Thu, Dec
0 New Articles

Fly Above Storm Clouds with an Airtight Data Migration to the Cloud

Managed Services / SaaS / PaaS / IaaS
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

A carefully executed data migration plan and the right migration technology can make cloud a viable option for scalable data storage.


As organizations continue to amass vast amounts of data, cloud has come to the fore as a solution that can meet growing storage demands. A notable 64 percent of respondents to Vision Solutions 2015 State of Resilience Report, which surveyed IT professionals, said that their organizations currently use cloud services. The number has more than doubled since 2011, when just 23 percent of respondents used the cloud.


In fact, some of the world's top organizations are inching toward an all-cloud model. For example, AT&T has thrown its hat into the ring, with plans to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.


This widespread adoption is hardly surprising, given cloud's many benefits for data storage. In particular, cloud has the capacity to store the enormous amount of data organizations must capture for business. Cloud providers help businesses keep pace in another way as well; they refresh their infrastructure on a fairly regular basis and tend to do so more often than other types of vendors, so users get the latest technology supporting their storage.


Scalability is another major benefit, and it's one of the main reasons companies turn to the cloud to meet data storage demands. Since it's not restricted to a certain amount of storage space, users can adapt to market changes very quickly with cloud services. For example, an online ticket seller can expand its infrastructure for a 24-hour period in anticipation of massive demand due to an event and then scale it back once the rush period has passed.


Cloud also pairs nicely with Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). It provides a target environment for DRaaS and can significantly reduce recovery times compared to conventional (non-virtualized) disaster recovery approaches.


But in order to take full advantage of the cloud's benefits, IT must execute a successful data migration. Once an organization has decided to incorporate cloud into its storage solutions, IT leaders must map out a thorough migration plan.


Make the Planning Process Clear, Not Cloudy

There is no getting around it: data migrations are incredibly complex, and IT must create a meticulous plan for successful completion. It's also very important to work with partners who possess a high level of expertise. Equally important is selecting systems that allow test migrations, user acceptance testing, and the ability to transition back to the on-premise infrastructure quickly in the event that something goes wrong.


There is a discipline to the process that will increase chances for a successful migration. It begins with thoughtful, in-depth discovery, assessment, and planning phases. Many departments simply do not fully grasp what their data storage needs are, and virtual sprawl has not helped matters. This is why discovery and assessment are critical. In these stages, organizations can uncover what they actually have and decide which applications to migrate and which ones should not be migrated, either because they're no longer adding business value or they're redundant.


Another consideration organizations must make when planning a migration to cloud is deciding what kind of storage model they want to adopt. How much data will they keep on-premise, and how much will they move to the cloud? Will they utilize public cloud at all or use private cloud exclusively? Hybrid clouda blend of on-premise, private cloud and public cloud services with orchestration between the two platformshas become a popular model. It offers a comfortable way for companies to ease into a cloud environment.


Enterprises must also assess which business applications are suited for a cloud environment. Moving applications at random can harm their performance. IT should get granular; mitigating factors vary by industry, so this is a strategic consideration during assessment. The migration team should also remember that every application follows its own unique cloud migration path. In order to guide each application properly throughout the migration process, IT should keep a "scorecard" with each workload's economic, security, and risk profile.


Cloud migration beginners may choose to narrow their selected applications even further. When it comes to deciding what to migrate, organizations may want to take a conservative approach to migration at first. It's wise to begin by migrating services that would make a minimal negative impact should something go wrong. Batch processing systems, big data analytics platforms, collaborative tools, and Web applications are examples of the type of data many organizations store in the cloud.


Finally, it's important for companies to understand the difference between virtualization and private cloud. Many enterprises believe they have built a private cloud, when in reality they have just virtualized their storage setup. The first step of cloud is virtualization, but the solution must also be fully orchestrated and automated to become a private cloud. Some public cloud vendors are going so far as to make orchestration tools available to enterprises, because their end goal is for companies to develop a hybrid solution. They know that if an organization has a positive experience with a hybrid cloud, it is more likely to adopt an all-cloud solution.


Many organizations are already running hybrid clouds, but not all are part of a fully integrated setup. A true hybrid cloud integrates on-premise and cloud so they work seamlessly together. Some smaller providers are creating hybrid solutions by pairing a locally hosted private cloud with a public cloud. This type of solution is appealing to users because they can store sensitive information in the private cloud, an ideal option for companies with data privacy concerns.


On Cloud Nine: Executing a Successful Migration

Once an organization has taken stock of its assets and decided on a storage model, IT leaders and department heads should meet to finalize which assets to migrate. From there, it's time to map out the migration process, considering all potential scenarios.


IT must also understand all of the interdependencies between applications and data streams. With this information in hand, IT leaders should determine which servers they will migrate and in what order. Taking a phased approach is best; the migration team should submit data to cycles of user acceptance testing. A common approach involves selecting a subset of random data and inspecting it to ensure the migration was completed "as designed."


Once the migration process begins, applications may present a challenge. Historically, migrating large enterprise applications has been a painful and laborious process. Fortunately, IT can now use data solutions, which facilitate swift migration of data from on-premise to cloud regardless of storage infrastructure. The software in data solutions leverages three key components to facilitate cloud migration: a single copy of all duplicate data blocks, compression of data blocks, and streaming replication of changed data blocks.


Applications require further attention upon implementation. In order to ensure performance, IT must tune applications to the cloud environment; the migration team should never assume they will run properly without tweaks. For example, applications running on an in-house data center can access the company's full computing power. But in the cloud, the very same apps compete for compute resources with other apps hosted on the cloud provider's servers. IT must enable these applications to perform at an optimal level despite the reduction in available power or consider a private, hosted cloud, which will probably limit the flexibility achieved by moving to the cloud.


Smooth Sailing in the Cloud

The migration process can become laborious at times, so organizations should choose flexible migration solutions to make it less cumbersome. Solutions that offer flexibility will support an effortless transition to the cloud, allowing users to feel confident in their decision. The right technology propels customers into their cloud environment, making not only the migration seamless but also the first impressions of their new environment positive.


The migration itself may only be one piece of the cloud equation, but it sets the stage for continued cloud usage and accelerated cloud adoption across businesses today. And when companies execute successful data migrations, they are poised to enjoy the benefits of a cloud solution that helps them soar toward new horizons.


Ian Masters

With over 10 years of expertise in the industry, Ian Masters specializes high availability, disaster recovery, migration, cloud computing and recovery-as-a-service. Masters works at Vision Solutions, the premiere provider of software solutions designed to protect data, minimize downtime and maximize resources for the modern data center.



Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: