vFunction Automates Conversion of Java Apps to Microservices

Content By Devops .com

vFunction has developed an eponymous platform capable of automatically converting a monolithic application written in Java into a set of microservices. The startup is emerging from stealth mode today.

Fresh from raising $12.2 million in seed funding, vFunction CEO Moti Rafalin said the company’s platform employs dynamic analysis, static analysis, data science and automation to enable IT teams to reengineer, in a repeatable fashion, the source code used to create monolithic Java applications.

As part of that process, vFunction also detects and eliminates code that is no longer executed to reduce the footprint of an application, minimize security risks and overall maintenance tasks.

The vFunction platform is deployed as a server that communicates with agent software injected into the legacy monolithic application. The server then creates a microservice that is scanned by additional tools to determine how best to optimize it to run on, for example, a Kubernetes cluster based on the Red Hat OpenShift platform, said Rafalin.

IT teams can also employ vFunction to determine which monolithic applications are better suited to being converted into a set of microservices that can be automatically extracted into separate compilable projects. Each project comes with an estimated timetable for completion that can be accessed via a Modernization Factory Dashboard and Application Complexity Assessment tool provided by the platform.

Rafalin said most monolithic applications are made up of large amounts of ‘spaghetti code’ that was added over multiple generations by different development teams. Manually analyzing that code as part of an effort to refactor a legacy application would require weeks of effort, Rafalin said. As such, the rate at which most organizations are re-engineering applications is extremely slow, he said.

In fact, it’s not unheard of for IT organizations to to start, but quickly abandon such because the time and effort required proved too costly. vFunction claims its automated, domain-driven processes accelerate manual refactoring by a factor of ten, resulting in a savings of anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 per application.

Pricing for vFunction is based on a per-application model. The company has also established alliances with system integrators such as HCL Technologies, Tata Consulting Services and Wipro that are regularly contracted by IT organizations to refactor their applications.

Of course, not every monolithic application needs to be converted into a set of microservices. However, most monolithic applications have components that would be easier to maintain and support as a distinct microservice. Organizations, in general, 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 crashes altogether. The challenge 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *