System Data Migration Demystified

A photo of zebras migration as a metaphor for data migration

February 23, 2018 Legacy System Blog Articles, Private Cloud Hosting Blog Articles

“Migration” is one of those words in the IT world that can give people an instant headache. The migration process is famous for being long, cumbersome, and sometimes even risky. In spite of this, few people have a clear understanding of what data migration really is, and how it works. Here we demystify it, and go over some considerations for companies and providers alike (and for IBM Power Systems users as well).


Migration in a Nutshell

Data migration refers to moving your data from one environment to another, and is typically performed by a managed service provider (MSP). Migration can come up in a variety of contexts, like moving to a cloud environment, shifting to a new application (like a new version of IBM Content Manager), or even just upgrading your hardware.


Challenges and Considerations

Some of the challenges of migrating data include:

  • Lack of validation
  • Compatibility issues
  • Security and encryption
  • Ineffective use of expertise
  • Avoiding disruption of data transfer
  • Ensuring integrity of the transferred data
  • Lack of knowledge about the source data
  • Migrating without affecting concurrent production

If there are issues in the source data (like missing or duplicate information), this can cause problems when trying to configure your data to the new system. That’s why it’s critical to test your systems to have actual confidence in the migration. You should validate the data transformation with your determined specifications – and with actual data – early on. A crucial part of this will be having expert involvement from the very beginning. Too many companies only let experts in on the project once it’s already underway, or something’s already gone wrong. The best way to avoid errors and costly mistakes is to have expert input on the entire process, not just in the final validation phase.

Meanwhile, some of the challenges and considerations specifically affecting IBM Power users include:

  • What IBM OS version is running?
  • What PTF level is the current system at?
  • What vendor software keys are required?
  • What specific security issues should be considered?
  • What license program products (LPPs) are necessary?

Data migration might be a complicated process, but with the right provider it can be headache-free. Then the question arises: why migrate at all? And why not do it in-house?


Why Migrate?

When it comes to where your data is being hosted, think of hosting your own data like hosting a party. Hosting a party at your home means getting the food and drinks, cleaning before and after, and more mess and responsibility overall. Plus, more guests means more risk of damage to your house and furnishings, in addition to risk that someone might get hurt, which you are then liable for.

The data world isn’t much different in this respect. When hosting your data in-house, you’re at risk for data loss, corruption, security issues, downtime, and more. The longer your company is operating the more data you will acquire, making these risks more likely and more serious.

Switching to cloud computing, or cloud hosting, can provide a cost-effective, secure, and scalable solution to these issues. The host provider takes care of the mess and does all of the heavy lifting, so you can focus on your production IT environment (or enjoy your party, if we’re sticking with that analogy). Plus, you get to enjoy plenty of other perks, like:

  • Managed updates
  • Simplified management
  • Secure and encrypted data storage
  • Reduced overhead and management costs
  • Strengthened business resiliency to downtime and disasters
  • Built-in solutions, like high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR)

Plus, with the right provider, the data migration process can be efficient and headache-free, no matter the platform (from IBM Power Systems to Windows or Unisys systems). Contact us to see how.


For  more information on simple and secure data migration, contact us today at 317-707-3941.


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