Migrating apps from Windows to Unix – Intro

App migrations can be a real headache.  They don’t have to be, but they often are.  Especially when moving from one platform to another.  This is the story of such a migration…

The powers that be in my organization have decided to move away from MSFT technology, and get into the whole Java/Linux thing.  While I’m all for learning new stuff (especially Java/*nix stuff), this is turning out to be a pretty major effort.  We’ve currently got about 80 or so apps (ASP or .NET) on a handful of IIS servers.  All of these apps will eventually need to either be rewritten or ported to run in a java environment.  Can you say job security?

We decided on Weblogic as our new Java app platform (with Apache out front).  From what I can tell, it’s pretty sweet.  As a step in the direction we’re headed, we decided to use Apache to front our IIS servers, so we can just proxy our IIS apps though a unified web server.  Apache is cool.  Using Apache as the out-facing web server, we can then proxy app request to either IIS, or Weblogic, or that pesky little Tomcat service we’ve got runnin – all through one unified namespace.  Neat!

This is just the introduction to the app platform migration saga, and I have a feeling it’ll turn into a pretty regular series of articles for a while.  It sort of ties into the VSS / Source control discussions, since part of the migration is to create an entire new development environment for our engineers.

And here’s where it gets real interesting – we don’t have very thorough docs on all of our apps and their depelndencies (I know, shocking!), since some of them were written years ago, when we didn’t have much in the way of processes and proper documentation.  So trying to figure out how to map all the inter-app and server dependencies has been quite a challenge.

One really cool thing about the whole effort is that I’m getting to play with Linux, Apache, and Weblogic a lot more, which is fun!

More to follow…


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