Spinning plates, chocolate teapots …. and data migrations?

It takes a special kind of person to wilfully use the wrong equipment to get the job done. No-one got rich making chocolate teapots, for example. But isolating exactly the right technology from a wide choice is a different skill.

Let’s take workload migration. It’s a very specific task and many of the tech giants have created dedicated tools for the task. IBM’s Tivoli is just one. But that’s not necessarily what people are using. I was so intrigued I wrote this blog about it.

For example, I have seen many Systems Integrators and providers using Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to migrate their workloads to Microsoft Azure. And there is some logic in this. Microsoft has created a robust software program that ensures business continuity by keeping their customers’ applications running on VMs and physical servers if a site goes down.

Horses for courses

Say what? Horses for courses – an English proverb that means use the right tools, or people, for the job in hand. And don’t use a specialist data recovery tool for something else entirely.

The point here is that ASR recovers workloads in the event of a server failure. And that’s fine, but it’s still a disaster recovery solution. There’s a clue in the name. It was created to prevent workloads from disappearing into the ether, not migrate workloads between servers.

I can see the logic. What could be safer for vulnerable workloads than a workload recovery solution? But safer isn’t necessarily the most efficient. So, what is the difference between using ASR and a software specifically created to migrate workloads between servers?

The short answer is that the benefits of this software reads like a ticklist of all the points that SIs/SPs and companies look for when planning data center migrations, including those in the Cloud. These must-haves include:

  • Ability to guarantee 100% application data transfer
  • Project-friendly cost model
  • Complexity of setup and management
  • Complexity of setup and management
  • Support for UEFI conversions
  • Fail-back to physical servers
  • Automated management of tools/drivers/target services

None of these are covered by disaster recovery solutions simply because that isn’t what it was created to do. Maybe these SIs would be better off using a tool actually made for the job?

Micro Focus PlateSpin® enables a cost-effective move to Microsoft Azure without disrupting user service. Why? Because that’s what Micro Focus designed it to do, it delivers complete data center transformation, server consolidation, and server migration projects, blazingly fast. Just ask Atos.

Atos, one of the world’s largest IT services providers, offers a global client base a range of IT services, including consulting and systems integration services, managed services, Big Data and security solutions and, increasingly, cloud operations. And that’s where we could help.

As a leading service provider, Atos helps customers and prospects take advantage of the cloud to increase the flexibility and scalability of their IT infrastructures. But this is a big operation and migrating hundreds of critical production workloads, without business disruption, to the cloud was a big challenge. In some cases, the task was to virtualize physical servers and migrate them to the cloud, while other source environments were already fully virtualized.

For Joris Haverkort, Head of Cloud Services Engineering, PlateSpin Migrate was the solution. “PlateSpin was exciting for us, because with a single product (was) able to meet the needs of almost any cloud migration project. The PlateSpin solution also installs additional components that are needed in the target environment….this avoids unnecessary manual steps and accelerates our migrations”. The key here is recognizing the value that the dedicated solution offered beyond the safety of an disaster recovery solution.

You can, too

A migration tool like PlateSpin Migrate rapidly and automatically creates a new workload that is functionally identical to the original. But the key point is that using a dedicated tool for migrating workloads are the additional advantages, such as:

  • Minimizing downtime: Incremental replication minimises cutover times
  • Reducing risk: Test your target systems as often as you want before cutover
  • Faster time to value: Migrate multiple workloads simultaneously, quickly and reliably
  • Cutting manual effort: High levels of automation significantly reduce manual effort
  • Minimising complexity: One toolset fits all. Windows and Linux, anywhere to anywhere


I’d recommend that you download this ‘Best Practices for Migrating Servers to Microsoft Azure with PlateSpin Migrate’ white paper  or dive straight in and request a free trial. If you’d like to discuss this further personally, please feel free to hook up with me on Twitter.

Regards, Douglas Ribeiro

International PlateSpin Account Executive for EMEA and Latam

Mobile: +44 7535 818445


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