International private bank consolidates its IT infrastructure
// by Matthias Rensing
Datacenter Migration, Hybrid Cloud, IT & Management Consulting
The migration of the Active Directory and Exchange organisation must also take into consideration national legal foundations
Even in organisations of medium size, the IT infrastructure is often based on different, historically grown structures. With the help of noventum, a German private bank with subsidiaries in Luxembourg has consolidated its IT landscape and centralised it in a single location. The consolidation of the Active Directories and of the Exchange infrastructures was the core element of this measure.
The objective of the multi-part migration project was the standardisation and consolidation of the IT at the central location in Luxemburg. Originally, the IT was distributed across multiple German locations and data centres in Luxembourg. How challenging the migration project would become became clear after a detailed capturing of the status quo at all locations, the results of which surprised even the bank's own IT managers. They rigorously took advantage of the opportunity to take a complete inventory and to thoroughly plan their future IT landscape.
EXACT CAPTURING OF THE STATUS QUO ALLOWS FOR AUTHENTIC TEST ENVIRONMENT
The consolidation of a bank's IT forces the utmost diligence onto the acting parties. Bank data is personally identifiable data and requires corresponding security. Especially in a sensitive data environment such as that of a bank, rigorous testing is an important component of risk management. Without testing, a migration cannot be responsibly ensured. How beneficial a detailed capturing of the status quo is for the test scenario prior to the migration did prove itself once again in this case. With a suitable test environment, it was possible to uncover even smaller risks and avoid mistakes. In the test, the current architecture and the target architecture were replicated "true to scale" and the individual migration steps were thoroughly monitored and assessed. The documentation and assessment of the tests served as a very good blueprint for the real migration.
THE SELECTION OF THE MIGRATION SOFTWARE IS DECISIVE FOR THE QUALITY OF THE MIGRATION
Decisive for the success of an Active Directory and Exchange migration is the utilisation of the correct tools. Due to their pertinent knowledge of software, the noventum consultants were able to assist in preparing for this decision. Between a Microsoft solution and the software by Quest, the so-called Quest Migration Manager, the latter was ultimately chosen. QMM can migrate computer accounts, organisational units, groups, users, sites, and trust. Furthermore, QMM also supports the SIDHistory migration so that users can continue to access most of the resources. Contrary to ADMT (Microsoft's Active Directory Migration Tool), which is made available by Microsoft free of charge, a directory synchronisation can be set up with QMM. Therewith, changes to objects of the Active Directories can be synchronised automatically into the respective other environment. This way, it was possible to keep the datasets of the private bank in sync in both the old and the new environment without having to force users to interrupt their work during the migration phase. As such, the greater scope of performance as well as the time factor ultimately were decisive for the decision.
CONCEPTUALISATION, TEST AND MIGRATION MUST INTERACT
The multi-faceted background of experience of the noventum consultants from numerous data centre projects and migration projects as well as the neutral view of a product-independent and vendor-independent consultant made it possible to take beneficial action for the customer at central points in this consolidation project. In close cooperation with the client and the client's IT management, they were representative of the quality of conceptualisation, test and migration planning. This way, the customer was, in the end, able take the pure execution of the individual migration steps into the customer's own hands.
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