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Many things have changed during my 12 plus years of delivering content migration projects with Vamosa and T-Systems. From the early days of migrating unstructured websites into simple content management systems, through to the complex enterprise cloud migrations that we see today, there has been a constant evolution of our tool-set and processes. Our aim is to always be ready to adapt – to rapidly growing volumes, increased complexity and higher customer expectations.

With the introduction of SaaS models running on cloud platforms, the challenges for our content migration processes are even greater. This became apparent on a project we completed for the biggest networking company in the world – which was also one of the largest content migration projects that we have delivered. Over 6 million content objects, almost 10TB of data, were migrated in a project running for just over a year. The scale and complexity of this migration tested the limits of both the outgoing source Jive system and the new IBM Connections Cloud target.

Vamosa Migration Architect Software

The flexibility of the Vamosa Migration Architect software (you can read the data sheet here) means that it can easily be scaled up to take advantage of multiple servers, which allows us to process and load data at the maximum speed the target system can handle. In this case, we even had to throttle the load at some points to allow the target cloud environment to catch up. In a shared cloud platform, anything which could potentially impact the performance of the service for end users or other customers is a major concern, so being able to control the migration speed dynamically becomes very important.

This was also one of our first cloud-to-cloud migrations, which highlighted some other challenges which need to be considered when working with cloud platforms. The environments are subject to regular maintenance patches which can impact the migration process. Advanced warning is only given for larger updates, or for potential down-time with maintenance patching expected to be transparent to end users. Despite this, there were instances on this project where changes to both the source and target environments mid-migration caused issues. Our migration process uses the source and target APIs, and occasionally these can be changed without warning, causing either the content capture or load to fail. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to avoid this situation. Even coding defensively and building very flexible processes can still result in a situation where the migration must stop until a change is made to support the modified API.

The roadmap for Vamosa Migration Architect takes a slightly different architectural approach to dealing with scenarios where there is either an issue with the availability of source/target servers, or a potential API change which causes a migration process to fail. Rather than the migration process running sequentially and stopping completely whenever there is an issue, the plan in future is to move to an event source driven architecture where unpredictability becomes less of a problem, and dependencies between components are reduced. The major benefit, from a migration delivery point of view, will be that processes can run independently and in parallel, so if a situation arises where a process is blocked, it will simply wait until the issue is resolved and it’s dependencies met, while other unblocked processes can continue as normal.

So, here at Vamosa, we continue to evolve and look forward to even bigger and more complex projects with software that anticipates change and accepts that goalposts will never really stay still. The new architecture is an exciting development, and is worthy of a blog or two on its own, but I’ll leave that to our lead product architect, Adrian, who is actually the person building the new software and can explain in much more detail than I!

 

 

 

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A division of T-Systems, Vamosa Technologies specialises in content migration to cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud systems. With two decades of customer migrations, Vamosa Technologies has experience with a comprehensive range of leading enterprise content management migration systems. To learn more about services from Vamosa Technologies, please read our case studies and whitepapers or contact us.

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