Storage Migration Pitfalls Part (2/3)
Thursday, 14th of April 2022
New requirements for storage systems
There are new demands on your storage systems. The amount of data is increasing, scalability is becoming a necessity for your storage solution, and near-real-time access is often important. Finally, you will not be able to avoid replacing your legacy systems and at least partially migrating your storage capacities (Part1: Good reasons for a storage migration). In the second part of our blog series on storage, we will look at the typical pitfalls lurking in your storage migration.
Communication and change management
Good communication is one of the key success factors in your storage migration. You should not underestimate the number of processes, departments and people involved. In addition, the many people involved who do not have a background in IT do not always have the technical understanding that would be required. Hierarchies can be an obstacle, and when the strategic scope of a company-wide migration project is pronounced, it is no longer possible to get all those involved on board through individual discussions. In any case, change management is a central task in the context of a storage migration – basically for companies of any size. Those involved should also be prepared for the fact that – as in every large project – there can be unpleasant surprises in a storage migration, which must nevertheless be dealt with professionally. Because of course there is no practical experience in your company before the migration to the new storage solution, there is understandably a lack of exact knowledge and benchmarks about the new systems, and any problems in real operation can never be completely avoided by testing.
Difficulties with legacy storage
Sometimes the existing storage systems in the company may well be 20 years old – which already fundamentally complicates the migration. Often the available documentation for the legacy systems, if any exists at all, is insufficient and not up to date. Also process changes may not be properly documented. If the legacy systems are not connected to all relevant operating systems, problems will arise with user administration, for example. Different platforms, such as Windows and Linux, are also not helpful in this context.
Security, compliance and conflicts of interest
Security and compliance are tasks that you should have on your radar from the very beginning of storage migration. At the beginning of the project, however, the knowledge of who is to be involved is often still rudimentary. Basically, it is important to identify the really relevant individuals and not simply to gather as many opinions as possible. It is a matter of determining whose opinion on a specific issue is actually relevant. Conflicts of interest must also be resolved that arise from dependencies on other departments, locations or external service providers. Here it is necessary to mediate on issues such as data protection, compliance, authorisations or data encryption.
Changes in scope and separate shares
In the same way, conflicts of interest may have to be resolved if there are changes in the scope of your storage migration project – experience shows that such adjustments are not the exception, but rather the rule. Here, too, it is important to identify whose voice is relevant and purposeful. There will often be certain compatibility issues with the new storage solution. In addition, there may be stragglers that cannot be easily integrated into the migration timetable. Certain shares can be assigned to specific departments, projects or persons in the form of data containers. Stragglers can arise because, for example, production systems cannot be taken offline or management servers have to be administered separately. Often, emergency meetings and task forces become necessary in order to get a grip on the various problems of different urgency.
How best practices protect your migration, we will explain in the third and final part
With a best practice approach, many of these problems can be prevented during the migration. We will explain soon how we at brox IT proceed to lead your storage migration to success in the third and last part of our blog series: The Best Practices of Storage Migration.
Justin Lee Weis
Partner / Procurator