When you are one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, the stability, security and quality of your network matters a lot. Your customers expect a seamless experience with the ability to access their data at any time and from any location. There isn’t a scenario where it is ever acceptable to be offline or for data to be unavailable.
One of the challenges for a global professional firm providing audit, tax, and advisory services is balancing the need to upgrade infrastructure with the limited window for downtime. Traditionally, when adding modern storage infrastructure, the final cutover equals immediate downtime. Most migration tools require a significant investment of time spent on planning and executing the cutover which adds to the cost, resources, and risks required to move the data and complete the migration to a new storage environment…but not with Cirrus DMS.
The global accounting firm faced a critical storage refresh challenge when migrating from their legacy EMC VNX to HPE 3PAR Flex Capacity. The firm needed to immediately upgrade an aging storage infrastructure to avoid the risk of an outage and to correct performance issues. Unfortunately, the downtime that is typically required for a storage migration was not available until many months later. The company needed a high performance, real-time, and non-disruptive method to migrate from, but also needed to defer the cutover downtime for several months.
Our premier partner working on this project realized this global behemoth needed a solution that would allow them to quickly retire their old VNX storage assets and migrate to 3PAR FlexCapacity while deferring cutover downtime. With significant expertise in data storage and years spent working with this client, the partner was quick to recommend Cirrus Data’s DMS with its unique pMotion capabilities allowing the new storage to stand-in for the old storage indefinitely—before final cutover. pMotion is particularly useful in scenarios when source storage is failing, lease expiration is imminent, or the maintenance contract is expiring and downtime for cutover is not available in required service windows.
How does pMotion work? After the DMS appliance is inserted into the FC fabric using Cirrus Data’s patented TDI technology, the source LUNs are automatically discovered, and new LUNs are created automatically using the DMS storage plugin for the destination storage and paired with each source LUN. Migration sessions are then created and enabled based on the priority established by the customer. In this instance, migration performance was over 1GB/sec. Once the initial copy is completed, the pMotion feature is triggered, effectively retiring the old source LUNs and redirecting all the read/writes to the new storage. DMS then emulates the decommissioned storage; the application servers and FC switches still “see” the old storage and datapaths, avoiding the need for downtime to reconfigure each host to see the new storage. The pMotion migration process is a totally transparent action and does not impact the production environment. pMotion allows the client to adhere to their own timeline, deferring the final server cutover for weeks or even months, as long as the DMS appliances continue to be deployed.
Additional DMS features added to the ease and simplicity of the entire migration project, including auto-discovery, auto-provisioning, and intelligent iQoS. For a more detailed description of these features and how they simplified this migration project, you can read the full case study for this migration.