A Detailed Project Management Plan to Migrate Data Successfully

By Reduxio Systems for Beyond The Blocks - Thursday, April 19, 2018

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Regardless the industry a business operates, the data generated is exponentially accumulating to vast amounts and blocks that constantly need management and protection. Technology is moving at a rapid pace making storage systems obsolete faster than ever. Consequently, organizations must move usable and business critical information to different systems bringing forward the need for a concurrent data migration progress that entails validating, moving and testing data.

The reading below presents a comparison between a standard data migration process as performed by the majority of IT professionals and Reduxio’s approach in migrating data through the native in the TimeOS NoMigrate™ feature explained through a real life user experience.

How to set up a Data Migration Project

Pre-Migration Phase: Plan

Prior to thinking about the migration itself, it’s important that the source and the target location of the data is being taken under consideration. For example: you’re porting ledgers and financial data from a desktop accounting system into QuickBooks Online. As soon as you understand where data comes from and where is headed to, you can start mapping out the process which in turn will help you understand the IT environment in which this migration will take place, including the speed and scope of work.

As any function and project in your organization, the migration project should match the business objectives. As exciting as it can be to discover and evaluate new software, if a solution doesn’t support the organizational objectives, your project can be compromised. It’s important to include all relevant stakeholders during the planning stage. Even straightforward internal migrations can fail due to business restrictions, security policies, or other problems that might not be immediately visible to insular employees.

A risk to consider during the migration process is the possibility that data profiles and structures do not match in the old and new system, which means that data is subject to duplication or distortion. To tackle this risk, you have to make sure to configure the API properly or have your vendor support it.

Another important component to think through when planning a migration process is the cost. A migration project cost should be part of an investment when acquiring a new software tool. Depending on the complexity of this investment, the cost and labor can climb enough to make this effort prohibitively expensive and set your team up for failure.

Plan Once More—in Detail This Time

The 5 milestones for Migrations:

  1. Extraction: data removal from current system
  2. Transformation: data matching to the new required form, double check that metadata reflects data on each field
  3. Cleansing: de-duplicate, run tests, and address any corrupted data
  4. Validation: test and re-test that moving the data to the target location results in the expected outcome
  5. Loading: transfer data into the new system, and review for errors again

By outlining those 5 milestones, the need to build the plan in a project or task management platform becomes imperative. The plan layout should incorporate analytical task breakdown, assignments, and dependency relations so that all stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities and the project timeline.

Take the time to do test runs and involve the entire team again to address as many unknowns as possible before the actual migration takes place.

Data Migration

When the time comes to actually migrate your data, there are usually 2 alternatives to follow to ensure this function does not affect live production data and disrupt the organization’s functionality.

  1. Migrate data during weekends or bank holidays. The advantage here is that interruption of the company’s business objectives is minimized. However, such a critical project can provoke unexpected responses that your IT team will be left to deal with before everyone gets back to work.
  2. A migration process that happens concurrently while running the old and new system and transfer data in batches. Such approach definitely lasts longer but gives the IT team the time and space to react to unforeseen difficulties.

By now, reading this blog might have put you under a lot of stress. Reduxio’s mission since its beginnings has been to make the IT professional’s life easier.

Wondering how? The story below is a real incident with one of our valued customers and it was sent to me by one of our lead Systems Engineers.

Data Migration with Reduxio’s NoMigrate™ feature

“This morning I was one of our customer’s office - one of the largest independent suppliers of energy products and related services in the Northeast and, owner of 4 Reduxio HX550s.

The goal was to migrate a production SQL cluster (physical servers) to the Reduxio array. We had told the customer about NoMigrate™ and they would always politely nod, but that day we actually proved the PFM that the Reduxio engineering team has created.

data migration

The entire application outage was less than 4 minutes (measured with a stopwatch) and part of that time was getting hold of the SQL team to stop and start the application.

Here are the steps we followed to complete the migration process:

  1. Connect to remote Reduxio
  2. Create the SQL cluster entries on the target array
  3. Stop the SQL & Start NoMigrate of 8 volumes with 10TB of data
  4. Start SQL & Normal production resumed with no visible latency
  5. Go to lunch
  6. Install 4 bezels

Is there anybody else out there who can do something like this?

Download NoMigrate Product Brief
Reduxio Systems

Written by Reduxio Systems

There has been no fundamental innovation in data management and protection for primary storage for the last two decades. In 2012, a group of storage industry veterans founded Reduxio with the vision to redefine data management and protection by taking advantage of new processing, networking and media technologies. Reduxio is redefining data management and protection with the world’s first unified primary and secondary storage platform. Based on the patented TimeOS storage operating system, Reduxio provides breakthrough storage efficiency and performance, and the unique ability to recover data to any second, far exceeding anything available on the market today.

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