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SANpulse Announces Free White Paper: 10 Steps for Transitioning Smoothly to New Enterprise Storage - Joe Austin - Blog

SANpulse Announces Free White Paper: 10 Steps for Transitioning Smoothly to New Enterprise Storage

By: Ralph Hennen, Managing Director of Product Development at SANpulse

A lot can transpire between the time you take delivery of your new storage and the day it’s fully integrated into the data center. Good things can happen—like getting faster performance for virtual servers, higher utilization because of resource consolidation, and savings from features like thin provisioning. Unfortunately, so can bad—like stalled applications, lost data, business disruptions, and immobilized end users.

Fortunately, the outcome of new storage deployments can be controlled. The following ten steps can prepare and execute a successful transformation—six to do before a storage migration, two during, and two after. Done correctly, the migration can be a prime opportunity to efficiently and cost-effectively complete related or long-overdue work like systems consolidation, upgrades, or reorganization of IT structures to better serve your business and user community.

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1.  Define, document, and publish objectives and schedule

Describe project objectives in terms of schedules, resource use, and outcomes. Define measures of success, document objectives, schedule and make sure everyone gets a copy.

2. Commit to manage

Make resources available to meet schedules. Clarify who owns the project, who can allocate resources, who can resolve disputes. Define the process to follow when discovering a team cannot meet their commitment(s).

3.  Discover and analyze what really exists

Facts to confirm include: total number of existing servers, arrays, and host-to-storage fabrics; front-end adapter utilization; systems ownership; capacities; vendors/versions; and current RAID types.

4.  Know the newly deployed equipment, whether it’s from an incumbent vendor or a new supplier

New technology comes with new functionality that can save money and add value, but sometimes at a staffing, performance, or other cost. The more that is known about the new platform, the more it can be leveraged. Make it part of the success objective, and understand tradeoffs that might be required to use it.

5. Develop the storage model

In this step, develop a specific storage model or mapping scheme. For example, focus on extracting data associated with a newly acquired company or business line and isolate that information on a separate storage array or set of arrays. Or stipulate the consolidation of four arrays down to two. Another common objective is to pull Exchange email data onto its own array.

6. Make remediation decisions

Determine which devices you need to maintain with your new storage platform and then check manufacturers’ support lists to determine working combinations. Decide which systems to bring into conformance with specific policies or the latest updates and/or patches. Keeping track of this in a database will reduce risk of failure. Automating entries—versus manually updating the database—further reduces risk.

7.  Maintain project process and ownership during the migration

During the actual data migration, avoid log jams by clarifying task ownership and project processes. Communicate.

8.  Track the transformation

Throughout the migration process, track what has changed or is changing, what’s been consolidated, moved, and what metrics are different —for example new recoverability objectives for business continuance.

9.  Audit

Losing business function or equipment in a migration has the potential to jeopardize critical business operations. Now that migration to your new platform is complete, assure the transformation desired has taken place.

10.  Evaluate

Now is the time to honestly evaluate what went right, what went wrong, and what needs to be changed. Effective reporting tools and accurate data are essential to completing a productive evaluation. The well-populated project database or information plexus that you’ve been building should contain all the data necessary for comprehensive evaluation of the project.

Plan well, communicate clearly and follow these ten steps to complete the migration more quickly, with minimal disruption, and most cost-effectively. The faster you can move your new platform from the loading dock into your IT infrastructure, the faster you’ll be putting your investment to work and helping the business derive maximum value.

To read this paper in its entirety, go to

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Publish Date: July 26, 2010 4:29 PM

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