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To Re-Architect Java Applications or Not to Re-Architect?

So, you’ve migrated all your apps to the cloud, shut down your local data center, and joined the cloud revolution. 

Congratulations! Until the cloud bills start rolling in. Depending on the application, you may need to re-architect. 

If all you did was lift-and-shift your existing monolithic applications to the cloud, you’re probably paying more – even after when you factor in the savings from shutting down your data center. In fact, according to the State of FinOps report, many companies are still struggling with optimizing cloud compute resources. 

You may have moved to the cloud to focus your DevOps team less on maintaining hardware and more on enabling your business. Time to market and making the best use of your DevOps resources are important, but are you willing to pay a higher price for that reduced complexity?

Customer Success Stories

Customer Success

Workday: Java-based SaaS for Millions of Workers

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Taboola reduced its database server footprint by 50%, contributing to millions of dollars in savings.
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Taboola Serves Content to 1.4B People Each Month

The good news is that whether you choose to re-architect or not, you can improve performance and save money without moving to a new Java version or changing a single line of code.

When a re-architecture makes sense, use a high-performance Java runtime

If you moved to the cloud to save money, or if your business is feeling financial pressure to reduce your infrastructure spend, you may need to re-architect. One way to save money on the cloud is to take advantage of cloud elasticity, and the only way to do that quickly is to re-architect massive monoliths that can only scale in large chunks into smaller, cloud-native services that are independently scalable and deployable. 

Of course, cost is not the only reason to re-architect cloud-native microservices. Others include: 

  • Time to market – not only waiting around for server capacity to be brought online in your datacenter. Cloud-native microservices have faster development cycles, allowing your team to fix bugs and add features faster than monoliths. 
  • Increased stability and performance – chances are your older web apps are big stateful applications, which makes them susceptible to all sorts of networking and load-balancing problems. In well-architected microservice architectures, the failure of an individual service is much less likely to affect overall functionality than monoliths. And the ways in which well-architected microservices provide superior performance to stateful monoliths are too lengthy to list here. 
  • Developer satisfaction and retention – given a choice, few Java developers would work on server-side JSPs or EJBs. If you want to attract and retain top talent, you need to offer them a chance to work on today’s exciting technologies. 

Whatever value you’re looking for when re-architecting your application, your choice of Java runtime matters. A high-performance Java runtime can play a critical role in improving application performance and reducing cloud waste at the same time.   

Faster Java means lower cloud bills. Other benefits include:

  • Reduce time to market – Reduce time spent coding around performance issues and responding to performance tickets in your live applications. Azul Platform Prime solves some of Java’s trickiest performance problems in the platform layer, so your developers can concentrate on adding business value. 
  • Increased performance and stability – Microservices running on Prime get higher throughput and lower latencies even as loads increase, leading to less performance-related bugs and better user experience. 
  • Developer productivity – Less time spent on debugging performance issues = happier developers. 

Using Azul Platform Prime, Workday eliminated 95% of operational issues after switching to Azul Platform Prime. In fact, Workday eliminated at least 42,000 person-hours over 18 months that they would have spent on performance tuning, saving many millions of dollars and freeing developers to create rather than troubleshoot. 

If you can’t re-architect, high-performance Java drives incremental optimizations 

What if you could enjoy cost savings in the cloud without having to re-architect right away? Modernizing existing systems can be a gradual process. Even on individual monoliths, you’ll likely want to drive incremental optimizations, focusing on converting one service at a time into microservices until you can retire the entire monolith.  

As an example, Puma used Azul Platform Prime to improve operations – increasing business flexibility to add innovative web features and modernize.  

And some systems will likely never make it to the front of the queue for re-architecting.  

So how can you reduce the financial drag and performance hit of monolithic applications that can only scale in large chunks? Moving to Azul Platform Prime can increase the carrying capacity of your apps, allowing you to serve total traffic with fewer instances of your monolith. And running your applications on Prime can help reduce the severity of the performance issues in your outdated code.  

All without moving to a new Java version or changing a single line of code.  

Faster code means less compute instances used – and a lower cloud bill.  And, engineering teams with a high-performance Java runtime can develop new features and applications with a focus on maintaining lean and efficient code to: 

  • Reduce performance trade-offs for efficiency 
  • Drive down CPU usage with faster and more efficient code execution 
  • Improve carrying capacity and reduce instance counts with  
  • Maintain services levels at higher loads 

Application modernization with cloud cost optimization is imperative 

According to AWS (The Frugal Architect) – there is a set of new laws that should govern how applications are architected – and making cost a non-functional requirement is key.  The way you operate a system, rather than specific features or functions, need to be looked at.  This is stuff like accessibility, availability, security, portability, maintainability, and compliance. What often goes overlooked is cost: 

“Well-designed systems allow you to take action on opportunities for improvement…Programming languages provide profiling tools to analyze code performance, and while these require setup and expertise, they enable granular analyses that can lead to changes that shave milliseconds. 

What may seem like small optimizations accumulate into large savings at scale.

Werner Vogels, CTO, AWS – The Frugal Architect, 2023

If most of your time is spent running existing systems built using Java, look for opportunities to profile resource usage and identify waste reduction.  

Download and try Azul Platform Prime today to see how.

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