Vision Offers Migrate While Active As a Service
January 13, 2009 Alex Woodie
Vision Solutions last week announced that it’s now selling access to its Migrate While Active software using the services model. Migrate While Active Quick Start, as the new offering is called, gives AS/400 and System i customers a way to move to the new i 6.1 (i5/OS V6R1) release and the new generation of Power 6 boxes, without suffering from the sort of downtime normally associated with big upgrades.
Originally developed by iTera, Migrate While Active borrows technology and techniques from i OS high availability software to eliminate downtime during migrations. Like HA, the software keeps objects and data on two boxes in synch while administrators finish the installation and testing of the new environment, and then executes a final role swap to the new box when the administrator gives the green light.
Compared to traditional AS/400 upgrades or migrations, moving to a new box with Migrate While Active eliminates a lot of the hassle, stress, and potential danger, says Peter Sa, vice president of services for Vision Solutions.
“Traditional hardware and operating system migrations require users to save information on tape, then use them to restore the new system, and finally test and cut over users after the successful restore,” Sa says. “During this process, the production system is down and no work can be done. Migrate While Active Quick Start eliminates that pressure.”
Sa also points to the notoriously high rate of data corruption when System i shops attempt to restore from tape. “This causes a tremendous amount of stress for the entire organization to get it right the first time,” he says.
The IBM i-based Power Systems installed base is currently in the middle of an upgrade cycle, with the new IBM i 6.1 operating system and new Power 6-based hardware to move to. That makes this a particularly good time to push a product like Migrate While Active.
Two well-known food companies–Kraft and Sysco Foods–have professed, in print, their good experiences with Migrate While Active. Edna Sevilla, a project manager for Chicago-based Kraft, says Migrate While Active played a key role in Kraft’s successful migration.
“It was a major project for us, and because of that, we are thankful for their big contribution,” Sevilla says. “Everyone at Vision was professional and skilled on all levels We couldn’t have done it without them.”
“We [migrated systems] in 24 hours what normally took two to three days plus some weekend work. . . . Because of this solution, we get to go home and actually enjoy the weekend,” an unknown Sysco Foods representative was quoted as saying in a Vision Solutions data sheet.
The Migrate While Active Quick Start service, like its bits-based brethren, requires customers to have a high availability product already installed. If a customer does not have an HA product installed, then Vision charges an additional fee to install an HA product.
Migrate While Active is closely linked to Vision’s high availability products–iTera, ORION, and MIMIX–and Vision cannot guarantee that the product will work with HA products from other vendors.
Migrate While Active is closely related to several other products that Vision obtained in the 2006 acquisition of iTera by Thoma Cressey, which owns Vision. These include Convert While Active, Reorganize While Active, and Upgrade While Active. OS Solutions, which Vision also acquired, also offered a file re-organization product.
Pricing starts at $14,000 for a two-node, P10 setup, and goes up from there. For more information on Migrate While Active Quick Start, visit www.visionsolutions.com.