Binfile changes

The joys of data migrations. 

One of the most common problems is the standard practice of most companies to avoid upgrading whenever possible.  The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

I could spend days and days on that particular brand of suicide.  For now I’ll just replace that addage with a new one.

If you don’t upgrade it now when you can do it in a controlled fashion, you will end up doing it when your life depends on it with very little planning.

So on the 17th, a customer is going to have to take an application down on an *OLD* Symmetrix 4.8 system to upgrade from 5265 code to 5267 code.  (two major code revs up, from 5×65 to 5×66, then from 5×66 to 5×67, and neither can be loaded on-line)

All of this has to happen *JUST* so we can move the data off this symm and onto a “not-so” old Symm 5.0 that will then me packed up to be moved out of state.

First off, the idea that you can simply turn off a Symm and ship it across the country is nuts.  Anytime you get a system with that many moving parts (harddrives) that have been spinning for that length of time and simply “turn it off” you run the risk of multiple hard-disk failures.  And as we all know, any time you have multiple hard-disk failures in an array, you run the risk of losing both halfs of a mirror.  Hell I cringe at turning off my desktop PC because I know that there is always the chance it’s not going to come back up, and I’ve got Raid-1 (160G) on my boot devices and Raid-5 (500G) on my data volumes, so I’m reasonably protected.

Secondly, why are we moving a Symm that is going to hit EOSL before too long?  Doesn’t it make sense to go ahead and upgrade to the latest and greatest hardware, get a free support renewal (included with the purchase of new hardware) and get the latest and greatest features/functionality?  Of course we’re moving a bunch of Sun E3000/E4000/E6000 class hardware.  These are the systems I cut my admin teeth on back in 1996 when I first started out in datacenter operations.  They were old 6 years ago.

Next time someone asks you the correct way to move a datacenter, the correct answer is “twin the hardware and replicate” followed by “trade-in.”

Bekins Moving should never be an option.

2 comments

    • on November 9, 2007 at 2:58 am
    • Reply

    Granted, I work with modular storage, but I don’t sweat sticking a shelf of disk in a box and handing it off to UPS. Of course, I tend to work with NetApp disks, and they are using RAID-6. So losing a couple of drives isn’t the concern it is on a DMX.

    I gotta agree with you though. Support contracts on that old equipment are insane, and it’s invariably more cost effective to jst replace the hardware. There is a reason the support is expensive, it’s to encourage you to upgrade. 🙂

  1. It’s funny, we’re talking about about 18 *OLD* sun hosts, that we’re now connecting to a DMX3-1500. it was hard enough finding the Emulex LP9002S (S for Sbus) cards to replace the antique (and consequently unsupported) JNI cards, but then we had to tell them that they had to upgrade from Solaris 2.7 to 2.8 and it was like we were asking for their first-born.

    The *BEST* way to do this would have been to SRDF everything into the DMX3 (which they are doing) and connect that to a Sun UE12k partitoned up to match their current environment. They could have done everything they needed to do, tested it ahead of time, all while taking up only 5 (maybe) floor tiles and making it possible to do the entire failover in a single weekend.

    Instead they are paying a climate controlled truck to commute back and forth between new jersey and georgia to move equipment that you and I both know is already obsolete.

    Then again – I guess it does guarantee the contracting company future work, doesn’t it? That’s a bad business practice, and i can say that as I am the type of consultant who would *NEVER* recomend doing half a job in hopes of securing more work down the road. My goal has always been to put the best environment in place. Because *THAT* is when customers will call you first when the next job comes up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.