fbpx Skip to content

How to Put Public Sector Data Migration Hassles on the Road to Extinction

GC Global Net

Cloud Computing Evolves: An Interview with Mats Johansson

By G C Network | June 6, 2019

Recently, Ericsson Digital released an amazing report on Edge Computing and 5G. In it, they explained how distributed cloud computing is paving the way for the future of network communications. They also advised telecommunications operators, not to wait for 5G but they should build tomorrow’s networks today! Given the cost, effort and focus such a commitment…

The IoT Nexus: Bosch Connected World 2019 in Berlin

By G C Network | May 11, 2019

Next week, I will be influencing #LikeABosch as I accept an invitation from the company to attend Bosch ConnectedWorld 2019 (BCW19) in Berlin, Germany. This is one of the world’s largest international forums for the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings together the best minds to energize the co-creation of connected products and solutions invented for life. The conference,…

Survive and Thrive With Digital Transformation

By G C Network | April 17, 2019

First cloud computing then multi-cloud. How can we get ahead of this digital transformation nightmare? These are the laments heard in conference rooms and board meeting around the world. While the goal seems simple, adopting and migrating to a cloud service provider requires much more than executive willingness and a sharp IT organization. A lot…

The “George Jetson” of Today

By G C Network | April 13, 2019

He grew up in Silicon Valley, landed his first job at Apple Computers, was introduced to Nobel Prize winners by his dad and today, he takes a self-driving car to work so that he can squeeze in a few morning conference calls with the US east coast Team. Is this George Jetson!? No. It’s just…

MWC19: Where Telecommunications and Cloud Meet

By G C Network | March 23, 2019

As a cloud solution architect, my passion is learning the details about how cloud computing uniquely supports specific business cases. This curiosity is what drove my excitement when Ericsson invited me to work with them during Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. As the largest mobile event in the world, MWC Barcelona brings together the latest…

Tulane University SoPA Selects “Architechting Cloud Computing Solutions”

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Last week, Packt Publishing announced that “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” by Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Goessling was selected for use by the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement, Applied Computing Systems & Technology Program as the textbook for their mandatory Enterprise Architecture – Hardware course starting Spring Semester 2019. I am proud and honored to be trusted by such a prestigious institution. Being an “Amazon…

5G Wireless Technology Connecting Healthcare

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Healthcare is in the middle of massive change. Called digital transformation by many, this term describes the industry’s pursuit of the many promises offered by connected patients, connected caregivers, and connected hospitals. While the goals of this transformation are many and varied, a recent HIMAA Media survey revealed the top four as: Seeking improved quality of care…

Maria Lensing: The Network Platform for Healthcare’s Future

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

As a girl, Maria and her family traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to get cancer treatment for her sick brother. The miracle she observed, as the healthcare providers saved her brother’s life, ignited a passion for healthcare. Unfortunately, that passion didn’t apply to blood, so she went into electrical engineering and biomedical engineering, eventually falling in…

How “Big Iron” Does “Big Regulation”

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

According to Verizon, there were over there were over 53,000 security incidents in 2017, with over 2,200 of those identified as confirm data breaches. A Ponemon Institute study also showed that companies experiencing a data breach took an average of 147 days to detect that breach. These statistics serve a key motivator of Stuart McIrvine, Director…

Mainframe Synergies for Digital Transformation

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

In July  of 2018, Broadcom announced its intentions to acquire CA Technologies. In the press release, Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said: “This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies. With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely positioned…


With careful planning and the right technology, Federal, State and Local Government IT Leaders can overcome fears of data migrations, breaking free from archaic procedures to lead the pack 
By David Wegman, Vision Solutions, Senior Vice President, Integrated Accounts


Jurassic World, the latest installment in the Jurassic Park film series, opened this week – and there’s a lot of hype surrounding the premiere as fans immerse themselves in a world of Mesozoic Era-inspired fantasy. While the creatures that make the theme park their home are strikingly realistic, their real-life counterparts became extinct millennia ago.  Many believe that the once mighty dinosaur population fell in large part because it failed to evolve with the changing world around it. Public sector institutions face a similar plight today, especially as technology advancements demand they constantly evolve in order to keep up.
Much like the dinosaurs fought for survival, governmental organizations must fight for resources. They must embrace change in order to thrive, and part of that involves modernizing systems, streamlining processes and migrating vast amounts of data. However, many organizations postpone such work due to uncertainties about the impact and technology risks associated with these procedures, including the inherent downtime associated with most migration methodologies.
Many public sector CIOs and IT leaders are concerned about the fallout from failed migrations, which are a painful waste of time and resources. And their concerns are not unfounded: In its 2015 State of Resilience report, Vision Solutionsrevealed that 36 percent of respondents had experienced a migration failure. While failures are a relatively common occurrence, they are not inevitable. A thorough planning process and the right resources go a long way to improve the chances of success.
Regardless of the reason for a migration, significant complexity and potential pitfalls litter the path from point A to point B. In addition to understanding the migration process and identifying who is going to do the work, users must assess downtime’s potentially negative impacts.
The fact is, migrations are complex; even those that sound simple are inherently complex. Because most servers and databases are not single instances within a data center but interconnected to other systems and databases, including mid-range and mainframe systems, there is immense variety that complicates migrations today. These various platforms need to be coordinated in migration waves to mitigate their impacts.  This all presents complexity – and complexity presents risks.
The first task toward successful migrations is to map out a thorough migration plan beforehand: IT needs to determine what they are going to migrate, what it is all connected to, who is going to do the work and when they can get a “migration window” from their unit, as well as how they will navigate around the many real-time issues that may arise along the way. Planning ahead for potential issues gives IT clarity on factors that may affect the migration process, allowing the migration team to address problems in advance and in real-time.
All migrations need testing before deployment; and testing further contributes to the time and resource-intensive nature of migrations. Traditional pre-migration testing can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on how complex the applications, databases and server inter-connections are in the data center. The process typically involves halting production periodically to take snapshots of data and testing those snapshots.  Each time the process is completed, IT must restore the database and start over. This typically involves multiple test runs and multiple cycles within the organization. The entire process can take anywhere from hours to entire days depending largely on the factors outlined above.
IT often faces an uphill battle in convincing leadership to agree to a migration project due to downtime risks and impacts. This can cause substantial delays, compounding the migration’s complexity. Elected and appointed officials may not always have exact numbers on hand, but they do realize that downtime is costly. Nineteen percent of respondents in the Vision Solutions 2015 State of Resilience report indicated that the cost of downtime ranged from $10,000 to $50,000 per hour. Fearing the steep costs of downtime and associated risks, leadership may hesitate to green light migration projects, preventing successful execution.
How can public sector IT leaders address this problem? Government IT leaders need more than ever to seek out trusted partners with a track record of helping organizations like them accomplish important migrations and system upgrades. Rather than reacting to perceived risks, limited expertise or cost of downtime, they should be confident and proactive, following best practices to set them up for success. Organizations that embrace proven technology and methodologies will be well-positioned to realize the full benefits of smooth migrations.
Uncertainty, risk and extended downtime don’t need to be migration realities. By working with a trusted partner and utilizing modern technology and methodology, public sector IT leaders can achieve near-zero downtime during migrations, minimizing impact on the organization and users. But to do so, they should consider the following when selecting a migration solution:
1. Real-time replication is paramount: Organizations should look for solutions that offer the most flexibility and currency of data possible while minimizing impact to users during testing and migration. This typically requires a software-based solution that replicates any activity taking place on the production server to the target server in real-time, allowing IT to keep the production server up and running rather than freezing it or periodically pausing it for snapshots. The production server remains fully functional, data is as current as the last transaction and users continue working. IT can test applications on the new server, and prove the migration methodology and plan, without impacting the production environment. Ultimately, this makes IT more productive on other tasks with improved uptime – all while migration is taking place.
A second consideration is how to take the distance from production server to target server out of the equation. Because real-time replication sends the changes as they occur, it minimizes the amount of communication line and distance becomes less of an issue. When coupled with compression and throttling in a product, this creates a high degree of efficiency.
Finally, because databases and servers are maintained in sync at all times, IT does not need to freeze production and wait for final validation of the testing server to finally perform the migration. Weekend migrations are no longer the norm as the switch to new environments can occur at any time the organization is ready and take place in as little as 20 minutes– a notable improvement over switch times in traditional migrations.
2. Unified consoles simplify the process: Another feature government IT leaders should demand in their migration solution is a unified console that allows IT to work on all types of migrations with a common workflow across operating systems and platforms. This provides a major advantage as it mitigates the need for different skillsets typically required for different types of migrations by platform or workload.
While IT staff certainly needs to understand the underlying architectures and databases, by using a uniform console and workflow, it reduces training time and maximizes the existing team’s skillset. A single operator can perform parallel migrations across multiple platforms after product training sessions, minimizing the drain on resources.
3. Consolidating migration streams delivers faster execution: Simultaneous executions also ease the impacts to the organization. A solution that allows users to run parallel streams of migrations saves organizations significantly more time than traditional methods. This method facilitates near-zero downtime, shortens time to completion, mitigates costs and frees up IT resources to focus on other projects.
4. Automation minimizes risk: Traditional methods typically require a fair degree of manual work, which equals a higher degree of risk.  While no migration can happen without people, solutions that reduce the required amount of human interaction from migrations via automation diminish risk. This is very important for organizations to keep in mind, as failing to choose a solution that provides APIs the ability to automate as much of the work as possible introduces additional human interaction and therefore risk. This lack of automation often results in failed migrations, migrations that run over budget or last longer than expected.
5. Hardware- and software-independent solutions enable flexibility: Every server is different and topologies change rapidly. Migrating across server types, chipsets, storage devices, databases, versions and the like all need to be addressed in a migration plan. A hardware- and software-independent solution reduces the risk potential in these areas. This model allows users to migrate data seamlessly from any one type of environment to another. The options are virtually endless – from physical to virtual to cloud across any operating system, chipset or storage device.
Using platform-independent technology makes many scenarios possible including migrating between storage from different vendors, migrating to a server located anywhere in the world, consolidating servers with many-to-one migration and moving operations to a new data center across extended distances with very little downtime.
Evolve Continuously to Achieve Migration Success
While data migrations will always entail a certain amount of risk and downtime, modern solutions have greatly improved chances for a positive outcome. IT leaders at Federal, State and Local governments and those at their agencies that act confidently, instead of out of fear, to take on important migrations for their organization will come out on the top of the food chain, evolving to thrive to the benefit of both their organization and the taxpayer.  

 

( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson
Posted in

G C Network

Leave a Comment





Crate

Purchase Crate

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.

Checkout
Scroll To Top