It’s not surprising that Linux, an operating system that’s both highly reliable and free, has the wind in its sails. So, if you’re planning to migrate an application from AIX to Linux, you’re not alone. Since each situation is unique, however, you should proceed with caution. Before you make a move, you need to ensure that application performance will improve.
You should apply the same level of caution to application upgrades, especially when it comes to those that are mission-critical, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP). After all, upgrades can be buggy.
So how can you tell whether you should move forward with an application migration or upgrade?
Let’s say you’ve been running version three of your ERP software on AIX servers for the past two years. Now a flurry of change is in the air. The vendor is proudly announcing the introduction version four which is supposed to run better. At the same time, you have a plan to migrate your ERP software to Linux while keeping your database on AIX.
Since you can’t afford a setback in operations, you don’t want to move forward blindly. So you need to ascertain your application’s vital stats and determine how they will be affected by the upgrade or move to Linux.
Linux performance monitoring can help you determine the viability of the new operating system….to see the effects of the upgrade. Ideally, you want to use a performance monitoring tool that gives you a holistic view of your entire IT infrastructure. It enables you to answer questions rapidly and bridges the silos within an IT organization.
If you’ve been running your IT infrastructure according to best practices, you’ve been monitoring your ERP application and the system that supports it for at least a couple of years. So you have data on the CPU, memory, and disk space that version three of your ERP app requires as well as the speed of network IOs. Essentially, you have a clear picture of how everything is working today against which you can compare the effect of new technologies.
Now what you want to know is how these data points will alter when you upgrade to version four or move to the combined AIX-Linux environment. You can find the answer in a testing environment that brings together the app, hardware, and network.
You can use this testing environment to represent your production conditions. It enables you to discover potential issues before making any changes. For the upgrade and migration, do a stress test to see how much abuse the application and operating system can take before they fail. This procedure helps you to identify any weak points so you can address them. Also, conduct a regression test to ensure the upgraded application performs well in this environment.
When testing, the types of questions you should ask include:
- Is version four of my ERP application using more or less memory and CPU?
- Have IOs slowed down, remained constant or sped up?
- Has the disk capacity we require increased, decreased or stayed the same?
To answer these questions, you need to be as diligent about monitoring your test environments as you were in the past two years about keeping your eye on your production environment. Linux performance monitoring can help you determine the viability of the new operating system. Application monitoring will enable you to see the effects of the upgrade. Ideally, you want to use a performance monitoring tool that gives you a holistic view of your entire IT infrastructure. It enables you to answer questions rapidly and bridges the silos within an IT organization.
To sum it up, if you are migrating to Linux or upgrading an application, you need data to measure your success and identify any issues. So, you should monitor your IT environment around the clock to collect historical data. You also need to monitor tests to get the most out of them. Once you have data in hand, you can answer the critical questions. Based on your discoveries, you’ll be able to determine whether to move forward with migrations and upgrades based on facts, not intuition.