Migrating to Windows

How WellData transferred Devon Council’s IT systems to a newer, more reliable infrastructure

The issue

Devon County Council has relied on WellData for the management of their database estate for over 8 years. At the very beginning of the project talks were held about the opportunity to change their servers and migrate their Oracle Databases running on AIX servers to up-to-date Windows Servers as well as the daily Business-as-Usual database management that the current estate required.

Often migrations appear to be very complex projects. This is not surprising, considering that a migration frequently involves changing the operating system, storage and database version all at the same time, whilst keeping the downtime to a minimum.

This is why migrations tend to be postponed indefinitely.

Devon County Council’s database estate was getting to the stage where risk was starting to get too high: in June 2021 the operating systems were nearing end of support, the servers were at a point where the cost of maintenance was becoming too expensive, and the Oracle version needed upgrading.

When the request for a migration to newer and better performing servers and databases came through from the Devon County Council’s IT department, the WellData team was ready.

The solution

Being well acquainted with the Council’s database estate, the team knew that there were currently five databases hosted on only two servers. This situation had developed over time and was not ideal as it complicates the daily management of the databases and prevents database replication should that be necessary.

For this reason, the very first recommendation was to build five servers, one for each database. These five servers had to be identical, built to the same specification, so that if a server failed it would be possible to replicate a database on to another server; this also allowed for an easier and more effective database management regime.

The results

The migration process was completed in less than five months with no disruption to Devon County Council’s operations: the servers were built, Oracle 19c installed, daily maintenance plans established, each database was cut over, testing carried out and the migration completed.

In the words of Graham May, Application Analyst, of Devon County Council(DCC):

“[…] WellData managed the process from cradle to grave ensuring that we stayed within ourOracle licensing agreements.

WellData were on hand to perform the migration of the Production Environment outside of our core corporate support hours”

 

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