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Article · Sep 26, 2018

Partners ask: Will my data migration solution scale?

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If you’re a Partner looking to create or expand a migration service offering, or a Managed Service Provider (MSP) trying to deliver an easy and reliable onboarding experience, server and data migrations often present challenges that defy predictability. The biggest obstacle to finding a data migration solution that works for your business model is identifying a reliable product which addresses all the technical concerns involved with the data migration process. Once you’ve identified the solution which provides the best technology the next most important criteria for any data migration strategy is scalability. Whether the solution is scalable can have significant business impact for all service providers. Here are some important scalability questions you should ask about any migration solution:

  • Will the solution be able to cover the different production server configurations that you see at customer sites?
  • Will the solution be able to handle varying quantities of server workloads found in your customers’ data centers without hitting performance limitations?
  • Does the solution complement your migration business model in such a way that it lets you take on new business regardless of the type or size of the migrations involved?
  • Does the solution scale to handle changes in scope after the project has already started – increases or decreases in server count, applications included or excluded, and schedule changes?

Creating highly scalable systems

A good place to start is to consider the server workload types covered by a migration solution. Here are some questions you should be asking about workload coverage:

  • Does the migration solution scale out to cover the maximum workload types available or is it hyper-focused on one use case or workload type?
  • Is the solution providing a technology which is so generic that it lacks features or customizations that are needed to successfully migrate certain workloads?
  • Does the solution provide a seamless management experience regardless of overall server workload composition?

The next scalability component relates to how well the technology scales up or down depending on the total amount of servers that need to be migrated. It is important that the solution’s technology footprint scales well to diverse customer environments. If the solution infrastructure overhead is significant, then you could be prevented from pursuing some customers altogether, or it could impact profitability for all your engagements. Here are some questions to ask about migration scalability as it relates to opportunities:

  • Does the scale up and scale down to cover any migration project?
  • Does the solution require infrastructure components – specialized hardware appliances, dedicated networking, intermediate storage for staging images, etc. – that might prevent you from pursuing opportunities because of the overhead involved?
  • Does the solution’s management complexity hold steady regardless of the amount of server workloads being migrated?

Licenses should scale too

The last scalability component to consider relates to licensing and consumption models. Consumption models can impact scalability in two important ways. The first is whether the consumption model enables a migration service provider to pursue the maximum amount of business with a minimum upfront investment, which is critical to business model scalability. The second factor related to consumption models is license term and whether it aligns with the amount of time needed for migration project completion. Here are some questions to consider when looking at consumption models:

  • How is the migration solution licensed? Does the solution provide perpetual licensing? Subscription licensing? Both?
  • Does the consumption model facilitate or limit pursuit of new business with minimum investment?
  • Does the consumption model allow you to scale migration projects for engagements that require additional time?

Does the licensing model allow you to scale consumption up or down—without impacting business-- for projects that see a change in quantity after they have already been bid?

Selecting the right migration solution to both complement and enhance your business model can be challenging. The most important requirement is that the solution’s technology delivers a reliable migration experience which eliminates data loss and minimizes downtime while providing full functionality post-migration. And knowing that the migration solution can scale out to cover the maximum amount of server workload types gives you the confidence to pursue any migration business regardless complexity of the customer environment. Avoid scaling issues by bringing these questions to the table when shopping for a reliable migration solution.

Are you a Carbonite Partner interested in learning more about a scalable migration solution? Contact your Carbonite representative or purchase Carbonite Migrate directly in your Partner Portal.


David Beeler

David Beeler is a Senior Product Manager at Carbonite. He blogs about server workload migrations, cloud technologies, and Microsoft SQL Server modernization

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