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May 11, 2016

Migrations include data: How to handle bags

BagsonbeltEarlier this week I wrote about a collective of Washington state colleges that moved away from the HP 3000 and MPE in 2011. The work started years earlier and had a dead-end for awhile, but the 36 HP 3000s eventually became just six Integrity servers. They used the TurboIMAGE data and lifted apps, but the data was the most crucial part of the migration.

Moving data is fraught with challenges, from doing it in a way that the new apps can make sense of it, to making sure everything got transported safely. Good HP 3000 managers are like Marines: no bit of data is left behind. They leave behind applications often, because programs go obsolete or get replaced. Not data.

Later today MB Foster is having a demo of its UDACentral software. There's still a few hours to register, but you need to be at your browser live at 1 PM today, May 11. This is an HP 3000 story, too. Migration is more complicated sometimes than just STORE and RESTORE. Mapping a database to another one is easier with good software.

The demo will show "how to drag and drop and map data from source to target, automatically create migration scripts, and migrate tens of millions of rows per hour." A free trial of UDACentral can be downloaded from the MBFoster website.

"This is a 3000 story, and beyond a 3000 as well," Birket Foster says. "A story of evolution and learning to use data."

Last year, new features appeared in UDACentral. 

  • Convert CSV files to RDBMS tables
  • Support both FTPS (FTP over SSL) and SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
  • Encrypt data in-flight, metadata and migration scripts

Afterlast spring's demo of the software, I commented that "Carrying a company's identity from a TurboIMAGE database to Oracle or SQL Server has been viewed as a complex task for a long time. It looked a lot less complex today."

Choosing source databases, then selecting a target database of another type, was straightforward. More importantly, this software ensures that data makes its move in a way that delivers a useable resource, not one overrun with table errors and illegal dataset names. Warnings before the data's moved keep the identity of the company clear. There's a default data mapping between databases that's done automatically to get database administrators and managers started quickly.

Watching the software in action that day made me realize how far we've come in the task of making transformations to our IT enterprises. There was once a Computerworld reporter who asked me during the 1990s what barriers IBM had to overcome if it stood any chance of converting HP 3000s to AS/400 sites. Well, there are those databases, I said to him. "You might move the applications or replace them. But the data's got to remain the same."

07:28 AM in Migration | Permalink

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