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December 4, 2018

The PSR Disruption-Free Mainframe Migration Method & Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

If your company has ever gone through a significant hardware or software migration, you know it’s a process that can be disruptive. Sometimes, it can even be disastrous.

The outcome of any migration process is dependent on the preparation. Over PSR’s long history, we have seen every possible issue that can arise with mainframe migration, and we have learned from it all. Before we move a single file, we’ll evaluate your entire environment and plan for a seamless migration.

Our goal in every engagement is to deliver a migration so smooth that it’s a non-event. Your end users won’t even notice the moment the switch is flipped.

Below, we’ve outlined the step-by-step method that we use to ensure that every migration we perform is disruption-free.

Step 1: System Analysis

Before every migration, we perform a full-system analysis: processor channels, disc devices, peripherals, and much more. We want to determine whether mainframe hosting is a good fit for your environment, business goals, and budget. There are many factors that determine suitability, including:

  • Current data backups and disaster recovery plan
  • Business availability requirements
  • Unique workload or environmental requirements, such as older applications or operating systems

We’ll do a complete feasibility study to evaluate your requirements. If we find roadblocks standing in the way of your migration, we’ll explain what they are and explore options with you. If a hosted mainframe solution doesn’t make sense for your situation, we’ll be honest with you.

Step 2: Develop Migration Method

Once we’ve determined that a hosted mainframe solution is a good fit for your needs, we’ll work on a migration plan. If our team finds any issues that we need to address prior to the move, we will communicate those to you and work on a solution. If you need support, we can help you make the changes you need.

Here are some of the ways we support our clients in preparation for migration:

File Transfer

One of the most crucial parts of a mainframe migration is the file transfer. The first thing we’ll want to determine is the best method of file transfer. If you are using physical tapes for backup, we can likely load your data onto our systems or help you implement virtual tape (VTS).

Environmental Requirements

We’ll support you with whatever adaptations are needed for a successful migration ― whether it’s that finicky printer script or a special application. Perhaps you have legacy or proprietary applications that you still need to run. We have a range of options, including z/OS 2.1-compatible processors to support legacy applications and operating systems. We can also help with OS upgrades.

Our goal is to recreate your exact environment ― the full infrastructure as it is today. Your IT department will have the same connectivity, link network, system console, and hardware management as always. The only difference is that the physical infrastructure won’t be down the hall.

Step 3: Test Until It’s Perfect

Once we’ve developed a migration method, we’ll move everything into the new environment for testing. You’ll have access to a testing environment so you and your users can test every aspect of your environment to make sure everything runs as expected.

We want to eliminate any surprises on migration day, so we will keep testing until it is perfect.

Our purpose-built IaaS or DraaS term will commence once testing is complete and you are confident with the results of the testing.

Step 4: Migration

By launch day, we’ve run multiple tests to ensure that everything works. Your end users should not notice when you switch from the old environment to the new. In fact, performance should improve with the modernized equipment. While that might seem a little anticlimactic, for us it’s the sign of a job well-done.

How to Prep for a Mainframe Migration

 When it comes to a major hardware move like a mainframe migration, your best bet is to run only what you’ve tested and test everything that you plan to run.

To get ready for your upcoming mainframe migration, you want to evaluate your business and list every mission-critical application and function that you need. List everything you want to test, and make sure to test each item in your new environment.

Your organization will undergo a major migration once or twice during the life of your business. With our help, you can be assured of a perfect migration. Migrations are something we do every day. With our experience in mainframe migration, we can spot any potential issue and address any need.

Find out how much your organization could save by migrating to a hosted mainframe. Talk to a PSR mainframe expert today.