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Making a Migration Work Like a Factory

There are many things to overlook or underestimate in a migration, and having a factory to move the data resolves plenty of questions. This week MB Foster took its UDA Central software for a webinar spin as a coming-out party, of a sort: The first briefing pitched directly to other integrators, consultants, and migration experts.

Cortlandt Wilson was on the call in the webinar, discovering more about how to help the MANMAN and ERP sites he's assisting in a migration onto other solutions. "He's really been the go-to person for moving data," he said of Birket Foster, CEO of the company.

Departmental TriageFoster explained the triage of deciding if an application should be rehosted, replaced, or retired, and the factory concept shows how those decisions can be made more easily with UDA Central. The software has built a reputation for delivering insights about data.

"A lot of the customers out there don't know enough about what they own," Foster said in explaining the mission for UDA Central, which will rent by the job in the integrator-consultant model. The pricing will be offered in small-team and large-team tiers, meaning the size of the customer's IT team. The number of data targets, and the number of databases being migrated, will determine the price of the rental.

"Our goal was always to help in migrations so they're 10 times faster than using scripts," Foster said during the webinar. Scripting is the old-school way of moving data, something that UDA Central removes from the process. The software's been growing for 15 years, Foster added.

Among the list of practices polished during that time, Foster notes that Application Portfolio Management is crucial to knowing where to send your migrated programs.

Replacing Applications“About 40 percent of your apps in a portfolio will only require A to A mapping,” he said. “It is almost like a backup and restore for rehosting. You move infrastructures: the same database exists, it’s already in the right format, and the data is already current. This happens when someone decides to put a VM under it, or change the hardware out, or move the datacenter."

About 10 percent of apps will require A to B mapping, if you’re not on the current database version. About 5 percent have A to C mapping. This is moving data and apps to a new database type, new data types, or a new flavor of SQL.

Foster said typically about 40 percent of applications in a portfolio need to be replaced in a migration. That’s a 1-3 year project. Up to six months of that is the bake-offs between candidates and sign-offs from the users. "If you’re doing this, you really need a toolset," Foster says.

The third R is Retire, and MB Foster said it finds about five percent of applications need to go away. But this choice involves Policy Management, something you should be building. You need to have a process to get data in context; you can’t just shut down the system.

“We’re the guys who work with the customers to figure out how the database moves," he said, in explaining his company's role in working with the integrators and consultants. "We also know a lot about moving application code, because we’ve done it a bunch of times.”