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Migrations demand synchronization

While some migrations take six weeks, like the SAP implementation at Aearo Technologies, many span months if not years. A customer needs to keep their current HP 3000 applications and databases in service while migration changes roll out, especially if there's a network of field systems to migrate, too.

Not long ago Taurus Software announced it is helping the express package and mail service Freightways Group in New Zealand move its databases — with hundreds of millions of HP 3000 records — to HP's Integrity servers. Bridgeware, the Taurus solution to move data between databases and Web applications, will smooth the transition, according to Taurus president Caliean Sherman.

“Freightways is benefiting from one of BridgeWare’s key benefits – the ability to run a seamless, trouble-free migration,” said Sherman. “BridgeWare and Integrity servers make it easy to move your data between various databases and the Web with minimal system impact.”

Taurus reported that keeping Freightways' network field operations productive during the migration added a challenge to the transition.

The challenge was doing so while maintaining service leadership and retaining the value of Freightways’ investment in existing IT assets. To make things even more complex, Freightways had to factor in its highly distributed network of field offices, which ruled out a single, full-blown migration.

Freightways' Information Services group is moving five TurboIMAGE databases worth of data into Oracle on five Integrity systems, but not all at once. [We note here that a one-database per server configuration is typical of the HP-UX installations we have seen. Those IMAGE databases might have been on just a pair of HP 3000s. But at least the Integrity servers deliver more performance for value.]

“With this phased approach," said Freightways Information Services General Manager Richard Mitchell-Lowe, "we must be able to move data back and forth between our legacy environment and the new infrastructure.” 

Data movement has become the keystone to a successful migration for many customers, leading companies like Taurus and MB Foster to deploy data extraction and transfer solutions to HP 3000 sites. Some are for ongoing 3000 operations, but many will ready the customers for a move to HP's current-generation Integrity systems, given enough time.

BridgeWare allowed Freightways to migrate both legacy and real-time data directly into a form usable by their new Oracle 10g database solution. Keeping IMAGE and Oracle in perfect sync at Freightways involves some 300 million records — and will likely extend through the end of 2007.