It’s impossible to manage anything you cannot see. That’s the premise behind Step 2 of the IT migration process: Data Discovery and Collection. As discussed in an earlier blog, the risk of failure for migration projects is extremely high. Acting as a stepping stone to future progress – whether it be colocation, hosting or cloud – the cost, efficiency, scalability and availability benefits from a migration are extremely high. In Step 2, we move onto the next stage – uncovering what you don’t know through Discovery.
Typical IT environments are a vast universe of content, hardware, and software that are spread across multiple data centers, locations and diverse technologies. Companies must effectively discover each application function and data – where it resides, data set size, and level of criticality to the business. Full infrastructure component inventory is taken, across compute, network, storage and databases that support applications.
Essential items addressed during the discovery stage include:
- Identifying application function, pinpointing business cycles to time to move
- Reconciling multiple sources and data versions prior to migration
- Pinpointing tools to be used
- Determining necessary data type (technical and non-technical)
A strong automated discovery and correlations tool – along with guidance and support from a third-party – is important to facilitate the process. Automated tools allow for capturing performance metrics over a period of time for proper sizing during design. Data is discovered from a range of sources — stemming from multiple spreadsheets, output from CMBD, directory services, as well as configuration files from devices. Non-functional data is also captured, including business rules that define system availability, criticality of the applications. This encapsulates data concerning Recovery Point Objective (RPO)/Recovery Time Objective (RTO) requirements in the event of disaster. Data is also correlated to uncover interdependencies and impact.
Possible roadblocks during discovery include:
- Lack of application-specific resources to support migration
- Timing of outages to minimize business impact
- Identifying outsourced applications to determine processes and resources
Experienced professionals well-trained in extraction techniques will boost the chances of successful discovery, leading workshops driven by a systematic approach. Discussions start with the applications and take a top-down approach to compute, network storage, and database components supporting each application. Workshops begin after data is collected, allowing for targeted questioning based on results and possible gaps in automated discovery.
Once discovery is underway and all interdependencies correlated, this will form a baseline for the migration process. You cannot manage (or migrate) what you cannot see and only a detailed map of the current IT environment can tackle what we’ll explore next – Analysis.
IT migration is a complex process, but a detailed map will get you there. It’s time to take the next step on the migration journey with automated discovery. Download this Executive Brief to see how working with an experienced partner to guide you through the six-step migration process is one formula for increasing your chances of success.
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