Data migration is the process of transferring data between different data storage systems. Such projects are usually undertaken to replace or upgrade servers or storage appliances. A NAS migration project, like any data migration project requires meticulous design, planning and execution.
There are three critical success factors for a successful NAS migration project:
- Experienced team
Any migration is a disruptive process and full of uncertainties and risks. A strong and experienced team manages the risks well and navigates seamlessly through the project.
- Robust process (Requirements analysis, migration design and execution)
A typical NAS migration project involves various activities, such as discovery, planning, Pre-migration, Migration, and Testing & Validation. There are several parameters in a migration project such as network availability, downtime required, risk to the business, data corruption and reconciliation, application performance issues, and missed data or data loss.
NAS migration is dependent on various factors:
- Source and target systems
- Amount of data to be migrated
- Network availability between source and target systems
- Peak and idle business hours
- Downtime and change window availability
It is critical to gather the relevant information from all the stakeholders and fully incorporate that input into the design and planning process of the NAS migration.
- Sophisticated tool
There are several approaches and tools available to manage NAS migrations, each with their own applications. The main migration methodologies include the use of an automated software platform, as well as a manual, script driven approach.
An automated software platform yields the best results for NAS migration. It can discover the existing NAS environment, plan the migration including configuring target systems, execute the migration and then verify that all data has been moved successfully. All of this happens automatically, with no requirement for expert administrators to write scripts or manually monitor each step of the process.
Manual NAS migrations generally use a combination of free utilities such as Robocopy, Xcopy, Rsync, SecureCopy etc. These tools can move data, but they require significant manual interventions including discovery, configuration and writing scripts to execute the move. Most of the free utilities can be used only for CiFS or NFS data, which means that an environment containing both file system protocols requires multiple utilities to be used. Additionally, these tools do not provide advanced reporting features for reconciliation and error reporting
In conclusion, NAS migrations are complex and require meticulous planning and execution. If not managed well, these migrations can result in serious business disruptions and can introduce significant risk of data loss or unavailability. It is critical to have a strong team managed by a seasoned project manager as well as a migration tool that can automate, execute and track every aspect of the data migration.