Case Study: Mainframe move to Cover-All.
Moving your mainframe to Cover-All can save you time and money while keeping your environment current.
Our client is a key agricultural services provider. They owned and operated their own mainframe computer and were looking to reduce costs while still maintaining their mainframe environment. After an exhaustive search for a managed services provider, they decided on Cover-All to host their mainframe computer.
Our client was having difficulty finding qualified staff to run its mainframe environment. It was also proving to be very costly to keep the resources and infrastructure in place to maintain their mainframe. Our client’s objectives were to minimize the impact of the move on staff and services while maintaining a high level of data security.
The actual move scenario for this client was very typical of the mainframe moves Cover-All makes with most mainframe clients. It is a fairly straight forward “lift-and-drop” scenario. We purchase a new mainframe for our client and transfer all the data from their current mainframe onto their new mainframe hosted in Cover-All’s data centre.
Cover-All has decades of experience moving clients into our data centre and have developed procedures and processes to ensure a successful transition. Our employees managed the transition with a proven transition methodology.
Phase 1 – Review Current Environment
In this phase, a team of Cover-All mainframe experts were dispatched to meet with our client’s IT team. We were able to assess the scope of the project with the client team and review all the hardware and software, including proprietary software, being utilized by the client.
Phase 2 – Document Target Environment
In this phase, we documented our client’s current mainframe environment and conducted a software inventory including IBM and Independent Software Vendors (ISV). Then we identified replacement software for any current proprietary software. At every phase, we obtained client sign-off to proceed to the next phase.
Phase 3 – Purchase New Hardware and Replicate System Software
Phase 3 is one of the most critical phases of the transition process. Our team purchased a new mainframe for our client. We configured the Direct Access Storage Devices (DASD), assigned hardware resources and verified system software supported the new hardware resources. We also added replacement software products for proprietary software as required. It was vital to ensure that all the software needs were replicated appropriately to avoid any disruption of service and to ensure security was not compromised.
Phase 4 – Develop Backup and Restore Procedures
The client’s objective in this phase was to ensure that we could make the move over a weekend to avoid disruption to their work week.
In this case, we backed up the client’s data on a set of tapes over a weekend. The tapes were shipped to Cover-All and used to restore a copy of the client’s data onto their new mainframe hosted in Cover-All’s data centre.
Phase 5 – Migration to Cover-All
The migration test to the Cover-All data centre also took place over a weekend. We embarked on two dry-runs before we finally cut-over to the Cover-All data center and received client approval to go live. As a result of the meticulous attention to detail in replicating their environment in phase 3, both dry-runs and final cut-off to the Cover-All data centre were successful.
Our client was able to successfully transition their data to an IT environment that meets their current technology needs, with room to grow as their business expands. Their objective to save money while maintaining their mainframe environment is now a reality. Our client is now confident in the knowledge that their clients’ data is hosted in a private environment located in Cover-All’s data centre.
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