I was thinking about all the times things went wrong during a conversion and/or migration. From moving data from one computer or a complete Data Center the basics are the same. Now a days it is easier than ever, and I know there are tools and companies that promise to take away the guess-work. If you are not blessed with a budget to do this, but the need this can be helpful.
I try to split everything up into three groups.
1. Group 1 — We know who owns the hardware and the software and the group affected.
2. Group 2 — We know who might own the hardware and the software and the groups affected.
3. Group 3 — We have what?
Group 1 is easy because you have all the parts and can communicate with the responsible parties to make sure the move is completed and verified correctly.
Group 2 is usually were you spend the most time, because sometimes the data is confused or the owner has changed that nobody knows exactly who has ownership. I suggest that you look at the logins on the servers and the logins on the application to see who is really using the system. Then go to those users and admins to see who they report issues too. The one that cares about any outages usually has ownership.
Group 3 is luck and sometimes wading thru red tape that is in people’s mind.
For example: A data center had a laptop hooked to a camera that was focused on a key fob that number changed every minute or so. When we moved the data center we were told that was for an old application and could never be touched. Not only is this a security risk, but it is considered overly important. After some investigation the people who used that weren’t even with the company no more because it had been sold off years ago. So another company was using this camera on a key fob in our data center for there financial gains. It was supposed to be turned off a year after the other company left, but the C-Level running the project left right after getting the payday. So we had a camera and a key fob that should have been turned off 2 years prior. This might not sound like much, but the time and efforts we had put into not touching the system with any upgrades and system wide security patches is a lot of time and money wasted.
So for Group 3 I usually do a much investigating as we can afford, and then there are two options:
1. Don’t touch it.
2. Turn it off and see who complains.
With virtualization you can usually clone a server to test the move, but as in my example I would need a camera, laptop, and key fob to move over.
Every migration is a challenge, but a little experience can go a long way. If you need help please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or respond to my blogs. It is good to hear from my readers. Have a good day.