7 Steps to a Successful Linux and Open Source Migration - Part Three of Three

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
January 23, 2011

In our three part blog series – 7 Steps to a Successful Linux and Open Source Migration – we’ve covered the first 5 steps: (1) define your business level objectives, (2) survey your application landscape and environment, and (3) develop a scalable infrastructure blueprint, (4) identify the right project, and (5) conduct pilot studies. The final two steps complete the Linux and open source migration road map…

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Once you have the pilots and labs working and generating feedback, it’s time to start the production rollout. You have a couple of options. You can try a “Big Bang” rollout in which your company attempts to do it all at once, but experts don’t generally recommend this approach. Instead you should likely try a staged, controlled, and well-managed rollout. Linux and open source adoption requires forethought on how to manage logistics—such as scheduling servers, virtual servers, and data to be migrated, notifying users of planned outages, responding to user inquiries, and having processes to resolve reported software problems and errors. You may still encounter some problems, although you probably have caught most of them in the previous step. In addition, you’ll want to automate as much of the rollout as possible. You can do this by using standard application and system configurations, plus a standard operating environment, which should be your selected Linux distribution. In some cases, you might choose to run the new and old systems in parallel, although this requires more effort and entails some increased risk—particularly the risk of inconsistent data. After you deploy, you'll transition to continuous process improvement and consistent management and operational processes. Both the business and technology groups must take all reasonable steps to use established methods of success, accurate financial analysis, and the use of process improvement and controls. This means identifying process improvements, practicing consistent management, and applying proven best practices.

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Finally, don’t forget the “Golden Rule of Infrastructure Management”— simple and well-designed infrastructures shouldn’t require extensive management tools. So don’t try to compensate for a poor design and implementation with an extensive tool set, because even the best management tools can’t simplify a poorly designed infrastructure. After all is said and done, remember… Linux and open source adoption is not an all-or-nothing proposition. The goal of adopting Linux and open source is to optimize the organization’s computing infrastructure in the most economical way possible. This might mean having a mix of Linux and non-Linux solutions. That’s part of having choice, and in the end it’s what Linux and open source are all about—having choices. If you have any questions or need some help with your own migration, ASG is here to help with any number of different IT management solutions.

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Linux

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