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It’s hard to say who has more trepidation about an IT infrastructure change: those who are responsible for making it happen or users. Change, though often inevitable, is not usually without some anxiety.
Two years ago, Veritas Technologies, a leader in multicloud data management, was spun off as an independent entity from Symantec. At that time, Veritas had a large lab environment running on an internal Symantec cloud with more than 10,000 virtual machines (VMs) defined in that cloud and 1,200 templates in active use.
Because of the divestiture from Symantec, Veritas needed to move off the Symantec cloud by a deadline, otherwise it would incur financial penalties. The timeframe was short.
Searching for a solution
The challenge was that users were happy with the tool set they had. It was a homegrown tool that, with customizations, offered breadth and usability.
Veritas issued a formal request for proposals (RFP) for the migration, and reviewed all sorts of different solutions from major providers. Additionally, it considered creating another homegrown solution. Ultimately, the company engaged IBM Cloud Professional Services and IBM Business Partner Skytap to migrate its complex enterprise application to an IBM Cloud data center with IBM Cloud for Skytap Solutions.
This solution offered a pre-built user interface. Having the front-end orchestration layer taken care of would mean faster time to market.
Making the move
The migration involved moving the infrastructure that was located in Tucson, Arizona to Dallas, Texas, which included relocating more than three petabytes of data. How to most effectively move that amount of data was one of the key technical challenges that Veritas faced. The company built a network that could sustain two gigabits per second throughput from Tucson to the IBM Cloud platform that hosts the Skytap environment.
The other challenge the company overcame was converting the VMs, because when VMs change, there are subtle differences, such as DNS, host names and network configurations that have to be changed for each.
IBM and Skytap wrote scripts to ensure that the VMs would run in the new environment. It would possibly be the largest migration that the Veritas team had ever undertaken.
IBM Cloud Professional Services and Skytap were able to meet these challenges and provide a custom solution for Veritas in the IBM Cloud data center. Users were able to use the old system while the migration was in progress.
The “six-month migration” was completed in just four months.
The Veritas team marveled that this was “one of the biggest non-events” that they had ever been a part of.
At the beginning, it was slow going because of the technical challenges faced, as well as the planning, testing, and initial work. Things sped up as the project progressed. There were some blips here and there, but given the scope and breadth of this migration, the cutover was great. According to the team, every cutover should be this smooth.
From a user perspective, one of the really attractive things, aside from the overwhelming number of features, is the usability of the tool. Skytap monitors the environment proactively to manage any little hiccup effectively and quickly.
The tool has always been internal-facing only, but now Veritas is looking whether to expand externally.
Learn more by reading the case study.