A Modern Data Migration

Modernizing IT infrastructure can be a difficult, time-consuming, and risky process.  Data Migration-as-a-service can make a huge difference: you get support in meeting requirements while strategically balancing resource consumption and costs against low or zero downtime.

A global HR company was seeking to modernize its IT infrastructure through data migration from legacy IBM DB2 databases to EDB Postgres. After the successful migration, the outcome was impactful to the bottom line: $4 million in savings by removing the cost of IBM’s lease on hardware, software, maintenance, hypervisor storage, and subscriptions.

The benefits of migration were clear before the move, but the path to get there wasn’t as easy to visualize. Because of pre-existing concerns, it was important for this company to work with a trusted vendor and get the critical support, guidance, and necessary tools required to complete the process successfully.

They chose to work with our team at Platform 3 Solutions(P3) to avoid experiencing downtime, compatibility issues, or any of the other potential issues that would have affected business operations. This article details some of these problems to show what was involved and describes how our team addressed these expectations and requirements during the migration process.

Bringing Together Resources and Many Moving Parts

Many complexities were involved during the migration. Discussions began with the initial process of collaborating and collecting technical information.

Here, we discovered some of the concerns the customer had:

  1. Adherence to strict deadlines: Meeting tight deadlines with multiple dependencies from internal teams and external vendors was one of the main problems faced. P3 was the only vendor able to meet the required tight timelines.
  2. Individual client data management: Despite having lower volumes of data to migrate, our customer had isolated datasets associated with each of their clients. For compliance & data privacy reasons, each dataset was required to be processed separately and migrated in stages to ensure a more secure and protected migration path for this sensitive data.
  3. A lack of resources: Migrations require technical resources, people to manage the project, and IT teams to handle data governance, management, storage, maintenance, and more. Our customer lacked the internal resources to help with the migration, so we provided external support and a suite of solutions for this process.
  4. Technical support: Several technical concerns associated with the compatibility and transition of the data meant additional technical support from our team. Our team was able to help with converting materialized query tables (MQT) to materialized query views (MQV), carefully defining type casting to ensure data integrity, helping with code snippet changes to allow the application to fetch data from ref cursors (which support the stored procedures conversion), identifying parallel housekeeping utilities to DB2 in Postgres, and much more.

With these key concerns in hand, we designed a comprehensive plan for our customer to migrate their data to Postgres and achieve their goals. Their priority objectives centered around modernizing the IT infrastructure and reducing costs associated with expensive legacy systems like DB2. They also intended to increase operational efficiency by switching to EDB Postgres as their database of choice.

Data Migration at the Speed of Light

Keeping the deadlines and dependencies top-of-mind, our team fast-tracked the migration using Archon Analyzer™— our proprietary software that provides the insights necessary to plan your migration and speed up your journey to modernization. Our software identified and built profile characteristics based on metadata and data crawling. From there, Archon Analyzerconducteda full migration assessment, legacy app and application code analysis, relationship modeling, and end-to-end data validation to allow both teams to mitigate potential problems during the actual migration.

Using Archon Analyzer, Platform 3 Solutions got a full-picture view of the effort required for the migration, including identifying stored procedures and stored queries to be converted, comparing JOIN statements and much more. These insights gave our team a head start and allowed us to develop a clear plan by tracking any incompatibility between the source and target databases that would have required manual work.

We also leveraged our Archon ETL product to assist in the transition to the modern EDB Postgres database. This tool’s powerful workload management simplified the migration to reduce the execution time exponentially. Software connectors, automated migration services, program management, and more are all leveraged using this tool with what we call Smart ETL—features that ensure efficient and resource-optimized actions and movement in data pipelines.

The use of this tool helped us address issues like a Control M character in the source DB2 files resulting in load failures; Archon ETL was able to identify this issue by chunked extraction using query mode extraction. Quote identifiers were then able to be added specifically around these characters to ensure a smooth migration.

The Migration Experience

When interviewed about their experience working with Platform 3 Solutions, a representative from the global HR company stated:

“I’m extremely impressed with the partnership we have made with Platform 3, they treat us like we’re a very important client and that has made our migrations successful.”

The database director felt that vendor lock-in when using legacy licenses (DB2, Oracle) or similar approaches is detrimental to their business.  Initially, they weren’t certain what to expect by modernizing their databases on Postgres; they now experience complete flexibility in managing their cloud deployments, with the ability to manage license scaling with ease.

Ultimately, our consulting services provided the most value through our team of experts – our customer felt the P3 team communicated well were both personable and responsive, and provided valuable technical expertise.

P3 is committed to providing a complete customer experience to ensure full support during and after migration for developer or production environments, no matter the scope of the project.  We provide migration as a fully managed service on behalf of the customer and collaborate and consult with your team throughout the process, focusing on open and transparent communication.

Looking for an Efficient and Successful Data Migration?

At Platform 3 Solutions (P3), we thoroughly assess where you are and where you want to be, with a step-by-step roadmap to your migration provided to ensure your move to modern systems is as seamless and painless as possible.

For over 10 years we have focused on offering quality archival, application decommissioning, and migration services, solutions, and support. This level of experience and dedication to our customers has resulted in many happy customers with similar outcomes to this global HR company.

Whether you want to migrate data to a more cost-effective database or need to modernize, we’re here to help you take advantage of the options available. We take a thorough approach to data migrations, taking time to understand your current situation and learn what a successful migration looks like to you.

Our team at Platform 3 Solutions designs custom approaches to right-size your migration and ensure success.

Want to learn more? Contact us today.

Let’s talk about how Platform 3 Solutions can work for you