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Data Migration: Should You Do It Yourself?
Scott Gaw|Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Your company is finally replacing an old storage array that has been limping along for some time and you are in the process of ordering your new storage system. Now you have to make a critical decision—how do you migrate data to the brand new shiny storage array? Do you migrate the data yourself or do you hire a professional services organization with data migration expertise?

This decision should not be taken lightly. If you do it yourself, you can save your company money. However, you can also experience disastrous results if you don't handle the job properly and you could cost the company more money in the long run. Your organization's data is a valuable asset that can't be replaced, so the right procedures and data migration tools should be deployed.

Should you decide to perform the data migration yourself, you need to follow your standard procedures. You need to back up your data and select a data migration solution that will meet your business requirements as well as your organization’s service level agreements (SLAs). Selecting the right data migration tool is of utmost importance, so you need to choose an application that provides high performance migrations, supports migration between heterogeneous storage systems, and provides high availability. The QLogic Data Migration Solution (DMS) provides the flexibility and efficiency to meet the complex migration requirements of your data center.

Getting to the right data migration solution

First, make sure your data migration solution will allow you to copy data from the source to the target storage array with the highest performance and the shortest maintenance window. The maintenance window may be a weekend, overnight, or during the week while the application and operation is live. The key is making the best use of your time migrating data and bringing your new array online. The QLogic DMS is a stand-alone solution that can migrate up to 8TB per hour (your mileage may vary depending on configuration). Unlike some solutions, the QLogic DMS does not steal CPU cycles from your servers to perform the data migration, and the operation can be done with servers offline or online. Due to the large data volumes migrated in enterprise data centers, it is best to avoid cutting corners with a solution that doesn’t provide the necessary performance for these environments.

A second key feature you need is the flexibility to migrate data between heterogeneous storage arrays. Many storage vendors only support data migration within their own product family. These types of solutions are not options when your new storage array is from a different vendor, or when the storage protocol is different (Fibre Channel or iSCSI). The QLogic DMS easily migrates data between heterogeneous Fibre Channel and iSCSI arrays from virtually all storage manufacturers. The flexibility to migrate data from one vendor’s storage array to another's allows you to use a single solution that does not require juggling multiple tools. QLogic DMS supports the broadest range of storage arrays from HP, IBM, Dell, EMC, NetApp, HDS and more.

Finally, enterprise data centers require high availability to meet customer SLAs. It might be tempting to go with a free or low-cost software solution that is bundled with your operating system or volume manager. But why take the risk of errors, system downtime or configuration issues? Many solutions claim they are enterprise-ready, but do not provide enterprise-level, high availability. The QLogic DMS features migration job failover/failback and hot-swappable blade replacement to ensure business continuity in enterprise environments. Should a blade fail, migration jobs automatically failover to the peer blade and continue running to completion. Blades are hot-swappable, allowing you to replace a failed blade on the fly and all user configurations are automatically loaded to the new blade when it comes up.

The QLogic DMS enables you to utilize a single solution to migrate data in the most complex data center, locally or remotely. Please go to for more information on the QLogic Data Migration Solution.

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