Solving NAS Migration Pain – Komprise 2.7 Briefing Note

Every few years an organization needs to purchase a new network attached storage (NAS) system. The old system either has reached its capacity limits or no longer meets the performance expectations of new users and applications. The options for a NAS replacement are almost limitless. Unfortunately, the choices for migrating data on the old NAS to the new NAS are not. IT planners typically have to choose from using free utilities that are error-prone and require manual intervention, or using specific migration tools that are complex, expensive and only good for that single task.

Data migration is not a product, or at least it shouldn’t be. Data migration should be a feature of a much larger solution, like a backup solution or a data management application. Backup, though, isn’t file specific. It is job specific. Data Management is the ideal product segment to offer data migration and end the migration nightmare.

The problem is most data management solutions just don’t offer the raw performance and ease of set up found in the typical data migration solution. Data management solutions are typically designed to take a long term approach where a migration task is designed to be used once and be completed as quickly as possible. Most data management solutions can’t deliver a highly parallelized transfer and as a result, the point migration products often win the day.

Adding High Performance Migration to Data Management

The problem with making a data management solution more performance-focused is that more than likely the only time it will need raw performance is during migration. Creating such a heavyweight application for a once-every-three-year use case seems like an inefficient use of resources. The solution is to make the data management solution more scalable and distributed, so that under normal conditions of managing data rather than migrating it, the application is lightweight. However, when a migration need arises, the solution can generate multiple parallel instances, which process and migrate data in a multi-threaded fashion.

The Value of Data Management Driven Migration

The value of data migration driven by a data management process is it is not a one-time solution. The organization can now leverage the data management solution for a variety of other tasks, including ongoing analytics, cold data archiving and simplifying the data protection and disaster recovery processes.

Providing data migration as a feature of a data management solution also means the organization can lengthen the life expectancy of the new NAS solution, predict more accurately when it will need to be replaced, and more accurately specify the type of system with which to replace the current equipment. Subsequent NAS systems can be purpose driven, for higher-performance for example, but smaller. With data management in place, only performance-sensitive data needs to be migrated to the newer NAS, based on information the organization ascertains through the analytics collected by the data management solution.

Komprise’ Data Migration Feature

Komprise, a leader in data management, from its inception has taken a unique approach to data management by delivering its solution in a distributed scale-out model. The organization can start with one instance of Komprise’s Observer and then spin up additional instances, creating a grid of Observers as performance or availability needs dictate. The agentless solution works across SMB, NFS, Lustre and Rest/S3 to seamlessly analyze data and move it to a secondary storage location like an on-premises object storage system or an S3 Public Cloud Storage provider.

In version 2.7 Komprise adds a NAS data migration feature that can rapidly move data from an old NAS to a new one without disruption. NAS migration tasks are setup within Komprise and then execute automatically, retrying through network or storage interruptions. The highly paralyzed nature of Komprise allows the migration feature to complete as fast as the network and storage receiving the data will allow. While the migration is occurring, Komprise provides complete reporting on the progress. If the migration process is interrupting production applications or networks, it can throttle down until the need passes.

The feature is available at no extra charge to Komprise customers and is part of the 2.7 product. There are no separate utilities to run.

StorageSwiss Take

Implementing a data management practice is something that many IT professionals put off for fear of users being disappointed with the recall experience. Komprise overcomes much of these concerns be creating transparent recalls from secondary storage systems that can keep pace with user demands. Now with the addition of NAS migration, IT planners have a great excuse to get started using Komprise to migrate data, and then enjoy the analytics that it provides. Then when the time is right, they can start archiving cold data to simplify the data protection process and reduce the need for future storage upgrades.

Twelve 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 a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 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 of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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