Tag Archives: Migration

VMware HCX makes hybrid, multi-cloud more attainable

LAS VEGAS — VMware HCX attempts to drive migration to hybrid and multi-cloud architectures, but IT administrators are still hesitant to make the switch due to concerns around cost and complexity.

Before doing product evaluations and determining if VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) is a good option for workload migration, admins must figure out if the cloud meets their current and future business needs. What is the organization trying to accomplish with its existing deployments?

For example, consider a near-end-of-support vSphere 5.5 environment: Is the goal to seamlessly migrate those workloads from the current environment to the cloud without an on-premises upgrade? Or, is successfully migrating hundreds of VMs or large amounts of storage the objective?

Determining the ultimate goal and whether a private cloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud or multi-cloud makes the most sense is a decision that admins must make on a case-by-case basis.

Cloud cost and complexity concerns

The ongoing fee associated with using cloud services is just one of the cost concerns, experts said in a session here at VMworld 2018. During the migration, admins have to worry about whether they’ll need to change IPs, the potential of running into compatibility issues, and the responsibility of ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery.

“Even after we meet all their requirements, we’ve seen in any organization all kinds of inertia about getting going,” said Allwyn Sequeira, senior vice president and general manager of hybrid cloud services at VMware. “People think they need to go buy high-bandwidth pipes to connect from on-prem to the cloud. People think they need to do an assessment of applications to see if this is an app that should be moved to the cloud.”

App dependencies and mapping are certainly important issues to consider. With more VMs, the environment is more complex; it’s easier to break something during migration.

Even when a certain vendor or product addresses their concerns, admins need buy-in from networking, security, compliance and governance teams before moving forward with the cloud.

The introduction of VMware HCX is the vendor’s attempt to remove some of the roadblocks keeping organizations from adopting hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

What is VMware HCX, and what are its use cases?

VMware HCX, also known as NSX Hybrid Connect, is a platform that enables admins to migrate VMs and applications between vSphere infrastructures with at least version 5.0 and newer and from on-premises environments to the cloud.

The top use cases of VMware HCX include consolidating and modernizing the data center, extending the data center to the cloud, and disaster recovery.

“HCX gives you freedom of choice,” said Nathan Thaler, director of cloud platforms at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. “You can move your workload into a cloud provider as long it works for you, and then you can move it out without any lock-in. We’ve moved certain VMs between multiple states and without any network downtime.”

Thaler did caution organizations to avoid using virtual hardware beyond the highest level of compatibility with the oldest cloud environment.

Disaster recovery to the cloud, while maybe not as front of mind as other popular use cases, is key in the event of a natural disaster.

“We wanted to be able to have resiliency whether it’s an East Coast event or a West Coast event,” said HCX customer Gary Goforth, senior systems engineer at ConnectWise Inc., a business management software provider based in Tampa, Fla.

VMware HCX-supported features include Encrypted vMotion, vSphere Replication and scheduled migrations. The functionality itself seems to be what admins are really looking for.

“We wanted a fairly simple, easy way to implement a cloud,” Goforth said. “We wanted to do it with minimal to no downtime and to handle a bulk migration of our virtual machines.”

In terms of the VMware HCX roadmap, the vendor is working on constructs to move workloads across different clouds, Sequeira said.

“It’s all about interconnecting data centers to each other,” he said. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, where you run is going to become less important than what services you need.”

Plan your Exchange migration to Office 365 with confidence

Introduction

Choosing an Exchange migration to Office 365 is just the beginning of this process for administrators. Migrating all the content, troubleshooting the issues and then getting the settings just right in a new system can be overwhelming, especially with tricky legacy archives.

Even though it might appear that the Exchange migration to Office 365 is happening everywhere, transitioning to the cloud is not a black and white choice for every organization. On-premises servers still get the job done; however, Exchange Online offers a constant flow of new features and costs less in some cases. Administrators should also consider a hybrid deployment to get the benefits of both platforms.

Once you have determined the right configuration, you will have to choose how to transfer archived emails and public folders and which tools to use. Beyond relocating mailboxes, administrators have to keep content accessible and security a priority during an Exchange migration to Office 365.

This guide simplifies the decision-making process and steers administrators away from common issues. More advanced tutorials share the reasons to keep certain data on premises and the tricks to set up the cloud service for optimal results.

1Before the move

Plan your Exchange migration

Prepare for your move from Exchange Server to the cloud by understanding your deployment options and tools to smooth out any bumps in the road.

2After the move

Working with Exchange Online

After you’ve made the switch to Office 365’s hosted email platform, these tools and practices will have your organization taking advantage of the new platform’s perks without delay.

3Glossary

Definitions related to Exchange Server migration

Understand the terms related to moving Exchange mailboxes.

Hyper-V Quick Tip: How to Choose a Live Migration Performance Solution

Q: Which Hyper-V Live Migration Performance Option should I choose?

A: If you have RDMA-capable physical adapters, choose SMB. Otherwise, choose Compression.

You’ve probably seen this page of your Hyper-V hosts’ Settings dialog box at some point:

live migration performance

The field descriptions go into some detail, but they don’t tell the entire story.

Live Migration Transport Option: TCP/IP

In this case, “TCP/IP” basically means: “don’t use compression or SMB”. Prior to 2012, this was the only mode available. A host opens up a channel to the target system on TCP port 6600 and shoots the data over as quickly as possible.

Live Migration Transport Option: Compression

Introduced in 2012, the Compression method mostly explains itself. The hosts still use port 6600, but the sender compresses the data prior to transmission. This technique has three things going for it:

  • The vast bulk of a Live Migration involves moving the virtual machine’s memory contents. Memory contents tend to compress quite readily, resulting in a substantially reduced payload size over the TCP/IP method
  • For most computing systems, the CPU cycles involved in compression are faster and cheaper than the computations needed to break down, transmit, and re-assemble multi-channel TCP/IP traffic
  • Works for any environment
  • Each virtual machine that you move simultaneously (limited by host settings) will get its own unique TCP channel. That gives the Dynamic and Hash load balancing algorithms an opportunity to use different physical pathways for simultaneous migrations

Live Migration Transport Option: SMB

Also new with 2012, the SMB transport method leverages the new capabilities of version 3 (and higher) of the SMB protocol. Two things matter for Live Migration:

  • SMB Direct: Leveraging RDMA-capable hardware, packets transmitted by SMB Direct move so quickly you’d almost think they arrived before they left. If you haven’t had a chance to see RDMA in action, you’re missing out. Unfortunately, you can’t get RDMA on the cheap.
  • SMB Multichannel: When multiple logical paths are available (as in, a single host with different IP addresses, preferably on different networks), SMB can break up traffic into multiple streams and utilize all available routes

Why Should I Favor Compression over SMB?

The SMB method sounds really good, right? Even if you can’t use SMB Direct, you get something from SMB multichannel, right? Well… no… not much. Processing of TCP/IP packets and Ethernet frames has always been intensive at scale. Ordinarily, our server computers don’t move much data so we don’t see it. However, a Live Migration pushes lots of data. Even keeping a single Ethernet stream intact and in order can cause a burden on your networking hardware. Breaking it up into multiple pieces and re-assembling everything in the correct order across multiple channels can pose a nightmare scenario. However, SMB Direct can offload enough of the basic network processing to nearly trivialize the effort. Without that aid, Compression will be faster for most people.

Should I Ever Prefer the Plain TCP/IP Method?

I have not personally encountered a scenario in which I would prefer TCP/IP over the other choices. However, it does cause the least amount of host load. If your hosts have very high normal CPU usage and you want Live Migrations to occur as discreetly as possible, choose TCP/IP. You may add in a QoS layer to tone it down further.

Your Comments

Don’t agree with my assessment or encountered situations which don’t line up with my advice? I’m happy to hear your thoughts on Live Migrations Performance Options and which are the correct solutions to choose in various circumstances. Write to me in the comments below.

If you like this Hyper-V Quick tip, check out another in the Hyper-V Quick Tip Series.

Oracle claims it can cut ERP system migration costs by 30%

An ERP system migration is one of IT’s most costly projects. One-time implementation costs can run into the millions. But Oracle claims it has developed tools that cut the time and cost of a migration by up to 30%.

The tools use automation and prebuilt integrations to software made by other vendors. Oracle also believes its cloud systems can replace many user-built ERP customizations.

“We’ve made it much easier for you to move from an on-premises ERP system to the cloud,” said Larry Ellison, CTO and chairman of the board at Oracle. He unveiled the tools on Tuesday, dubbed “Oracle Soar to the Cloud,” in a webcast.

Whether these new tools can deliver the promised ERP system migration savings remains to be seen. But the problem Oracle is trying to address is a big one. For example, in estimates released last fall, Atlanta put its first year, one-time cost of moving its on-premises Oracle ERP system to Oracle’s cloud at $13.5 million. The city believed the cloud system was less costly in the long run and approved the migration.

Jonathan Gross, managing director of Pemeco Consulting, an ERP project management firm based in Toronto, has not seen the details of Oracle’s new plan, but said he struggles to understand the Oracle ERP system migration savings claim, “given how much of an implementation project’s cost relates to people, process design and testing, training [and] change management,” among other processes.

Oracle automates migration functions

Larry Ellison, CTO and board chair of OracleLarry Ellison

Ellison, in his overview of the ERP system migration tools, said the first step is an “evaluator process” that scans the on-premises ERP system for customizations and integrations. It makes note of what’s been added to E-Business Suite, then analyzes and scans for configurations, metadata, users, how much memory is being used, disk space and other functions. That information is collected by a configuration analyzer and is used to configure the cloud middleware and applications. The data is extracted from E-Business Suite and loaded into cloud applications.

The ERP system migration tools are available for Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and Hyperion Planning customers who are moving to Oracle cloud systems.

This new tool set also has what Oracle calls an “integration accelerator” that uses a library of prebuilt integrations for users “going from one standard software product to another standard software product,” Ellison said.

There are limits to what can be done 

We’ve made it much easier for you to move from an on-premises ERP system to the cloud.
Larry EllisonCTO and chairman of the board at Oracle

As an example, Oracle has prebuilt integrations to Salesforce’s sales or service applications and SAP’s ERP application. Oracle has more than 100 of these prebuilt integrations, Ellison said.

But for users with internal, custom-built integrations, “we’re going to have to rebuild that integration,” Ellison said.

With respect to customizations, Ellison said E-Business Suite does not have as many features as Oracle Fusion in the cloud — its suite of ERP applications. But when a user makes the migration from an on-premises ERP system, a user can “drop” many of those customizations, “because a lot of those customizations are now standard features in Fusion ERP,” Ellison said.

Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT, said it’s worth considering why Oracle is offering these tools now.

“It may well be that Ellison and company have thoroughly gotten cloud fever and are happily building out new and related business lines,” King said. But it’s “also possible that Oracle has discovered that customers are resistant to moving complex, data-rich applications out of their private data centers to Oracle Cloud.”

The new offerings may include price breaks, with free to low-cost services “designed to nudge them in that direction,” King said.

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

Will have a spare WD Red (NAS) 3TB drive free by the end of the week once migration is complete.

Has warranty until 1st July 2018.

Zero bad sectors. Clean SMART info. Please see pics for further info. For sale due to storage pool upgrade.

View attachment 1003057

View attachment 1003056

View attachment 1003055

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PP Gift or Bank Transfer…

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

Will have a spare WD Red (NAS) 3TB drive free by the end of the week once migration is complete.

Has warranty until 1st July 2018.

Zero bad sectors. Clean SMART info. Please see pics for further info. For sale due to storage pool upgrade.

View attachment 1003057

View attachment 1003056

View attachment 1003055

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PP Gift or Bank Transfer…

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

Will have a spare WD Red (NAS) 3TB drive free by the end of the week once migration is complete.

Has warranty until 1st July 2018.

Zero bad sectors. Clean SMART info. Please see pics for further info. For sale due to storage pool upgrade.

View attachment 1003057

View attachment 1003056

View attachment 1003055

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PP Gift or Bank Transfer…

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

Will have a spare WD Red (NAS) 3TB drive free by the end of the week once migration is complete.

Has warranty until 1st July 2018.

Zero bad sectors. Clean SMART info. Please see pics for further info. For sale due to storage pool upgrade.

View attachment 1003057

View attachment 1003056

View attachment 1003055

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PP Gift or Bank Transfer…

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

Will have a spare WD Red (NAS) 3TB drive free by the end of the week once migration is complete.

Has warranty until 1st July 2018.

Zero bad sectors. Clean SMART info. Please see pics for further info. For sale due to storage pool upgrade.

View attachment 1003057

View attachment 1003056

View attachment 1003055

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PP Gift or Bank Transfer…

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD

Will have a spare WD Red (NAS) 3TB drive free by the end of the week once migration is complete.

Has warranty until 1st July 2018.

Zero bad sectors. Clean SMART info. Please see pics for further info. For sale due to storage pool upgrade.

View attachment 1003057

View attachment 1003056

View attachment 1003055

Price and currency: 60
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PP Gift or Bank Transfer…

WD Red 3TB – NAS HDD