What are the Technical Considerations for moving an application to new server?

Posted on 2012-09-11
Last Modified: 2012-09-12
We will purchase a new server running Win2k8/64. I need to install the Third party applications that were on the old server to the new server.  What things should I check in the application before purchasing the new server? I want to make sure things will work.
Question by:victor2008
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    Check the hardware requirement for ur application....its should be working on the new system.....for eg 32/64 bit, memory requirement, hard drive and Operating system also.

    Accepted Solution

    1. Yes, aadi369 is exactly right, the OS and hardware requirements. Was the software ever actually tested under the new system?

    2. License -- are you entitled to move it? Some software vendors don't permit it. If yes, do you have your serial number, activation or unlock or hardware key? Is the installation process documented, or someone else did the installation and didn't leave any notes? This is the most difficult part. Be especially careful if you are planning to use terminal services on the server, because some vendors don't permit their software to run under TS.

    3. Database requirements -- is it using a database server, like SQL Express? Is there going to be the same version in the new system? If not, what would be the new database version? Would the software work under that version? Was it actually tested?

    4. If the software involves listening on any ports, do you know all these ports? If not, you have to find out (netstat, for example).

    Same about all pieces of the software.
    If you are unsure in any of these, you can always download a trial version of Windows 2008 x64 (R2 or not) and install it under a virtual machine, then try to install and use your application. Does it work? If yes, then fine, should work, go buy the new server. If not, then no, something is wrong.
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Having been through this just a couple of years ago, I offer the following comments.  

    Some software will not be happy running 64-bit, but if it ran on a 32-bit server such as Win2003, it can/should run in 32-bit compatibility mode which is available on  Win2k8.  But it is worth checking with the software vendor for each component, just in case.

    When you start checking with the vendors as to whether your existing software will work, you will find that most will run in 32-bit mode.  But some will require you to upgrade to the next version of software.  

    The biggest thing is not just checking the server requirements for the existing software, but planning for future requirements.  E.g., make sure you have enough RAM, disk space, etc not just for existing software, but also for future needs.  Or make sure the machine is upgradeable.

    Once you have ordered your system, be sure to create a test plan, which will allow you to test all the different pieces of software on the new server.  

    This means that you will need to be running one copy of each piece of software on the old server in production while you are testing another copy of the software on the new server in a duplicate test environment.

    To do this, you may have to talk to your software vendors to see if this sort of configuration is permissible with the license you have or if you will have to arrange to get a temporary license for the test environment.

    You will also need extra IP addresses and other networking resources in order to create your parallel test environment.

    Depending on your corporate environment, it may take as long or longer to get these test licenses, IP Addresses, networking resources, etc allocated as it will to get the new server delivered.  Do not under-estimate the length of time required to obtain these resources.  Otherwise, you'll have half the components ready for the test environment and won't be able to do any effective testing until the rest of the components arrive.

    Be sure to recruit some of your power users to test the apps once you have given the apps a quick test yourself.  

    If any of your apps require use of a browser on a client machine, be sure to test all the different configurations (IE7/IE8/IE9/Chrome/FF/Opera/etc) in use by your user-base before you throw the switch.

    Also check for dependencies.  E.g, do some of your third-party apps rely on a web server?  If so, is it IIS or Apache - or do some require one webserver and some the other?  If you need both, it will require a bit of effort to make both work on the same server.  Similarly, .NET vs .asp vs .php, etc.  Or for Database - MS Server vs MySQL vs Access vs Oracle, etc.

    Also you will want to document every change you make to the server to accommodate your software installation.  E.g, if any of the third-party apps are web-based, you will almost certainly have to make modifications to IIS...  but you will quickly find out that the version of IIS on Win2k8 is IIS7.5 and it is completely different from previous version of IIS . Etc.

    Lastly, be sure you have a detailed plan for switchover.  If you work in a large enterprise environment this will be especially important since so many different people will be involved in the switchover process.    

    Hope this helps.

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