The big-bang theory and the beginning of times

Celfocus' Data Migration Strategy

Call To Time — Apr 2017 by Nuno Periquito

The concept of big-bang is widely recognized by universe enthusiasts. However, the term has also grown popular in IT projects.

In modern observational cosmology, the early light or the cosmic microwave background (CMB) as it is also known, is fundamental because it is the oldest light in the universe, dating back to the big bang or the beginning of times.

Although the concept of big-bang is normally a relevant topic for those interested in better understanding the universe, it can also be applied to IT projects, more specifically as one of the main strategies used in data migration projects.

Before initiating, any migration process it is necessary to determine the strategy that best suits the defined objectives. Organizations have at their disposal different options to move forward depending on the project scope, risk and other variables, but there are two main types of migration strategies:

  • Big-bang approach – it normally includes concluding the entire migration in a small period window where data is extracted from the source systems and loaded to the target systems, followed by the switching of processing to the new environment
  • Phased approach – takes an incremental approach to the migrating data. In this scenario both the new and old systems run in parallel and data is migrated over time.

Based on Celfocus’ experience, the decision of which data migration strategy to take (Phased vs. Big-bang) should be purely based on business risk management and not on what the underlying technical solution is or is not able to accomplish. The technical solution must not restrict the strategic freedom to decide. This implies that the underlying technical solution must always be designed to migrate 100% of the customers in a short time-frame regardless of the phasing strategy chosen for go-live.

Data migration is a critical success factor in any project, regardless of size or complexity. Business in general and Communication Service Providers (CSPs) in particular spend millions in acquiring and parameterizing new systems but, when it comes to data migration, normally it’s consider just another project deliverable, with low budget allocation and fewer resources focus on designing, testing and executing the migration process. This mindset may explain why, according to Gartner and the Standish Group, “67% of all data migration projects cause implementation delays, large overruns, or fail outright”..

To deliver a successful data migration project, Celfocus has developed a 3-step delivery process. The first stage comprises the entire solution strategy, followed by the analysis/development/test phases with agile methodology (including several sprints) and the final deployment phase.

In a data migration project, together with Celfocus delivery process (how the data migration process is organized), there is also the need to establish a technical framework, which includes the final data migration tool, in order to standardize new implementations and incorporate the assets developed during the project scope. Next, we present Celfocus’ data migration technical framework.

Celfocus’ experience with delivering complex data migration projects has led not only to the development of a delivery process but also specific tools.

This asset targets specific phases in the project implementation process and deployment, acting as accelerators, minimizing risk and maximizing the overall project timeframe.

Albert Einstein once said “Time is an illusion.” When dealing with the migration of massive amounts of data from legacy to the new target systems there is NO illusion. The solution lies in hard work and extensive knowledge to pinpoint the pain areas and how to address them.

Celfocus has a success record of accomplishment data migration projects built on top of extensive experience anchored on best practices, industry frameworks and proprietary tools, developed to speed up project time and mitigate risk.

Radio waves from the big bang. This sound is 13 billion years old. How did they get the sound? The sound has been travelling around the universe and reached planets and NASA picked up the radio waves.