Getting off to a good start is important when facing the daunting challenge of eliminating hundreds or thousands of Windows 2003 servers from the enterprises' application portfolio. One way to accelerate migrations is to identify common application stacks and align them to repeatable Use Cases that AppZero can migrate quickly.
Both Microsoft IIS and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and above are excellent candidates for migration using AppZero.
With the Microsoft IIS use case, one the major benefits of leveraging AppZero is the ability to not only migrate Web Sites, Application Pools, and .NET Frameworks, but also the ability to perform an in-place upgrade to a newer version of IIS in the same migration maneuver. AppZero has the ability to upgrade IIS 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0 to 8.5 which is the latest version running on Windows 2012R2. This agility allows dramatic time savings when migrating IIS and .NET based applications. AppZero accomplishes this by leveraging Microsoft Web Deploy (for IIS 6.0, 7.x, 8.x) and custom scripts (for IIS 5) to gather the list of features enabled on the source OS and enable the like for like features on the new destination server. Backwards compatibility components are also enabled to lessen the amount of post migration remediation and avoid the necessity to recompile applications. To the migration specialist performing the migration, the steps are similar to any migration whereby applications are selected including Web Server (IIS) as in-scope for the migration. IIS specific user accounts and groups are included for migration and unlike most migrations – the source servers IIS services do not require a stoppage to complete the process. The result is applications migrated to Windows 2012R2, rehosted to align with the new computer name, 32bit applications repointed to leverage WOW64 (Windows on Windows 64bit) and functioning web applications in less time than a manual migration of equal scope.
Microsoft SQL 2005 and above is also a great migration candidates for use with AppZero. (Microsoft SQL 2000 is left off the list as this version requires a multi-hop upgrade to get to a supported configuration. SQL 2000 must be upgraded to SQL 2005 and then onto a newer version for support on Windows 2008R2 and Windows 2012R2.) For Microsoft SQL 2005, AppZero recommends a migration with dissolve and then an in-place upgrade to a newer version of SQL. The reason for this is SQL 2005 SP4 is going end of extended support April 12, 2016 so it makes sense to during the migration to move to a newer version with a longer application lifecycle or support date. During the migration, all SQL components are selected for migration, services stopped on the source machine to remove file locks, and the SQL services then started within the AppZero migration container. Validate that MSSQL is functional by launching components like SQL Server Management Studio, ensuring all in-scope databases are present and online. Once this has been confirmed SQL Server can be dissolved into the destination operating system. If an in-place upgrade is required, mount the SQL version media and proceed with the upgrade. Note, the SQL Server installer requires that the bitness remain the same as the bitness of the source SQL version. If the source SQL Server bitness was 32bit, the in-place upgrade must also be 32bit. Microsoft SQL Server 2014 ships with 32bit support. The advantage of leveraging AppZero for SQL migrations is the fact that AppZero will bring across all SQL elements in one migration process including: Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Notification Services, Integration Services, Replication, and Management Tools. Migration does not require any remediation that would be normally associated with a manual SQL migration.
In both these use case examples, AppZero is able to dramatically reduce the amount of time required for the migrations while providing Operating Systems uplift, rehosting applications to the new server name, repointing the application artifacts (both file and registry level) to WOW64, and creating a virtualized application container that can be reused to additional destination servers.
Finding additional common application frameworks and proving compatibility / viability is a faster way to churn through the application portfolio and get quick wins established in which a migration program or factory can build upon. Click here for a partial list of applications that have been successfully migrated from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012 using AppZero.
"Application owners have highly customized applications that are no longer supported by the original ISV and sitting on out of warranty hardware in EOL 2003 Win Server Operating Systems. AppZero gives them an opportunity, the only option, to resolve 2 out of 3 of these compliance issues without completely changing their applications; the AppZero tool is awesome."
Amit Kapoor - Windows Support at GAP-HCL