data centers
represents a huge tax on both the source system
and WAN bandwidth. Often, migration tasks
have to be scheduled during off hours to
mitigate this impact. As a result, the overall
migration schedule is stretched further. Delphix
implements a “forever-incremental ” technique
to maintain continuous, efficient synchronization
with source application stacks (application
binaries, databases, and configuration files).
Delphix synchronization eliminates 95% of
source and network load caused by full data
extraction and movement.
TimeFlow: As part of its synchronization process,
Delphix also synthesizes and records all changes.
This information is used to build a time window or
TimeFlow of changes that can be used to
provision or refresh virtual test beds from any
point in time down to the second or transaction
boundary. TimeFlow enables migration test teams
to setup and tear down test beds without relying
on slow recovery from full, incremental backups,
and redo logs. This is particularly valuable for
composite applications that require synchronized test beds to validate migration. With Delphix TimeFlow, recovery points
are continuous and recovery time is a matter of minutes regardless of the application data footprint. TimeFlow also enables
LiveArchive to address one of the largest objections and risks inherent in application projects: meeting current and future
legal and regulatory compliance requirements (e.g. delivering against Sarbanes-Oxley audit demands).
Integrated Data Masking: Applications that store sensitive or
regulated data require data masking across lifecycle copies.
However, data masking only introduces additional overhead to
migration test bed provisioning and refresh tasks. In migration
projects, data related risk is often the cause of pushback from
security and audit teams. Delphix eliminates the overhead of data
masking through seamless integration with commercial or home-
grown masking solutions. With Delphix, data can be masked once
and all derived copies are automatically protected. Since Delphix
virtual, masked copies can be created, tracked, or deleted centrally
and on-demand, associated risk and resistance from data owners
are significantly lowered.
Cross-Platform Provisioning – Modernization initiatives often require
porting legacy unix operating systems to cloud friendly, x86 linux
platforms as a prerequisite to actual data center migration. However
platform changes involve a lengthy, manual, error-prone process just
to validate and ensure platform migration readiness. For some steps,
source production systems have to be placed in read-only mode,
which introduces service interruptions. To avoid this downtime,
organizations create intermediate physical copies that consume
additional storage and are still hard to keep synchronized with the
source. These challenges around platform migration can add months
to the broader modernization schedule for each application.
By automating unix to linux migration steps (including endian
conversion), Delphix eliminates 50-75% of the associated overhead. For composite applications, synchronized Delphix virtual
copies enable fluid migration rehearsals without service interruptions or storage overhead.
Virtual secure database branches can be deployed in minutes
Self-Service: Delphix provides an intuitive GUI that enables
migration project teams to provision, refresh, rewind, or
branch migration test beds independently, without relying on
production operations teams. With physical test beds, each
task can introduce days to weeks of dead time to process
approvals. By eliminating the capex and opex costs that
trigger the need for approval cycles in the first place, Delphix
self-service can return months of dead time to migration
validation and testing. Self-service alone represents and
enables a significant project acceleration opportunity.
Enterprise and Cloud Ready: The Delphix
Modernization Engine is delivered as a virtual
appliance to maximize deployment flexibility,
scale, availability and cloud readiness. This form
factor supports deployment to any private, public
or hybrid cloud environment in under two days.
Delphix also supports any hardware and storage.
This ensures organizations can leverage existing
infrastructure and avoid delays tied to
procurement cycles. Delphix also reduces vendor
lock-in at all tiers. For example, Delphix can
virtualize and migrate a unix/netapp legacy
application stack to a linux/flash- based
converged stack in the modernized data center.
For large migration initiatives, Delphix can be
scaled vertically or horizontally. Delphix also
supports hypervisor templates (like VMware
vSphere) for quick, standardized rollouts.
Bandwidth efficient replication to secondary Delphix engines provides high availability and disaster recovery for critical project
environments and for Delphix environment itself. The Delphix software appliance is delivered in “lock-down” mode to ensure
compliance with stringent configuration standards such as the DISA STIGs. For example, known vulnerabilities are patched
and extraneous communication ports and services are disabled.
A US based CPG firm was challenged by legacy application software
licensing costs and aging infrastructure. Additionally, historical data
growth was 30% and their single data center was quickly approaching
full capacity. Real estate costs excluded expansion as an option.
The company decided it would build out new primary and DR data
centers in a lower real estate cost zone. To minimize risk to production,
a decision was made to first migrate all non-production environments
to the new location. They identified 100 key applications, which had
three non-production application environments on average.
Unfortunately, competing projects consumed the existing non-
production stacks and budget limitations only allowed for one
additional environment per application for this project.
Repeated movement of data from production instances to the new
DC’s was identified as a high source of risk to business critical traffic.
Additionally, numerous applications required upgrades and platform
changes prior to migration. Resistance from business units was
significant and the project was expected to take 12 months.
By using Delphix, the customer transformed both the migration project and sustained application lifecycles. Delphix was
deployed in the target data center from where it remotely and efficiently synchronized with the 10 production sources and
then rapidly provisioned 60 virtual databases in the new, modernized facility. In other words the entire migration was
parallelized rather than requiring 10 cycles. Additionally, all 60 Delphix virtual copies collectively consumed less than 1X
the footprint of production (vs. that 6X that would be required by physical copies). Migration rehearsals were far more fluid
because Delphix virtual databases could be provisioned, refreshed, or rolled back to any point in time in minutes, directly
by the migration project team.
Since Delphix only requests changed blocks from the source environments, the impact of data refreshes, rollbacks etc. on
the saturated WAN link was also minimized. As a result of the parallelization and operational savings, the project was
completed in less than 6 months with Delphix. The customer chose to retain Delphix virtual copies rather than reverting to
rigid, physical copies. Consequently, they realized over 90% in storage savings and over 95% in operational savings in steady
state post migration.
For more information on how Delphix can help you move faster, introduce new services, and reach new markets,
• F1000 US based CPG with global operations
• 30% annual data growth
• High legacy application and DC costs
Transformation Plan (Before Delphix)
• Rationalize and migrate to new DC
• Budget limitations force serialization
• 12 months targeted for completion
• Completion in 5 months
• Success drove cross-LOB interest, buy-in
• 90% lower capex & opex (sustained)