Maintaining maximum operational availability is critical for a business to stay competitive. Learn how Vicom’s appliance-powered migration makes optimal performance possible even during massive data transfers.

Case Study CompanyOne of the four largest auditing and consulting firms in the world. Thousands of professionals generating billions of dollars in revenue and serving customers in over 150 countries.
IndustryAudit, Tax, Consulting Services
Migration Challenges
  • 500+ TB needed to be migrated within three months.
  • Limited maintenance window for many business-critical applications.
  • Many applications spread across many servers and storage.
  • Existing storage systems were running above their performance limit.
  • Lease and support contracts on the existing systems would expire in three months.
  • Migration of a complex cluster environment.
Application200+ applications: Microsoft Exchange, database management, SQL server, web hosting and more
Operating SystemsWindows Cluster & standalone, VMware VMFS & RDM
Storage Systems9x HP EVA to 2x HPE 3PAR
Vicom Solution TypeMigration within data center at two locations — Amsterdam, Europe & Atlanta, USA
Vicom Service OptionPremium Enterprise Service Option: Full-service data migration included appliance rental, licensing, and Vicom migration specialists who performed discovery, planned the migration, installed the DMA, migrated customer data, assisted in remediating the servers, and documented the end-to-end migration process.
Benefits of Vicom Solution
  • Maintained business uptime throughout the migrations.
  • Migrated entire application in one session, not server by server.
  • Saved 40% storage by thick-to-thin conversion during migration.
  • Saved lease extension charge of 9 storage arrays by migrating 500+ TB data in 3 months.
  • Vicom minimized risks by assisting the customer in migrating a complex environment — Windows Cluster, VMware RDM LUN.

There are two kinds of system downtime — the one a business chooses, and the one that hits them unaware. Either way, downtime (or simply decreased availability for a finite period) can be disastrous. The least costly drag on productivity can cost, on average, $10,000 to $50,000 per hour. The most expensive — and the sum most businesses face — varies between $301,000 and $400,000 or higher. The Vicom data migration solution is designed to keep your business performing optimally throughout time-critical SAN migration scenarios, ensuring that even the largest information transfers occur swiftly, smoothly and with no disruption to customer operations.

A typical storage migration scenario for large businesses

Vicom’s service for a previous client — one of the largest auditing and consulting firms in the world — was a textbook example of addressing the data transfer challenges faced by large businesses. Thousands of professionals generated billions of dollars in revenue to serve customers in over 150 countries, so maintaining 24/7 operation was a must. The company utilized two major storage centers in Europe and the United States. Nine powerful data storage frames existed between the two points, hosting over half a petabyte of information for over 200 applications on more than 1,600 virtual and physical servers. Multiple host OSes were in use, including VMWare and Windows. Most of the servers were either Windows Clusters of physical servers or Virtual Machines. Applications were equally diverse and included Exchange, database management, SQL server, web hosting and more. Their nine storage frames were already operating at maximum capacity and sometimes above that. The sheer amount of data necessary to keep their global operations running required adding two further high-performance systems, and they had to be operational quickly.

The challenges of large-scale storage migration

Maintaining this complex international operation while the new storage was added was only the first obstacle our customer faced. Their own customer base was relying on them for business as usual, while the time crunch was made even more stressful by three other factors.

  1. Expiration dates were fast approaching for their current system lease and support contracts.
  2. Each application owner had different maintenance windows. Each of the applications spanned across 10s of servers and multiple storage arrays. Migrating data by application was a must-have requirement.
  3. The environment was a mix of physical and VM-level Windows Cluster, and the VM cluster used RDM LUN. The customer was concerned about the Windows Cluster cutover because their past experience had not been smooth.

Our customer came to us to complete the process because they knew Vicom’s experience in migrating data to new storage surpassed anyone else in the industry.

Why Vicom’s appliance-powered solution is the answer

We integrated our experts with the customer’s internal IT team to understand their infrastructure and craft a tailored migration schedule. Adding to the complexity, the application owners needed migrations performed only during the lightest system loads — typically, evenings and weekends, but in two different time zones. Our first task was to relieve the pressure on the existing systems that were already struggling at capacity. This would allow the more critical applications and the virtualized environment to be moved. In order to meet the application owner’s demanding schedule, Vicom’s worldwide resource teams worked 24/7 to complete the migration and meet the application maintenance schedule. We deployed Vicom’s new-generation data migration appliance (DMA) to transfer all data quickly and efficiently with minimal disruptions to the customer’s infrastructure. This offloaded the need to put further pressure on their already strained servers by running additional software or clients. It also meant no changes would be necessary to their existing SAN and storage frameworks. Vicom dispatched 13 of our patented Data Migration Appliances to both of our customer’s locations, where our engineers were on-site to oversee the successful installation of the new storage. We selected a few non-production servers and successfully completed the first migrations and documented the end to end migration steps. Then the remaining transfers were performed remotely by Vicom. We were able to move more than 500TB of data and over 1600 physical and virtual servers within the tight project schedule.

Partner with Vicom and leave migration uncertainty behind

Swift improvements in our customer’s system performance and reliability soon removed their concerns about the process. Their feedback speaks for itself: “The Vicom team was exceptionally knowledgeable and professional and had a great set of tools. They really knew how to meet the challenges of a large-scale enterprise migration with so many interdependencies and complexities.” It’s results like that which allow Vicom to maintain our 100% post-delivery satisfaction rate while our customers enjoy a 5 to 10 times improvement in new storage performance and a lower total cost of ownership. Connect with us at the link below for data migration that won’t waste your time. Vicom Systems, Inc., has been a leader in developing migration tools, technologies and services for over 20 years. Our goal is to be the best in the world at SAN storage migration, and we offer practical and proven solutions for block-based, SAN-to-SAN data moves to a global customer base spanning multiple markets and industries. To learn more, email or complete our contact form.