The great (data) trek

Johannesburg, 25 Jan 2010
Read time 4min 30sec

Half the country's just returned from the standard exodus to our coastal towns.

Along the way we shouted at each other, waved hand signals, got red-faced in under-staffed takeout shops and generally had a miserable time of it getting stuck behind trucks, caravan-towing 4X4s and first-time voyage takers doing 80km/h to “take in the scenery”.

You'd have imagined that in this modern time of rainbow-oneness and the absence of ox-wagons, migrating ourselves to whichever utopia we desire would be a simple, calm, stress-free experience. But it's not. The system is flawed as it still relies on us (road) users to behave in an orderly fashion to get everybody safely and swiftly from point A to B.

Data migration shares this boat.

The same can be said for migrating data from old to new hardware, or changing over to a new software operating system while trying to make sure that all the correct data, from all the company's users, make that journey successfully.

Historically, data migration projects have a tendency to fail, as a Bloor Research white paper suggests: “Approximately 60% of data migration projects have overruns on time and/or budget, which affect business continuity and disrupt operations... Some projects fail completely.”

Three aspects need careful consideration.

* Data migration projects differ from the usual as they are not implemented and then maintained. They are once off (hopefully), with the project drawing to a close when the new system is live.
* Data migration projects are time-dependent and usually executed when the least impact on the business is expected. Any overrun has a negative effect on the business.
* The majority of business-critical data does not sit on the company's servers, but on the user's desktop or laptop, which further complicates matters.

What's the problem?

Migrating data is a bit like watching your favourite sports team lose... Full of unnecessary cardiac implications and four letter words that could lead to days, weeks, months even of dread and disharmony.

* First and foremost, it takes an awful lot of human resource and time to migrate user data.
* Secondly, you can pretty much bet the farm that some user data will go missing. When that user then gets his/her computer, there is outrage because some mystery files saved in an equally mysterious location did not make it.

The technical guy who sat there all weekend trying to drag this old data migration horse to water then gets the stick.

* This leads to loss of productivity as the lost data now needs to be recreated and, yes, it also leads to a less than harmonious relationship between IT and the user who did not adhere to any policy and saved his/her files all over the show.
* Lastly, any failing of the migration project has a direct and tangible effect on the company's ability to execute its business operations successfully. This means loss of potential business and, even, loss of current business. Imagine not being able to assist a customer in need because you just don't have access to the correct data. Chances are you will lose that customer or, at the very least, have a dented reputation.

Avoid migration blues

We could go into great detail (and will do so in future articles) but it basically boils down to this:

To successfully migrate user data, you need to, A: Plan like you are about to invade a small country, and B: Use the correct technology.

Cibecs' automated data backup and recovery solution gives you complete control over user data residing on laptops and desktops. Over and above the obvious benefits of the solution, AKA, getting lost data back when the paw-paw strikes the fan - Cibecs is also a popular tool to use when migrating large (or small) volumes of user data.

Cibecs will automatically restore all the user's data to their original location, on the new machine - no manual copying of all the data from one machine to a hard drive or a server, and then from there back to the new or upgraded machine. Cibecs facilitates the simple effective migration of user data without all the hassles of old.

* A simple, three click process automates data recovery to the new hardware which, in turn, drastically reduces IT resource and time required to get the job done.
* Cibecs backs up and restores all the selected business-critical data, no matter where on the PC it is stored. This drastically diminishes the risk of losing user data during the migration.
* Business continuity remains unaffected - which means real, measurable, company benefits.
* Cibecs offers a truly simple solution to a truly unnecessary annoyance.

Some things we can control, others - like twenty-foot caravans and Schumacher wannabes - may take a few red-cheeked years still to sort out.

In the meantime, why not visit our endpoint data protection website and have a look at the ways in which we can help your business protect, migrate and manage its user data.

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