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Author's profile photo Chris Kernaghan

Starting another Unicode migration, this time the challenge is 4TB worth.

As many of you will know I am no stranger to the Upgrade and Unicode  conversion (CUUC) process, having completed many of the them over the  last ten years, my most recent being an MDMP conversion.

This time I have accepted a project which will stretch my technical  expertise again, the data volumes involved are substantial – the  client’s Production R/3 database is 4TB in size, the BW system is over  2TB, the SRM system needs a two step upgrade process and the SCM system  is split into three (Optimiser, Livecache, SCM application)

Thankfully I have a great team working with me, most of whom I have  worked with previously on another CUUC project. So I have few worries  about people being up to the challenge, and we all work in similar ways,  which means we are all able to support each other easily and  effectively.

The first challenge I had to work through was simply, how was the  team going to work through such massive data volumes, when we had an  effective window of 2.5days to accomplish our respective CUUC’s. Some  people will be screaming at their monitors with answers :-), but really  the only sensible answer is to perform a parallel export and import.  This is where the database is exported and written to a shared file  system, once each package has completed it’s file that file is made  available to the import process – which then picks it up and starts  importing it.

As you can imagine, the hardware requirements for such a project are  extensive and so this is not a decision which can be taken lightly.  So I  decided to go out to some people for some 2nd opinions, I contacted  technical account managers in SAP, HP (hardware vendor) and Microsoft  (O/S & RDBMS vendor), everyone I spoke to advised the same thing –  in order to shift that amount of data you must use parallel export and  import.

During the bid process for this project, we found that the client was  also planning to undergo a data centre migration, which suited me  perfectly. The data centre migration, whilst it can complicate some  things, also relieves pressure in one very key area – hardware  contention.

Now things are falling into place, I have a method to execute the  CUUCs and I have a project to help support my seemingly insatiable need  for servers during this process. During my next few posts I will detail  the various challenges and decisions of the project.

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      Author's profile photo Annie Chan
      Annie Chan
      Hi Chris,

      This project sounds challenging. I am keen to know how you and your team go through the process and your learning on this experience.

      Thanks for sharing and all the best.