BT to migrate mainframe applications to cloud with Kyndryl

As part of a ten-year partnership with Kyndryl, BT Group is moving its mainframes to the cloud, in the aim of reducing costs and energy consumption.

BT is extending its existing partnership with IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl, to move mainframe applications — which service its legacy copper business and consumer broadband products — to the cloud.

As part of the project, the Digital unit of BT is set to move critical legacy applications that cannot be shut down in the short term to Kyndryl’s zCloud environment, allowing for more agile operation of its copper broadband infrastructure as a result.

Kyndryl, which currently runs BT Group’s mainframe estate, is looking to speed up the drive to reduce cost and open up data insights within these key applications.

Some applications are planned for either retirement (contributing to BT’s aim to reduce strategic systems to less than 500 by 2027); redevelopment into the company’s existing strategic systems and architecture; or rehosted to operate in a cloud environment.

“We like thinking out of the box to solve complex problems — like how to move off mainframes given the prohibitive increase in legacy infrastructure cost — without rewriting decades-old applications,” said Harmeen Mehta, chief digital and innovation officer at BT Group.

“With that mindset, working with Kyndryl, we figured out how to turn legacy mainframes into modern digital apps and run them at a fraction of the cost.”

Petra Goude, global practice leader, core enterprise & zCloud at Kyndryl, commented: “It’s exciting to be partnering with BT Group on such an ambitious and critical programme.

“Migrating from mainframes to cloud extends the usefulness and lifespan of these applications in a modern, microservices led, cloud-centric way and helps unlock intelligent data insights.

“We’re excited to draw on our deep knowledge, ecosystem of partners and community of industry leading experts to help deliver this transformation.”

Benefits of cloud migration

Moving to the cloud will allow for development of application programming interface (API) and microservices capabilities to aid cross-company integration, as well as helping to drive automation, while lowering costs.

From here, applications will be programmed to support BT’s ‘AIOps’ self-healing IT estate model, reducing the risk of downtime and accelerating and automating fixes, along with making customer experience more intuitive.

Through this migration, the UK telecoms corporation is targeting annual savings of over £17m and 70 per cent reduction of energy consumption by 2026.

As customers are supported with the migration to modern fibre services, the legacy copper networks are planned to be retired in the years ahead.


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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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