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No More Migration Tears

by Hu Yoshida on Feb 13, 2012

The adoption of new technologies is essential to improve performance and availability, and stay competitive. Still, migrating to new storage technologies presents significant challenges since it involves data and applications, as well as people and processes. Detailed and careful planning must be done to ensure business priorities, data protection, and application data requirements are all incorporated.

As storage systems get larger and support more applications, the migration of storage from one generation to the next becomes more disruptive, expensive and riskier. David Merrill, who tracks this on a regular basis, estimates that the burdened cost of doing a migration today is about $15K per TB, which is more than the purchase cost of the capacity. The two biggest concerns that organizations face during a data migration are the risks of downtime’s impact to the business and budget overrun. In a recent survey, 70% of participants reported schedule overruns of 30% while 64% reported average budget overruns of 16%.

Today, HDS announced a new nondisruptive migration service, which eliminates the need for an outage window when migrating from previous Hitachi virtualization controllers [USP, NSC 55, USP V, USP VM] to the latest VSP platform. The core technology is a new persistent identity feature of VSP, which enables spoofing of a source logical device SCSI ID. This virtualization feature is transparent and agnostic to any modern operating system or hypervisor; FC or SAN attached host, path management, and host clustering. Once the source volume identity takeover is performed, target volumes will appear as an alternate path to the original volume in all aspects, including the device, system serial number, and port worldwide name identifier. This technology also enables multiple source systems to be consolidated to VSP without disruption. Initially, some tasks (like replication) will have to be suspended during the takeover, but this restriction will be removed in future releases.

While this technology eliminates the need for an application outage or system downtime, there is still plenty of planning to be done, as an audit, host discovery, review and planning phases of the migration are still required. Since migration is a task not done on a daily basis (and is usually added on top of the IT operations normal workload) nondisruptive migration is released as a service. It is supported by experienced professionals whose sole focus is on migration and are knowledgeable about the special planning and processes required to complete a migration project on schedule within a budget.

The HDS migration services are also available for migration of heterogeneous storage systems to VSP with only limited interruption.

There is currently a Switch It On promotion, which greatly reduces the licensing cost when virtualizing external storage, including AMS behind VSP.

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