Navigating Complex IT Integration: The Successful DCV Migration Story

DCV migration for a employer liability insurance

Founded in the late eighteen hundreds, this insurance association for transport and traffic merged with a smaller accident insurance fund for postal and telecommunication services. The new organization is responsible for large branches of the transport and traffic industry, including waste disposal, aviation, inland and maritime shipping, fishing, financial services, and telecommunications. The organization has over 1400 employees, caring for about 200,000 members and 1.7 million insured workers.

"After the merger in 2016, it was important to us to also merge the postal services with the courier, express, and parcel services under one umbrella and subsequently harmonize their IT systems. This will pay off in our joint prevention work," said the employee representative.

The transition's scope was to merge about 1,000 virtualized desktops running on 300 virtual servers. The compute resources were provided by 80 ESXi hosts. comdivision was asked to support the migration process of the VMware Horizon and vSphere systems.  

the challenge

ccomdivision’s lead architect, Fabian Lenz, identified several potential hurdles: “With all the different systems, a total of 10 different vendors and consulting companies were involved in the architecture and planning of migration scenarios,” said Lenz. He continued, “We had to ensure that we were planning our part as usual, but not take for granted that everything else was in place. In other words, we had to be aware of and consider the surrounding infrastructure as well.”

The biggest challenge was ensuring that a few critical users with persistent VDI desktops and Horizon Linked Clones were migrated without data loss.

the solution

The migration included an initial replication of the block-based storage to the new location and the transfer of server profiles (Cisco UCS).

Combined with booting from SAN, the servers' identities within the new locations remained identical. When setting up a host to boot from a SAN, the host's boot image is stored on one or more LUNs in the SAN storage system. When the host starts, it boots from the LUN on the SAN rather than from its local disk.

“Booting from SAN can provide numerous benefits to your ESXi environment,” explained Lenz. “You can run cheaper servers without internal storage and, crucial for this migration, just replace the servers and point the old boot location to the SAN. Backup becomes easier, and management is improved.” Thanks to comdivision’s deep knowledge of vSphere Storage characteristics in conjunction with Horizon, the migration was successfully accomplished by duplicating the existing cluster at the new location.

the result

“The results are easily explained,” said Lenz. “After the network change to the new location, the complete vSphere and Horizon environment came online as planned!”



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