Google Cloud acquires mainframe migration firm Cornerstone

20 Feb 2020

Image: © wolterke/

Google Cloud will use Cornerstone’s technology and services to help customers migrate legacy workloads from mainframes to the cloud.

On Wednesday (19 February), Google Cloud’s director of transformation practice, Howard Weale, announced that the company has acquired Cornerstone Technology in order to better help customers migrate their mainframe workloads to Google Cloud.

Cornerstone, which was set up in 1989, is a Dutch company that helps enterprises to migrate their legacy workloads from mainframes to public clouds. The firm aims to provide customers with an automated and managed migration to a more modern, scalable platform of their choice.

It has developed the G4 Analyzer and G4 Dashboard, which customers can use to get detailed, up-to-date and consistent metrics to support IT business decisions.

Writing on Google Cloud’s blog, Weale said: “Cornerstone brings a wealth of experience and innovative solutions to our portfolio of products and services that help customers modernise their infrastructure and applications.

“Their capabilities will form the ‘cornerstone’ of our mainframe-to-GCP solutions, and customers are able to take advantage of these new capabilities now through our Professional Services Organization and our partner network.”

Integrating Cornerstone into Google Cloud

Weale said that Cornerstone will bring a number of its solutions to customers to help them modernise their infrastructure and applications on Google Cloud, including migration roadmap development, which helps users conduct an assessment of their entire mainframe environment, find the macro and microservices and create a roadmap to a modern services architecture.

Cornerstone also enables customers to convert languages and databases to prepare applications for modern environments, while offering automated data migration that allows mainframe data to be easily moved.

Weale added: “As the industry increasingly builds applications as a set of services, many customers want to break their mainframe monolith programs into either Java monoliths or Java microservices. This approach to application modernisation is at the heart of the Cornerstone toolset.

“Through the use of automated processes, Cornerstone’s tools can break down your Cobol, PL/1 or Assembler programs into services and then make them cloud native, such as within a managed, containerised environment.”

Efforts to attract business

Matt Eastwood, senior vice-president of enterprise infrastructure, cloud, developers and alliances at market research firm IDC, said: “Easy mainframe migration will go a long way as Google attracts large enterprises to its cloud.

“Google Cloud is listening to its customers and meeting them where they are, steadily improving its services and attracting businesses across industries.”

The news comes just a month after Google Cloud announced support for IBM Power Systems, which was another bid to help enterprises move legacy systems to the cloud.

Cornerstone marks the latest acquisition in a spree of purchases made by Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, as the company attempts to catch up with cloud leaders Amazon and Microsoft. Google Cloud has just completed its massive $2.6bn acquisition of data analytics start-up Looker.

As noted by ZDnet, mainframes are often considered old-fashioned in today’s tech industry, but 85pc of all credit card transactions still run through the IBM Z mainframe, highlighting the potential market for migration products and services.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic