As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, Cloud migration is going to be a theme this year which means we can no longer ignore the convergence of my traditional neck of the woods (Corporate Application Migration) and the bigger forest that is SAN Migration. It looks like we are all heading up into the Cloud, either as a way a provisioning flexible storage (for which Data Migration is an obvious storage hungry example) or for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications (and Data Migration as a web service is something we will be seeing more of, as we noted in last week’s blog about Pervasive). This means there is no longer open ground between the two technology areas as once there was. We both have a shared interest in the same technology. Therefore, at this year’s Data Migration Matters event (DMM5), we will be welcoming our colleagues from the other side of the server room door and see what cross fertilization may occur.
So let me introduce (for those who need it) Vision Solutions and their Double-Take Move migration solution as the first of these vendors to step up to the challenge.
Now Vision Solutions may be better known for their data mirroring/failover software to support server resilience and availability. However as Vision’s Ian Masters somewhat undiplomatically expressed it - isn’t a data migration very like a fail over where you don’t intend to go back? (I say undiplomatically because I am not sure that I like the word “Failure” associated with my pet discipline). But ignoring my feelings I think he’s got a very good point there.
I am not going to attempt a full technical briefing in this blog. For that you are much better off going to Double-Take themselves but I will give a brief outline.
In essence Double-Take Move uses their high availability background mirroring technology to prepare the target, stacking up changes then synching them before keeping them in synch prior to a switch over. This reduces downtime to minutes rather than hours.
Double-Take can move just the data or everything whilst the users stay online. They can do this in what they term an X to X migration. This means that they can migrate Physical to Virtual (which I guess is the standard migration route these days) but also Physical to Physical (also common) or Virtual to Virtual or even Virtual back to Physical which they tell me they have been called on to do, where the virtualization of storage has not provided the benefits promised or caused unforeseen problems (V to P is not something that is flavor of the month and therefore not always catered for by other vendors).
They support Windows, IBM iSeries and IBM AIX but within that only for broadly like for like migrations - so Windows 7 to Windows 7 or XP to XP and not Linux etc. A further strength is their ability to synch operating system changes (like emergency patches) from one side to the other. System patches may be not something you would plan to do in the midst of a major migration but in the real world where engineering (etc) delays may mean the end to end migration time requires you to make an emergency patch, well, then you’re covered. Once landed, the target can be reconfigured to have, say, IP addresses or disc allocation changed prior to switch over.
So for LAN / WAN, Local or even Data centre or Cloud migrations these guys with their asynchronous, byte level replication (hence network load friendly) migrations are people to speak to. And speak to them you can at DMM5 where they will be providing a case study based briefing as well as the usual event stand etc.
Also allow me to introduce Wael Elrifai. Wael is a truly international IT superstar currently engaged on projects as far afield as Hong Kong and the Middle East but also at home here in the UK. Wael specializes in integration generally but also is an expert in AI and expert systems. I have worked with Wael and I can tell you he is a larger than life character who marries technical knowledge with a showman’s talent for telling an illuminating story. For DMM5 he will be sharing some proven architectural tricks he devised for a bank project we were engaged on together here in London. These allow you to track your units of migration (Customers or Accounts or whatever) from legacy to target providing an unimpeachable audit trail of transformations that will satisfy any regulator but more than that, allows the elegant backing out of transactions in the event of failure.
The DDMM5 web site is a little bare at the moment but we will be populating it with content over the next couple of weeks where we will be adding details of other presentations including case studies of successful SAP and cloud migrations.
About the author
John Morris has over 20 years experience in IT as a programmer, business analyst, project manager and data architect. He has spent the last 10 years working exclusively on data migration and system integration projects. John is the author of Practical Data Migration.