Microsoft Taps vFunction to Refactor Java Apps for Azure

Microsoft has teamed up with vFunction to make it easier to convert monolithic Java applications into a set of microservices that can be on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The Microsoft Services Industry Solutions group is making available the Java Refactoring Service, through which IT teams will be able to both lift and shift Java applications to the cloud and then convert them into a set of microservices using agent software and the vFunction Application Transformation Engine, which is infused with artificial intelligence (AI), to analyze Java code.

vFunction CEO Moti Rafalin said the goal is to eliminate the heavy lifting currently required to shift Java applications into the cloud. The vFunction Application Transformation Engine is required because most of the Java applications that were easy to move to the cloud have been, Rafalin noted. The remaining Java applications, he said, have levels of dependencies that make them too complex to move to the cloud without the aid of a static byte code analysis platform capable of parsing more than 10 million lines of code and thousands of Java class libraries.

Once those applications are converted into a set of microservices, it then becomes possible to achieve a level of scale that would otherwise be beyond the reach of any on-premises IT environment, he added, noting the same vFunction platform can be used also to help organizations continuously optimize microservices applications as they continue to evolve in a cloud computing environment.

Longer-term, vFunction is also looking to add support for Microsoft.Net applications that need to be migrated to the cloud, said Rafalin. Many complex Java and Microsoft.Net applications are still running in an on-premises IT environment because organizations are encountering inertia that arises from paralysis of analysis, he noted.

In general, Microsoft continues to gain momentum in its battle for cloud supremacy against Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s not clear at what rate Java applications are being shifted to the cloud. However, most monolithic applications have components that would be easier to maintain and support as a distinct microservice. In general, organizations are embracing microservices to build applications that are more resilient. In the event a microservice becomes unavailable, requests for services are rerouted to another microservice to make sure the application degrades gracefully, rather than simply crashing altogether. The challenge, of course, is that over time the dependencies that can exist between hundreds of microservices can be more challenging to manage than those of the monolithic application being replaced.

It’s not likely that microservices-based applications with entire replace monolithic applications anytime soon, but the bulk of new applications are being built on top of a microservices-based framework. As, many DevOps are now managing a broad mix of monolithic-based applications and across an teams such microservices IT environment. Less clear is to what degree teams will be able to leverage existing DevOps tools and platforms to build and deploy both types of applications at the scale enterprise IT organizations require.

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