Some Headway in Data Migration

Arthur Cole

If you've been struggling over the selection of a data migration platform, or even vendor, chances are you're not alone. Migration technologies are emerging as a central element in numerous enterprise strategies, including virtualization and SOA.


But with such a plethora of solutions out there, and the added challenge of having to integrate those into legacy systems, what should be a relatively straightforward process can turn into a logistical and organizational nightmare.


That's why I've been glad to see a number of key developments in the past few weeks.


Probably the most significant is the FreedomFabric Alliance, pulled together by virtualization and migration specialist Acopia Networks. The deal unites nearly 20 vendors in an effort to help enterprises rein in all "distributed, unstructured, file-based information." The list of participants includes mostly small, independent vendors like 3PAR, agami and StoredIQ. It makes me wonder what sort of developmental powerhouse might emerge from an enhanced level of commonality between this many second- and third-tier vendors. And the partners are getting a good deal too, considering they'll likely get greater access to IBM, HP, Sun and some of Acopia's other major clients.


Equally important to the cause of data migration, however, was the release of HP's All-in-One line of StorageWorks systems. Aimed more at the SMB market, the All-in-One system is an attempt to sort through the cybermess that resides in all enterprises through the use of mixed drive support and migration technology. You get to mix up SATA and SCSI drives, and pull data through Microsoft Exchange off Windows Server (32- and 64-bit). If all works as planned, growing enterprises might even be able to delay the move from direct attached storage to network attached storage.


And while I understand that competition is fierce in the vendor environment and there are really no rules in the business jungle, it's unseemly nonetheless for a company to use technology as a weapon against others rather than a tool to improve its own offerings. When Microsoft launched Application Analyzer and Data Migration last year, it was clearly a play at drawing customers away from Lotus (and don't think I consider IBM a poor little victim, by any means). Now Microsoft is looking to finish the job with its Transporter Suite, designed to pipe Domino 6 and 7 data into Server, Exchange and Sharepoint. So far, though, Lotus seems to be holding up well, but that's life in the jungle.


The final item I have here isn't exactly an event, but a company that looks like it has an intriguing approach to application migration. Some of you Apple folks may already know Transitive Corp. What it has is a virtualization system called QuickTransit that lets you call up applications that have been compiled for another operating system or processor pair, and you can do it at normal port speed without any source code or binary changes. Ask someone with Apple's Rosetta translation software or an Itanium-based Silicon Graphics machine what the system can do. Here's hoping that it finds its way to other AMD or Intel platforms.

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