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It's commonly estimated that 75% of enterprise applications are .NET based. Since .NET has been around for over 20 years, that means most enterprises have a portfolio that includes legacy .NET applications. Below are 7 reasons why you should consider modernizing your .NET applications. Along the way, I'll share AWS tools and services that can help. To distinguish between legacy .NET framework and modern .NET, I'll use the term dotnet to refer to open source, cross-platform .NET (formerly called .NET Core).
By modernizing, I include any of the following: porting your .NET Framework app to dotnet, migrating to cloud, moving to containers, using managed services, moving to open source platforms, moving to a microservices architecture, and going cloud-native and serverless.
1. .NET Framework is the past, dotnet is the future
The .NET Framework is not dead, but it's on life support. Although Microsoft has committed to support .NET Framework 4.8 on supported versions of Windows, staying with a platform that no longer advances is unwise. The future of .NET is modern dotnet, which continues to move forward and has a bright future. Whether you run on-premise or in the cloud, porting to modern dotnet both brings you regular feature updates and avoids a growing problem of lapsing support for your dependent libraries and packages. AWS provides two tools to assist you in porting, Porting Assistant for .NET and AWS Refactoring Toolkit for Visual Studio.
2. It's a container world now
Containers are now a de facto standard, and you should be using them. They make your applications portable and easy to move between environments, including on-premise and different clouds. Newer cloud services tend to be container-based and managed. Check out the AWS containers page to see how many options there are. Both modern dotnet apps and legacy .NET Framework apps can run in containers. You can use the App2Container tool to containerize your .NET Framework IIS web apps running on Windows and deploy them to AWS.
3. You can reduce costs by running on Linux
Now that dotnet is cross-platform, you have the option of running on Linux where you can avoid Windows licensing costs. If Windows has been your world up till now, don't be concerned. It's easy to deploy dotnet to Linux in the cloud, and you don't need to become a Linux expert. To take advantage of running on Linux you'll need to either port or rewrite your .NET Framework apps.
4. Moving to microservices is loose coupling at its best
Microservice architectures make applications easier to scale and faster to develop. They're a refreshing change from the traditional monolithic application that is ever growing in complexity and fragile due to tight coupling. Microservices are not only a better refactoring of your application, they're better organizationally because each can be owned by the most suitable team. Best of all, this is one kind of modernization that you can do progressively, moving portions of a monolith to microservices over time using the Strangler Fig pattern. You can use the AWS Microservice Extractor tool for .NET tool for assistance. It uses machine learning to recommend code candidates for microservices and helps you extract them to microservice projects.
5. Using managed services lets you spend your time more productively
In the cloud, you have managed services at your disposal that handle the details of provisioning, monitoring, scaling, and failing over infrastructure. Unless you enjoy configuring and maintaining servers, there's simply no reason to do so when it can be done for you. Instead, you can spend your time innovating for your customers. An example of a fully-managed cloud service that is a great fit for .NET web apps is AWS App Runner.
6. Going cloud-native and serverless maximizes the benefits of cloud
The ultimate modernization of your .NET applications is to go fully cloud-native, where your architecture, tools, and techniques revolve around the cloud way of doing things. A big part of that is serverless, where your code runs as functions invoked in response to events. For example, your web APIs can be implemented with Amazon API Gateway and serverless AWS Lambda functions, autoscaling up and down in response to demand. Cloud-native .NET applications are highly available and elastic, along with the already-mentioned benefits of containers, microservices, and managed services.
7. Modernizing in bulk is a force multiplier
If you have a portfolio of .NET applications, you may be unsure where to start. It makes sense to study your portfolio as a whole. That will help you define a modernization strategy, identify your top candidates for modernization, and perhaps find some low-hanging fruit for early modernization wins. You'll discover repeatable patterns that increase your velocity in updating your applications. You can use AWS Migration Hub Strategy Recommendations (MHSR) to analyze your .NET applications, get recommendations, and plan your migration.
Call to Action
There are compelling reasons to modernize your .NET applications. If even one of the above resonates with you, I urge you to get started. To find the AWS tools and services mentioned above and get started modernizing on AWS, visit and bookmark the .NET on AWS developer center.
.NET modernization tools from AWS: