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2 Posts authored by: Bhaskar Ramashankar

We cannot run away from migrations. Whether we migrate from

- competitor box to HDS box

- older HDS to newer HDS box

- moving to cloud

 

Migration is one thankless job. These are some of my experience doing migrations.

  1. No body like you. Very true. Every friday night you are the most sought after person, every monday morning you are the most screwed up person.
  2. You have no family time. This is one general complaint from wife and kids. Every weekend when they need you, you are with the migration. Sometime you doubt whom are you married to?
  3. Any amount of planning will not help. Yes. Migration is a job, where you can plan worksheet after worksheet, send tons of email, use all possible color ballpens and high lighters, yet something gets left out on the day of migration.
  4. The most critical server will be running the most outdated OS and application. I never understand this. Customers will have surely one critical server that will have an outdated AIX or HPUX or Linux, that vendors have long stopped support. The applications will run some version or has some dependency that is atleast 2 decades old. Customer will keep asking for a fool proof plan to get this migrated.
  5. The more experience you have in migrations the more time you take to do the tasks. Best to complete jobs is to have minimum experience guys on the field. These guys are just not scared. Scary right??

 

I am sure like ghost stories, we all have migration ghost stories. Do share.

Being in storage for quite some time, I have noted down a few of my observations on what companies do wrong. Some do it wrong all the time and some do it sometimes. The points are related to Storage.

 

1. Getting the Wrong People.

  • Getting the wrong people in storage department is happening almost all the time. The storage guys are those who are usually brought in as additional help from the server team. They are told that this is some "extra work" they need to do, and in a few months time they get stuck in this. Their interest is still not here. By the time they realize they are in the thick of storage it is too late. These people eventually leave the company and join back server team some where.
  • Many of the Storage Managers are guys who have no knowledge of storage in the first place. Project Managers are borrowed from elsewhere. They have no idea of how things work, either provisioning, replication, or disaster recovery, and make mistakes after mistakes.
  • No one wants to stay in Storage for long. This is true for people from customer side. Every time you meet a customer, the employee irrespective of his or her years in IT, would not have been more than 5-6 years in storage. The meeting would be taken off course to either vmware or hyperv or openstack etc. I call these people as "Harry Potter". They think magic is the solution.

2. Lack of an Engineering Department.

  • This problem is prevalent at the Customer place. Even large customer think that having an engineering department is an expense. They think getting half baked consultants can solve problems, create best practices, increase productivity. These are the people who buy a wrong technology, employ wrong people, and do it at the wrong time. Some times they are lucky that too many mistakes cancel each other and the solution seems to work. But this happens seldom.
  • Lack of engineering department also means lack of commitment. Customer is not committing on a technology and is just looking for a way out from the current mess.

3. No Internal Research.

  • In my presentation to customers I always see that I am taking to people who have not done their homework. They listen to me with 50% attention, understand 25%, and digest 10%. In a week they have forgotten that and just remember some key words. When you meet them again in a couple of weeks they are on the same level of ignorance.

 

So what is the solution for all this that the customer is in and who can help. Your comments are welcome. I will post the part 2 of this blog.