Blog July 16, 2013

Data Migration- Not All Hosting Providers Are Created Equal

As companies look to streamline operations and reduce overall IT expenditures, many are moving from their in-house data centers to a hosted model.  Whether the hosted model consists of traditional physical servers or public/private cloud infrastructure, one thing remains constant- data must move from the existing architecture to the new hosted platform.

A company’s data is in many ways its most important asset. The integrity and availability of this data is critical to the success of the business and its end users.  These users don’t care where the data resides; only that it is accessible in a timely manner.  The systems that house this data are complicated environments that include multiple vendors’ technologies.  Things such as: operating systems, applications, database managers and storage platforms comprise the business solution.  These platforms may or may not have inherent tools to migrate data from one computer system to another.

Most skilled managed hosting providers can deploy an environment to host business applications.   However, special skill sets are needed to properly plan and execute a successful data migration.  Before data can be moved, the underlying business needs must be addressed.  On a per application basis, details surrounding:  outage windows, data loss, and system inter-dependencies must be documented before a successful migration plan can be put in place.  Then, once these areas are identified, the technical team can discuss tools and strategies to meet the business needs.

Often the outcome of the business discussion results in a data/application classification system that requires the migration plan to involve different tool sets.  Low priority applications may allow for data to be sent electronically or copied to physical media and shipped.  Whereas mission critical applications may involve sophisticated technologies including (but not limited to), 3rd party software replication tools, SAN or NAS replication, or database log shipping.

Since most data center outsourcing projects involve a mixture of applications of varying priorities, there is often no one best solution for migrating data.  It is important for the provider to have a solid understanding of the business needs as well as the technologies available given the importance of the data.   This will ensure that the project will meet the primary objective – ensuring business continuity for the business and end-users.

I hope you found this information to be helpful for your IT operation. If you have any further questions on data migration please email me at blog@connectria.com.

– Dave Baggette

 

About Dave Baggette, Assistant VP- Data Center Services

Dave joined Connectria as the first Data Center employee in 1998. He was instrumental in building Connectria’s initial St. Louis Data Center, establishing all core services required to bring it online. Dave also was key in securing and supporting Connectria’s original customers, including Deutsche Bank, IBM, Union Pacific and PECO Energy among others. With over 20 years experience managing IBM Mainframe, Distributed Systems, Networks and Internet services; Dave is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of Data Center reliability and security, as well as supporting strategic data center projects. Prior to joining Connectria, Dave was an Application Programmer, VTAM Systems Programmer, and Network Administrator at GMAC Insurance.

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