HP's return to familiar IT roots
Filing deadwood requires community's help

Lifting and Shifting Data for All

LIftNShift overviewA massive migration project is underway in the State of Washington, where a collective of 34 colleges is moving HP 3000 programs to HP-UX.

It's called a lift-and-shift, but that's a primary way of telling the user base that not much is changing. It's true from a user's perspective, although the internals of the 3 million lines of code are going through significant and interesting changes.

One of the most fascinating parts of the project is its order of execution. The reports -- the part of the system the users touch the most -- are the first milestone. 200 of them are written for MB Foster's DataExpress. Foster has moved its product onward to UDA Link, full of enhancements. The State Board of Community and Technical Colleges posted a document that showed how vital these reports are to the life of its systems. That's why the reports are going across to Unix first.

Inside the PowerPoint slide deck -- and I love the transparency of this project, being done with governmental funding and open reports to users -- you can see that having an HP-UX version of UDA Link, written for the latest Itanium generation of HP's Unix servers, was essential.

There's so much more to see and say about this project, and we've arranged with project overseer Speedware to get us updates throughout the 18-month timeline. But the PowerPoint document and the diagram above say so much about how to handle a big lift and shift.

It proceeds step by step, with all the details worked out to cover the 3000-isms of a system that's been running for a few decades. Starting with the data reporting is a great way to begin if you're working with plenty of existing reports. Finding a tool to carry you across that first step might be job one, if you're doing this yourself.

And if that tool already runs on the HP 3000 today, so you could get a head start and use the capabilities of a UDA Central? That's a bonus for a homesteader who might someday be a migrator. Some tools are built for the interim and beyond. Although you'll need to set a Code Freeze date for your existing apps in a lift and shift, there's a way to let a tool start earning its keep before the freeze sets in.