One of HCL’s customers, an integrated communications solutions provider of data, e-business and voice services to business and households in Canada, needed to ensure its infrastructure could support the aggressive company growth predicted for the next five years. After consulting with HCL, the customer decided to move their physical legacy infrastructure to a hyper-convergence environment, to achieve cost savings, and increased flexibility. The hyper-convergence model is software-centric and tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources.
HCL needed to perform the migration project with as little business disruption as possible, as explained by Polu Srinivas, Transition and Transformation Director at HCL: “We wanted an ‘anywhere to anywhere’ migration solution, so that we could support the move to a virtual environment, but also include some physical server targets. We needed to migrate 2,500 servers, across a variety of operating systems and multiple, application-specific, SQL database versions, supporting Cognos, Citrix, and Oracle-based applications. The requirement was an automated solution to help us achieve full results within a timeframe of seven months, as set by the customer, with a minimum of business disruption.”
HCL investigated free migration tools, alongside PlateSpin Migration Factory. PlateSpin Migration Factory is the go-to solution for cloud and data center server migrations, using high-speed block-based transfers and Server Sync technology to deliver the fastest and most efficient migrations. The timeline required and the wide variety of platforms which needed to be supported were determining factors. Srinivas: “PlateSpin Migration Factory offers broad support for 32- and 64-bit Windows and Linux operating systems. It also has the ability to accelerate server migrations and reduce errors with the highest level of automation available in any migration solution we looked at. That, coupled with the ease of use and Micro Focus support made the decision easy for us.”
In a successful partnership, HCL, Micro Focus, and the customer worked together to define and execute the migration project. Multiple operating systems such as CentOS, Windows 2003, 2008, and 2012, and multiple versions of RedHat and SUSE needed to be supported. After a first phase of successful server migrations, the customer had gained confidence in HCL and the Micro Focus solution, and requested a migration of Active Directory servers, Exchange servers, Windows clusters, SQL Server-based applications and Oracle databases. These 500+ servers contain business critical applications and the migration had to be finished within a one month timescale, to minimize downtime. HCL, with support from Micro Focus, managed the migration in 12 days which was a great result for the customer.
Testing was a major part of the project, and PlateSpin Migration Factory’s integrated testing capabilities were valuable here, as Srinivas comments: “During the initial migration phases the customer conducted application testing. We then integrated testing right into the process with PlateSpin Migration Factory’s Server Sync capability. With Server Sync, after an initial full server replication, the target server is kept in sync with the source server via automatically scheduled incremental replications. Live transfer allowed us to run migrations in the background without shutting down source servers. The testing ability of the target server after each sync has helped us minimize downtime for final cut-over to ensure data is up-to-date, which was so important for this particular customer.”