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Topics: Information Technology
IT infrastructure project - Server migration
I will be PM for server migration project. There are around 200 servers need to be migrated. This domain is new to me. I require your advice/guidance to deliver this project successfully.

How should I prepare for this new assignment?
What are pitfalls?
What will be high level activities?
What is the best method to estimate
Who will be componentwise supporting stakeholders?


Please share sample plan, resources(documents, online links) if some body worked on such proejcts.

Correction:
1) Few of them to be upgraded in existing enviromnent
2) Few of them (low in number less that 60) to be migrated altogether from existing environemnt to complete new DC

Also help me to identify effort sizing, Risks, Assumption and Contraints

And which methodology is sutitable?
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Milind -

You may want to provide some more details regarding the migration to get specific responses. For example:

1. Is this from physical servers to a cloud provider's infrastructure or just consolidating them into your own data center?

2. What operating systems - just MS Windows or any others?

3. What is the nature of the applications which are hosted on these servers - what industry?

Kiron
...
1 reply by Milind Patil
Nov 12, 2019 10:05 PM
Milind Patil
...
Thanks Kiron. Please find my comments

1. Is this from physical servers to a cloud provider's infrastructure or just consolidating them into your own data center?
Their own DCs

2. What operating systems - just MS Windows or any others?

MS windows

3. What is the nature of the applications which are hosted on these servers - what industry?

Require to get idea
Hello Milind,

You should consider the following points for these kinds of projects:

1. Obtain the list of all the existing servers along with

1.1 Configuration details
1.2 Operating System
1.3 Applications that were hosted on these servers
1.4 Anti virus software installed
1.5 If these servers are VMs in a cloud environment, you have to
find out whether you have to
1.5.1 Decommission the existing servers and create new ones
or
1.5.2 Migrate the servers to a new VPC.
1.6 Understand the existing architecture and find out from the
project sponsor and other major stakeholders if new
architecture is required.
1.7 Find out the security controls that are to be put in place
1.8 Find out if internet connectivity is required for these servers
and whether the hosted applications make inbound & outbound
internet requests.
1.9 Identify the technical teams who would perform the migration
activities.
1.10 Baseline the project scope and plan the project activities
along with the respective teams.
1.11 While estimating effort for the project activities you have to
ensure that
1.11.1 All the dependencies (if any) are captured for each
activity
1.11.2 Use analogous estimation method to identify the effort
and include some buffer time as well
1.12 Have the teams prepare respective test cases and ensure
that all those test cases are executed and obtain sign off.

I took a similar approach when I migrated a development environment from one account to another.


Regards

Patanjali Sastry
...
1 reply by Milind Patil
Nov 12, 2019 10:20 PM
Milind Patil
...
Thanks Patanjali, for great and really valuable help. Please read my comments

1.11.2 Use analogous estimation method to identify the effort
and include some buffer time as well

This is the first attempt across. We are currently doing Expert estimates.

For such large numbers, how to start execution. What your experience says.
Be prepared for a lot of testing. Make sure you understand any dependencies between systems so that you schedule and test appropriately.
Though not complete. Here are a few items


How should I prepare for this new assignment?
• Identify the reason for migration request
• Approximate budget for the migration
• Identify the various team that will need to work together for the migration
1. Infrastructure team, to provision new hardware
2. Network team, to establish proper networking
3. Application team, to suggest any new application installs and updates
4. DevOps/ TechOps team, to implement any new changes
5. QA/ QC team, to validate the migration and any new changes
What will be high level activities?
• Understand existing environment
1. If the environment is currently a physical environment or virtual environment
2. Network diagram
3. Application flow
• Current hardware configuration to estimate resources after migration
• If current environment is fully under support, both the hardware and any software applications.
• Estimate time to procure, implement new hardware and software
• Estimate cost to procure new hardware and software
• Determine the approximate team size for the project
• Request timeline from each of the project teams to finish each item
What are pitfalls?
• Delays in budget approvals for Hardware and Software procurement
• Network design for the new environment
• New hardware deployment
• Install and configure of the applications in the new environment
Activities very well explained by fellow colleagues , specially @Patanjali who brilliantly detailed out pre-requisites . This is quite comprehensive infact. The only little thing, i would add is that though test cases will be prepared and performed but you need to identify if this is the only criteria of successful migration. To avoid any ambiguity , you should have a well defined "Exit Criteria" for this migration. Also i suggest you to make a "Migration Strategy Document".
...
1 reply by Joan Alcantara
Jul 24, 2020 12:21 AM
Joan Alcantara
...
Hi can you share template /outline fo migration strategy document for cloud server migration? thank you.
Hi Milind
I have assumed a few things :-
1) You are migrating from one data centre to another
2) Your fleet of servers contains physical , virtual , windows and Unix servers , potentially AIX
3) You will need to migrate services from one OS version to another
4) You will potentially need to decommission old services
5) You may need to migrate "legacy" services to a newer technology stack where no proper documentation exists and you need to do extensive testing.



How should I prepare for this new assignment?

1) Define the What. What is it that you are migrating ? Operating systems to new versions ? servers to new data centers? Software to new platforms [hardware and software], What about associated hardware - UPS, batteries, Server Racks , Routers , Switches , other networking equipment , Load Balancers ?
For each of the 200 servers , categorize them as per above requirements.
2) Develop a standard migration pattern for "similar" kinds of servers . You may have a few windows 2012 servers to be upgraded to Windows 2016, for example .
You may have 15 Red Hat Linux Servers . You may have 20 Physical servers that you will simply "Lift and Shift". You may have Virtual machines that you need to migrate to another Version. You may have a dependency on another project that is currently executing that is likely to upgrade/decommission/move a chunk of the servers already. There may be a critical business service that requires 100% up-time and you may not be able to shut down and migrate it therefore you will need to replicate the service in the new area .


What are pitfalls?

There could be pitfalls relating to any of the below :-
Constraints :- when is the drop dead date that you must get out of your current data - centre/ area where your servers are sitting?
Risk of going over budget and over time because of any obstacles - maybe parts of business may not be ready to migrate when you are.
Is the new area you are migrating to ready or going to be delayed? what are the pre-requisites to getting the new area ready? Are there issues getting the new area ready . Is there sufficient Power? are there sufficient Server Racks? Are Service Levels Defined? Have you considered Logistics? Do you need new Vendors/suppliers/contractors? Do you have technical resources organised? Does the new area have racks that can hold existing servers or do you need to purchase new hardware and power? Do you have internal resources ready and knowledgeable to support this project or do you need to go external to find some?
Migration of legacy services off unsupported hardware and application stack [App server versions/OS versions] can be a big night mare especially where no proper documentation exists and the expert users have since left the organisation.


What will be high level activities?

Documentation :- Project Schedule, Project Management Plan, Issue and Risk Logs, Stakeholder list, Current and Future state Mapping .
As-is/to be Architecture , networking and connectivity diagrams , rack diagrams, Implementation and migration plans for each service
Architecture and design of each service to be ported- Server and application.
Procurement activities to move the services
Procurement activities for new hardware and software
System and User Acceptance Testing - plans, reports, execution artifacts
Setting up Test hardware and infrastructure
Decommissioning plans for old hardware and software including secure destruction
Licensing for new software and media


What is the best method to estimate

Use a combination of estimation methods . Progressive elaboration will work best ; start with a high level set of activities and Order of Magnitude Estimate (top down) and refine estimates as you go deeper into the planning. You can initially approach the Project board for initiation and planning funding and then once planning is completed, you can approach the board for execution funding.

Who will be component-wise supporting stakeholders?

Infrastructure team - Network Engineers , Server Engineers , Application :- Application Subject Matter experts, Business owners , system owners
Project :- Solution Architect, Enterprise Architect, Technical Architect, Business Analyst, Project Coordinator, PMO Manager, Test Lead/Manager
...
1 reply by Milind Patil
Nov 12, 2019 10:31 PM
Milind Patil
...
Thank you very much Deepesh. Your knowledge will really help me in attempting my upcoming venture.

Do you have any sample stuff - plan, schedule etc? Please share if it is handy or any online stuff dedicated to such efforts
Nov 12, 2019 7:21 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Milind -

You may want to provide some more details regarding the migration to get specific responses. For example:

1. Is this from physical servers to a cloud provider's infrastructure or just consolidating them into your own data center?

2. What operating systems - just MS Windows or any others?

3. What is the nature of the applications which are hosted on these servers - what industry?

Kiron
Thanks Kiron. Please find my comments

1. Is this from physical servers to a cloud provider's infrastructure or just consolidating them into your own data center?
Their own DCs

2. What operating systems - just MS Windows or any others?

MS windows

3. What is the nature of the applications which are hosted on these servers - what industry?

Require to get idea
Please find corrections in my original post including UPGRADE activity
Nov 12, 2019 9:17 AM
Replying to PATANJALI SASTRY ORUGANTI
...
Hello Milind,

You should consider the following points for these kinds of projects:

1. Obtain the list of all the existing servers along with

1.1 Configuration details
1.2 Operating System
1.3 Applications that were hosted on these servers
1.4 Anti virus software installed
1.5 If these servers are VMs in a cloud environment, you have to
find out whether you have to
1.5.1 Decommission the existing servers and create new ones
or
1.5.2 Migrate the servers to a new VPC.
1.6 Understand the existing architecture and find out from the
project sponsor and other major stakeholders if new
architecture is required.
1.7 Find out the security controls that are to be put in place
1.8 Find out if internet connectivity is required for these servers
and whether the hosted applications make inbound & outbound
internet requests.
1.9 Identify the technical teams who would perform the migration
activities.
1.10 Baseline the project scope and plan the project activities
along with the respective teams.
1.11 While estimating effort for the project activities you have to
ensure that
1.11.1 All the dependencies (if any) are captured for each
activity
1.11.2 Use analogous estimation method to identify the effort
and include some buffer time as well
1.12 Have the teams prepare respective test cases and ensure
that all those test cases are executed and obtain sign off.

I took a similar approach when I migrated a development environment from one account to another.


Regards

Patanjali Sastry
Thanks Patanjali, for great and really valuable help. Please read my comments

1.11.2 Use analogous estimation method to identify the effort
and include some buffer time as well

This is the first attempt across. We are currently doing Expert estimates.

For such large numbers, how to start execution. What your experience says.
Nov 12, 2019 5:57 PM
Replying to Deepesh Rammoorthy
...
Hi Milind
I have assumed a few things :-
1) You are migrating from one data centre to another
2) Your fleet of servers contains physical , virtual , windows and Unix servers , potentially AIX
3) You will need to migrate services from one OS version to another
4) You will potentially need to decommission old services
5) You may need to migrate "legacy" services to a newer technology stack where no proper documentation exists and you need to do extensive testing.



How should I prepare for this new assignment?

1) Define the What. What is it that you are migrating ? Operating systems to new versions ? servers to new data centers? Software to new platforms [hardware and software], What about associated hardware - UPS, batteries, Server Racks , Routers , Switches , other networking equipment , Load Balancers ?
For each of the 200 servers , categorize them as per above requirements.
2) Develop a standard migration pattern for "similar" kinds of servers . You may have a few windows 2012 servers to be upgraded to Windows 2016, for example .
You may have 15 Red Hat Linux Servers . You may have 20 Physical servers that you will simply "Lift and Shift". You may have Virtual machines that you need to migrate to another Version. You may have a dependency on another project that is currently executing that is likely to upgrade/decommission/move a chunk of the servers already. There may be a critical business service that requires 100% up-time and you may not be able to shut down and migrate it therefore you will need to replicate the service in the new area .


What are pitfalls?

There could be pitfalls relating to any of the below :-
Constraints :- when is the drop dead date that you must get out of your current data - centre/ area where your servers are sitting?
Risk of going over budget and over time because of any obstacles - maybe parts of business may not be ready to migrate when you are.
Is the new area you are migrating to ready or going to be delayed? what are the pre-requisites to getting the new area ready? Are there issues getting the new area ready . Is there sufficient Power? are there sufficient Server Racks? Are Service Levels Defined? Have you considered Logistics? Do you need new Vendors/suppliers/contractors? Do you have technical resources organised? Does the new area have racks that can hold existing servers or do you need to purchase new hardware and power? Do you have internal resources ready and knowledgeable to support this project or do you need to go external to find some?
Migration of legacy services off unsupported hardware and application stack [App server versions/OS versions] can be a big night mare especially where no proper documentation exists and the expert users have since left the organisation.


What will be high level activities?

Documentation :- Project Schedule, Project Management Plan, Issue and Risk Logs, Stakeholder list, Current and Future state Mapping .
As-is/to be Architecture , networking and connectivity diagrams , rack diagrams, Implementation and migration plans for each service
Architecture and design of each service to be ported- Server and application.
Procurement activities to move the services
Procurement activities for new hardware and software
System and User Acceptance Testing - plans, reports, execution artifacts
Setting up Test hardware and infrastructure
Decommissioning plans for old hardware and software including secure destruction
Licensing for new software and media


What is the best method to estimate

Use a combination of estimation methods . Progressive elaboration will work best ; start with a high level set of activities and Order of Magnitude Estimate (top down) and refine estimates as you go deeper into the planning. You can initially approach the Project board for initiation and planning funding and then once planning is completed, you can approach the board for execution funding.

Who will be component-wise supporting stakeholders?

Infrastructure team - Network Engineers , Server Engineers , Application :- Application Subject Matter experts, Business owners , system owners
Project :- Solution Architect, Enterprise Architect, Technical Architect, Business Analyst, Project Coordinator, PMO Manager, Test Lead/Manager
Thank you very much Deepesh. Your knowledge will really help me in attempting my upcoming venture.

Do you have any sample stuff - plan, schedule etc? Please share if it is handy or any online stuff dedicated to such efforts
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