This article outlines seven tips you can incorporate into your next DNS migration to achieve success. DDI Guru has used these tips over the years to ensure successful DNS migration engagements to customers of all sizes.
- Detail your game plan - You can never provide too much detail when putting together a game plan for a DNS migration. The more detail, the better. A Detailed game plan provides the following:
- A structured "script" to follow
- Sequencing of tasks
- Identifies dependencies
- Who does what, where, when and how
- Enumerates backout or rollback steps
- Develop and practice an iterative migration process - The DDI Guru develops a " repeatable process" for completing the migration. Practice and test it. Wash, rinse, repeat over and over. Doing this will ensure a smoother migration.
- Implement a pre-migration freeze on DNS changes - This one is simple. Freeze the DNS so you can focus on migrating like for like data, and not have data changing as part of the migration. Keep things as simple as possible. If you have "x" DNS records going into the migration, then you should have "x" after the migration. It's much easier to test, predictable, unchanging data sets.
- Plan for the right time of year - i.e. banks and holiday seasons - Although this is mostly applicable for Financial Institutions, it can really apply to any firm that has a "busy season" or period in which they earn the bulk of their profits. Try to plan your migrations post network freezes. Don't schedule the work during freeze periods, because risk is higher to the business. Businesses can't tolerate any outages during these busy seasons.
- Post-migration checkout tools - Good tools are essential for visibility and proving the quality and degree of success of the migration. Have good tools that allow you to compare data pre and post migration.
- Non-destructive rollback procedure - If at all possible, plan your migration in such a way to preserve the source of the data. Ensure the source is untouched and available as a rollback mechanism. Basically, disable or turn it off, but keep it so. If you have an issue during the execution of the game plan that requires you to abort the migration, you will want to restore from source as fast as possible. If you have a non-destructive rollback, it means you have an unmodified original copy of the data you can revert to. It usually is the fastest means to rollback a failed migration and the safest.
- UAT testing - Have representatives from the various lines of business on the hook to test all their apps. Have them perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and have them sign off that the migration was successful.
Try to incorporate as many of these the next time you upgrade or migrate your DNS infrastructure and you too, will achieve greater success!