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A Block and File Data Migration Solution

Consolidates storage and reduces risk

Data migrations are viewed as problematic by almost every size organization with administrative overhead, cost, downtime and risk among the problems most commonly cited in executing on them. For mid-sized organizations, these issues are compounded as they have the same challenges as larger organizations but fewer resources with which to perform them. This is why the RELDATA 9240i, that delivers block and file data migrations on a single unified storage platform, may just be the answer that mid-sized organizations seek.

At its core, the RELDATA 9240i is a unified storage platform that supports both block (iSCSI) and file (CIFS and NFS) storage protocols. This combined NAS and SAN functionality makes the 9240i an appealing consolidation solution for mid-sized organizations wanting to eliminate the costs associated with supporting and servicing separate block-based and file-based storage infrastructures.

The challenge is block and file data migrations are often handled in the context of either "one" or "the other".  Many times organizations have to obtain specific services and software to perform the data migration of the block based data and then another set of services and software to do the migration of the file-based data.

The RELDATA 9240i changes this approach as it includes a data migration facility that can move either block or file data as it migrates data in three distinct ways.

  • Non-disruptive data migration of iSCSI and/or fibre channel (FC) attached storage. If an organization needs to continue running the application while the data migration occurs, the 9240i can non-disruptively migrate data from an existing FC or iSCSI storage array to the 9240i. To do so, the 9240i is first configured to detect the LUNs presented by the other storage array to the application server. The 9240i then copies the data from the LUNs assigned to that application server to its own internal storage. Once the data migration is complete, the application is then briefly taken offline and reconfigured to access its data that is now on LUNs on the 9240i.
  • Non-disruptive file migration of NAS storage. To migrate data from an existing NAS file server to the 9240i unified storage solution, the 9240i takes a slightly different tactic. The 9240i first discovers all files and folders on the existing NAS file server and then does a file level migration copying all files and folders from the existing filer to the 9240i.
  • Offline data migration of iSCSI and/or fibre channel (FC) attached storage. In some instances, customers will not have a requirement to keep their storage systems and applications online which will allow them to go offline and perform the data migration.   Using this type of data migration, the application that is using an iSCSI or FC LUN is simply taken offline. The 9240i is then given access to this LUN and copies all of the data to its own internal storage. Once the migration is complete, the 9240i then presents the new LUNs on the 9240i to the application server via an iSCSI interface.

The two non-disruptive data migration techniques do not require that the application sustains an outage or be taken offline while the data is being copied. It is only when all of the data is copied that organizations should prepare for some level of application disruption. The length of the outage will depend upon what type of data migration just took place.

In the case of the block-based data migrations to the 9240i where an organization is going from FC to iSCSI, the application server(s) will need to be re-configured to discover and access its LUNs via the iSCSI interface presented by 9240i.

The level of time that an application needs to be offline will depend primarily upon how long it takes to configure the application server to access the LUNs via the 9240i iSCSI interface. Once that re-configuration is complete, the application server should be able to access the LUNs on the 9240i and resume processing.

If doing a file level migration, the length of time it takes to switch over to the 9240i and access the files and folders on the 9240i depends primarily upon the number of files that changed while the data migration was going on and the time it takes to get these files on the 9240i in sync with the NAS server. However the 9240i can verify about 1 TB of data in around 30 minutes so it is probable that that the sync will complete fairly quickly and that an organization can start accessing files on the 9240i in a short period of time.

The RELDATA 9240i takes many of the concerns that mid-sized organizations have with block and file migrations off the table. It eliminates the need to purchase third party software or specialized services to perform either of these types of migrations while facilitating the consolidation of these different storage types onto a single platform. But maybe most importantly to these organizations, the 9240i reduces the level of application disruption and risk that data migrations normally introduce to a level that is acceptable and manageable by the IT staff of any mid-sized organization.

By Jerome M. Wendt,President & Lead Analyst of DCIG

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Joe Austin is Vice President, Client Relations, at Ventana Public Relations. He joined Ventana PR in 2006 with more than 14 years experience in high-tech strategic communications. His media relations experience spans both broadcast and print, and he maintains longstanding relationships with editors and reporters at business, IT, channel, and vertical publications. Austin's relationship with the media includes marquee outlets including CNN, BusinessWeek, USA Today, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press for clients ranging from startups to billion-dollar enterprises. Experience includes working with Maxell, McDATA (Acquired by Brocade), Center for Internet Security, Securent (Acquired by Cisco), Intrepidus Group/PhishMe, FireEye, Mimosa Systems, Xiotech, MOLI.com, EMC/Rainfinity, Spinnaker Networks (Acquired by NetApp), ONStor, Nexsan, Asigra, Avamar (Acquired by EMC), BakBone Software, Dot Hill, SANRAD, Open-E and others. With more than a decade of strategic planning, media tours, press conferences, and media/analyst relations for companies in the data storage, security, server virtualization, IT outsourcing and networking arenas, Austin's domain expertise assists in positioning clients for leadership. Austin was recently recognized as a “Top Tech Communicator” for the second year in a row by PRSourceCode. The editorial community – represented by more than 300 participating IT journalists – rated each winner based on best overall performance and recognized those who added the most value to their editorial processes in terms of responsiveness, reliability, and overall understanding of editorial needs.