5 Things to Know About Business Process Management System Migration Tuning
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I am used to paying my credit card statement on the due day using my online bank account. But last weekend, when I tried to access my bank account to transfer the money to the credit card account, an error message popped up saying "The system is upgrading and this function is not available until 8:00 AM tomorrow." This really upset me. It took almost half a day to finish a system upgrade. How can I pay my credit card dues before crossing the deadline? Why did it take so long for an important business to upgrade?
I started to realize how important it is to maintain continuity when running an online business. Imagine you have always relied on an important online business, just like the online bank, and trust that it is always available. If it becomes unavailable when you urgently need it, you may lose that trust.
Of course, performing regular maintenance, including upgrades, is obligatory for almost all IT systems. It is almost unavoidable to have a system downtime for certain kinds of maintenance. But can we improve the speed for an upgrade process and make it faster? Faster upgrading can potentially result in shorter periods of unavailability for a business, and can result in more trustworthy online service.
Behind every online business is an IT system with hardware and software that runs the business. The runtime performance of the system is certainly an important aspect for the IT department. High performance usually results in high throughput and excellent user experiences. But a performance point that is easy to be ignored is the upgrading performance. When a business system is about to be upgraded, there can be millions of business processes in a running status. Handling all of them in a short time is not an easy thing during system upgrading. In the business process management world we also call this kind of upgrading migration.
A well-planned and high-performance migration is important for every business process management system. It is common to deploy new versions of business process definitions, or switch to a new version of a business process management product. How to handle completed or running process instances is critical for the migration process. The 5 key points to properly prepare for a migration are right here:
1. Periodic maintenance.
Keep the system clean and healthy by periodic maintenance such as archiving outdated processes and data, removing invalid user accounts, environment variables, and so on.
2. Good estimation of migration time.
Based on current system topology, configurations, and volume of application data, it is important to properly estimate migration time.
3. Well planned migration schedule.
Migration means you have to take your production system down. A well planned schedule can secure that your migration runs are smooth and successful.
4. Well-tuned system.
Proper tuning before migration is important for fast migration.
5. Purging before migration.
Appropriate purging for the system can dramatically decrease load for migration.
I encourage you to have a look into the newly published IBM Redbooks publication “IBM
Have you ever worried about your system migration? Let me know what you think.
Zi Hui Duan is an Advisory Software Engineer at IBM. He is currently a performance analyst in the global IBM BPM performance team. Before he took this role, Zi Hui has about 8 years of experience in developing, system testing and stress testing for IBM BPM products. He holds a masters degree in information science from Peking University. His interest areas include program design, SOA, system integration, and performance tuning, and so on. He has published several publications related to these areas.