Justifying the Migration

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The initial steps of our migration will be to justify the project by outlining its objectives, scope, and benefits. As we discussed in Chapter 5, it is best to start by defining objectives based on the problems in the current environment. Our sample organization was facing several problems with their current environment.

One of the most significant of these problems was their support of a nonstandard platform. Because their new corporate parent embraced Solaris as their standard operating system, the acquired company's Linux environment did not allow the organization to reap the benefits of combined purchasing, maintenance agreements, tools, or support processes. This could have prevented the parent company from achieving economies of scale within their IT environment.

In addition to this lack of alignment with the corporate IT standards, the Linux environment itself lacks standardization because of kernel recompilation. While most of the servers have Red Hat's stock kernel, some developers have needed new or experimental features and have recompiled the kernels to enable them. This has created a support problem because Red Hat does not support custom kernels .

The rapidly expanding customer base is causing growth pains, both technically and economically. Currently, the Red Hat OS does not effectively scale beyond 4 or 8 processors, locking the organization into a massively horizontal deployment of dozens of servers. Because system administrators can effectively support only a limited number of operating system instances or servers, this scaling is creating the need for more staff. In addition, the organization might need larger facilities and better management tools to accommodate the growth in servers. All these growing pains lead to higher support costs.

For the scope of this project, the company decided to concentrate just on the server environment (they were already in line with the corporate desktop standards). However, instead of just looking at their production environment, they also decided to look at their internal systems. They reasoned that since they developed software and services, it would be good to gain experience in their own environment as well as those of their customers.

To address these problems, this company has decided to set their objectives as follows :

  • Align with corporate standard by adopting the Solaris OS for all servers when it is not cost prohibitive.

  • Vertically scale high-growth servers to avoid costs associated with massive horizontal scaling.

  • Implement better configuration and change management to prevent support problems experienced in the old environment.

Metrics were set for each of these objectives so that the organization could quantify their success on the project. Some of these metrics included cost savings and cost avoidance that will result from the migration, the number of servers managed, changes within the environment, and out-of-configuration servers. These metrics would be measured now and evaluated later to gauge the project's success.

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Migrating to the Solaris Operating System
Migrating to the Solaris Operating System: The Discipline of UNIX-to-UNIX Migrations
ISBN: 0131502638
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 70

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