Whether you are an IT head, a business owner or developer, the execution of a successful migration is paramount to keeping cost, time and resources to a minimum.
When web services get old
In this day and age, pretty much every business relies on web services in some shape or form. You might have a corporate website. It may be that you just use email. You might even have a dedicated suite of online applications, ranging from powerful clustered database driven applications with on demand web-facing services, sizing up and down as required.
Whatever web platform you have, at some point in the future (if it hasn’t already) it will get old. You know it is getting old when it starts to get slow and unresponsive. Sometimes it stops working and your tech department will tell you that they need to replace something in order to cobble it back together. Or maybe you get that dreaded email from your webhost saying that they can no longer continue to support your old aging platform.
At this point, you are forced to migrate because technology has moved on since your site was developed in FrontPage ’98 by a mate who you bribed with a few pints of lager down the bar one Friday afternoon.
Whatever the reason for your migration, I have constructed a list of five hot tips for getting from A to B with a successful migration.
1 – Choosing your migration team for a successful migration
Firstly, heed Douglas Adams‘ Fine Words: – “Don’t Panic!”
Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you probably have more important things to do. And no, you probably didn’t budget for a migration (sadly nobody does!).
The good news is that there are people out there, us included, who specialise in migrations. Find them, talk to them, explain the problem and see if you trust them.
Are they able to coherently explain what the basic process involves, or do they try to blind you with science? Are they evasive? Do they just agree to anything? Generally, if you get immediate “yes, boss” type answers to questions then press them for more detail.
A significant portion of the time, the correct answer from any specialist is “it depends”, especially in migrations.
Client: “I need a migration. Can you do it?”
Dodgy Tech: “Yes, boss”
A correct response should be a series of questions designed to work out exactly what your unique requirements are. “Yes” just doesn’t cut it!
Client: “Will it work on the new hardware?”
Dodgy Tech: “Yes, boss”
A correct response from a migration expert should be “it depends”. It depends on everything from what you want migrating to how old any running software is. Is it still supported? Can it be safely upgraded? Will trying to read the data off the old drive actually crash the old server (yes, I have seen this happen).
If you choose your migration team carefully, everything should run smoothly.
In part two tomorrow, I will discuss why you shouldn’t try to use the migration as an opportunity to perform development upgrades.