The Nine Phases of Smart RISC to CISC Migration

Posted by Dustin Smith, Chief Technologist
July 1, 2014

For companies that are still running costly and aging RISC/UNIX-based servers, the Cisco Unified Computing System – or UCS – can offer some great advantages. The most difficult part of adopting the UCS is migrating legacy applications, but with a smart migration process in place, companies can realize increased agility, performance, and cost savings that come with an x86 Cisco UCS solution.

Smart migrations begin with a clear understanding of business and technical requirements. You then need to develop customized migration strategies that qualify and prioritize your applications into a comprehensive migration plan. To eliminate any requirements based on proof-of-concepts, performance tests, or to confirm vendor product compatibility, it helps to utilize an IT sandbox, like our iLab, equipped with the best-in-class technologies and in-depth analysis tools.

Over time, we’ve developed a nine phase approach to smart RISC to CISC migration, which include the following:

  1. Survey the existing environment to best understand what currently exists in the source environment, but also what features are used.
  2. Analyze performance needs to gather the existing environment’s real-world numbers of its performance.
  3. Map applications to proposed new instances to lay out a proposed design of applications to virtual machines (VMs) and VMs to physical hosts.
  4. Design the proposed Nexus 5500 and UCS 6200 platform to create a physical server environment with all speeds and feeds.
  5. Analyze the IT infrastructure needs by surveying the existing tools and determining how they’ll integrate with new, proposed platforms.
  6. Perform infrastructure due diligence by comparing performance benchmarks with the numbers measured from the source environment.
  7. Execute the migration but be sure to plan carefully with the scheduling of resources, including all application owners.
  8. Survey the new environment to verify performance, uptime and your internal and external customer satisfaction.
  9. Optimize to gradually improve the environment to best emphasize the iterative approach for improving the environment over time.

Using a proven methodology and approach, and armed with analysis tools and planning, you can realize predictability in a high-availability solution, all with fewer cables and points of failure. Ultimately this can lower your total cost of ownership with your data center while reducing dependency on needed UNIX skill sets.

About Dustin Smith Throughout his twenty-year career, Dustin Smith has specialized in designing enterprise architectural solutions. As the Chief Technologist, Dustin is responsible for the strategic direction of aligning the company’s growing consulting services with the client challenges he finds in the field, and he works closely with his regional architects to design new programs to address these issues.

Filed Under: Converged Infrastructure

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