Migration – The Storage Refresh Killer

Data Dynamics Briefing Note

At some point in a storage administrators tenure, they will have to navigate the organization through a storage refresh. Actually they may have to guide the organization through several of these refreshes. It is a huge task that requires information gathering, nonsense filtering, vendor negotiations and tough decision making. Often the forgotten part of the storage refresh is how to migrate data to the shiny new storage system you just purchased. It is more than just copying data from point A to point B.

Most storage refreshes are not total replacements – they are additive. And not all the data will migrate to the new system. This means that the data on the old system needs a classification for appropriateness to the new storage system. Few organizations have a tool that will perform this assessment. Most often it is left up to a best guess on the part of the storage administrator.

Once IT identifies the data, the organization has to make a decision on a data movement tool. There are plenty of free tools, but how effective are they? Will they account for all the applications interdependence? Can you throttle bandwidth? Finally there is the actual cut over to the new system. The administrator has to make sure permissions and final updates are complete. The result is a very manual process with plenty of room for error.

Enter Data Dynamics StorageX, a unstructured data management platform. It provides policy based automation of data movement and can be used for migrating data to a new platform or as part of a broader data mobility initiative. It supports moving data between various File Server and NAS solutions as well as moving data to and from the cloud.

While most data centers will first implement StorageX specifically for migration, they will quickly find that it is ideal for a complete data mobility strategy. It allows for the establishment of policies that move data to a number of locations based on age, activity level or data type. It also provides a Software Developer Kit with StorageX APIs so that line of business managers can orchestrate policies to meet their specific needs.

The software is available in three modules based on use case. The first is the migration and transformation module that provides data movement, migration project management and reporting. The second is the data protection module that provides replication of SMB and NFS resources, again all driven by policy and the third module is the DFS Protection suite that provides not only the replication capabilities in the data protection module but also Namespace data protection for Microsoft DFS Namespaces.

StorageSwiss Take

Moving data is easy. Migrating data, so it is usable on a new or secondary system is not. Expecting IT to account for all the application and security interdependence is almost too much to ask. StorageX solves the problem by providing an automated workflow for data migration. What makes it more appealing though is its ability to evolve from a point migration utility to a data mobility solution that enables the policy driven movement of data throughout the enterprise and into the cloud.

Eight years ago George Crump, founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal. To educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is and a heavily sought after public speaker. With 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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