Modernize a Core Banking Mainframe with Micro Focus and Oracle Cloud at Customer

Modernization of mainframe and other legacy systems allows you to capitalize on existing assets as you move toward more agile, cost-effective and open technology environments. Modernizing your legacy applications and databases with Oracle enables you to apply cutting edge technologies (such as machine learning, database In-Memory or BI) for deeper insights about customers or products.


This architecture uses Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer and virtual machines (VMs). A Micro Focus Enterprise Server helps to simplify and accelerate mainframe rehosting by delivering compatibility with the original mainframe host code and data.

The following diagram illustrates this reference architecture.

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Description of the illustration micro-focus-archicture.png

The architecture has the following components:

  • MF Enterprise Server, CICS, IMS-TM and Batch

    Micro Focus (MF) Enterprise Server is built on advanced language processing technology used in large scale migrations. It runs COBOL and PL/I code, which is recompiled for the new platform with minimal change. It also integrates IBM Db2 SQL, IMS-DB and retains JCL. Data migration is provided through services, which perform complete analysis of data definitions and access to generate data schemas and logical access modules, while creating data unload, reload, and validation tools for automated migration of VSAM datasets, flat files, and Db2 tables from the mainframe.

    Enterprise Server delivers an Application Runtime for CICS, IMS-TM and Batch and runs IBM mainframe rehosted applications with no change to business logic. Providing CICS programming models and services, COBOL runtime, 3270 BMS support, standard JCL functions and common utilities, and access to migrated VSAM, Db2, and flat file data, as well as remote access to mainframe Db2, the runtime helps online and batch mainframe applications run unchanged, preserving decades of investment in business logic and data.

  • Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer

    Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer combines Oracle database technology and Exadata with the simplicity, agility and elasticity of a cloud-based deployment. It runs the same Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service as in the public cloud, but located in the customers’ data centers and managed by Oracle Cloud experts.

    Exadata is engineered to provide the highest levels of availability. Each Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer system has completely redundant hardware components. Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer comes pre-integrated with Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) best practices for Database High Availability (HA) technologies such as RAC, ASM, RMAN, Flashback and Data Guard. Further, Exadata-specific HA capabilities such as Instant Detection of Compute and Storage Server Failures and Exadata I/O Latency Capping, significantly enhance the availability of Exadata.

    Exadata Storage Server software powers the Exadata storage servers, providing an extremely efficient and database-optimized storage infrastructure.

    Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer systems can deploy a large number of databases, enabling high database consolidation. To ensure consistent performance in a highly consolidated environment, Exadata provides unique end-to-end prioritization and resource management capabilities spanning database servers, network and storage.

  • VM

    Oracle VM Database System is a full-featured Oracle Database on a virtual machine that uses Block Volumes storage instead of local storage and can run Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) to improve availability.

    In this architecture, the VMs are in private datacenters and are using an Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer X8M Quarter Rack as the database server.

  • Coherence

    Oracle Coherence is an in-memory data grid solution that enables organizations to predictably scale mission-critical applications by providing fast access to frequently used data. As data volumes and customer expectations increase, driven by the “internet of things”, social, mobile, cloud and always-connected devices, so does the need to handle more data in real-time, offload over-burdened shared data services and provide availability guarantees.

    Oracle Coherence provides maximum scalability and performance in enterprise applications by providing clustered low-latency data storage, polyglot grid computing, and asynchronous event streaming.

    Micro Focus Enterprise Server uses Oracle Coherence for synchronization of the Performance and Availability Cluster through the Scale Out Repository.


Use the following recommendations as a starting point. Your requirements might differ from the architecture described here.
  • Oracle Maximum Availability (MAA) Best Practices Blueprints for High Availability

    Keep current with the latest MAA best practices. MAA includes best practices for critical infrastructure components including servers, storage, and network, combined with configuration and operational best practices for the Oracle High Availability capabilities deployed on it. A team of Oracle developers creates, validates, and maintains the best practices. Real-world customer experience is also fed back into the validation performed by the MAA team.

  • Micro Focus Enterprise Server

    Micro Focus VM: VM.Standard.E3.Flex, 4 core OCPU, 64 GB memory, 4 Gbps network bandwidth (Oracle Linux 7).

  • Oracle Coherence

    VM.Standard.E3.Flex, 4 core OCPU, 64 GB memory, 4 Gbps network bandwidth (Oracle Linux 7)

  • Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer System

    Several Exadata System Shapes are available. The Quarter Rack contains two database servers and three Oracle Exadata Storage Servers. Each Exadata System Shape is equipped with a fixed amount of memory, storage, and network resources. All Shapes are based on Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer X9M-2 system model.

    Oracle recommends that you use the Quarter Rack shape for the system. If you need more processing power, then you can enable additional cores in multiples of two. You can scale up the database depending on the database workloads and the processing power needed.

  • Enterprise Manager

    Oracle Enterprise Manager on-premise management platform provides a single dashboard to manage all of your Oracle deployments. It provides a comprehensive monitoring and management solution for Oracle Database and Engineered Systems deployed in customer data centers and in Oracle Cloud.


When rehosting a mainframe, consider the following:

  • Scalability
    • Database tier: You can scale the database vertically by enabling additional cores for the Exadata system. You can add OCPUs in multiples of two for Exadata Quarter Rack. The databases continue to be available during the scaling. If you outgrow the available CPUs and storage, you can migrate to a larger Exadata rack.

    • Application tier: You can scale the application servers vertically or horizontally by changing the shape of the compute instances. A shape with a higher core count provides more memory and network bandwidth as well. If more storage is required, increase the size of the block volumes attached to the application server. Use Oracle Coherence to scale horizontally as needed for fast access.

  • Availability
    • Database tier: The Exadata system provides high availability for the database tier.

    • Application tier: For high availability in the application tier, deploy the application servers in different fault domains, and use a load balancer to distribute client traffic across the application servers.

  • Cost
    • Database tier: Every OCPU that you enable on the Exadata rack needs licensing for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, along with the database options and management packs that you plan to use.
    • Application tier: Select the compute shape based on the cores, memory, and network bandwidth that your application needs. You can start with a 4-core shape for the application server. If you need more performance, memory, or network bandwidth, you can change to a larger shape.
  • Database Backups

    Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer provides automatic built-in database backup facilities, with weekly full backups and daily incremental backups. You can choose to store backups on local disk in the Fast Recovery Area (FRA) provisioned directly on the Exadata system, in the Oracle Cloud Object Storage service, or to a local Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance or NFS Filer. You can also use third-party backup solutions by installing the necessary agents in your virtual machines.

  • Access Control

    Use policies to restrict who can access your resources and the actions that they can perform.

  • Network Security

    Oracle Database Exadata Cloud at Customer Network Security is implemented with isolated networks, and each network is equipped with additional security measures to secure critical data processing tasks. Network security features include:

    • Internal RoCE network: RoCE Secure Fabric isolates and protects storage and RAC interconnect traffic.
    • Customer client network: Oracle Net Encryption secures application traffic to databases
    • Customer backup network: Oracle Net Encryption secures traffic for high-bandwidth use cases such as backup, data loading, and disaster protection using Oracle Data Guard
    • Customer controlled VLANs mapped directly to the database VMs