Migrating Data Into Systems
Minimising the use of Windows in data migration
For over 20 years, Genie Solutions has been providing medical practice management software; offering Specialist industries two products, Genie and more recently, Gentu.
Delivering a quality product and providing customers with a first-class support team that is trusted by over 21,000 Australian medical specialists.
The Customer Challenge
With Genie Solutions’ long and successful history of on-boarding customers from competitors’ systems, using Genie’s existing windows desktop solution, where there are a number of transformation processes that need to be moved to a platform where they can scale, enhance conversion speeds and increase the maintainability.
In addition, a large proportion of Genie Solutions’ customers use systems from other vendors that run on legacy Windows desktop platforms and on Microsoft data stacks. This poses a challenge to Genie Solutions in that for them to extract data from these legacy systems, they are often required to re-create the data environments of the vendor systems and then restore a proprietary backup using these systems. To achieve this, Genie Solutions requires a substantial investment in various Microsoft licenses just to migrate their customers onto the Gentu platform that does not leverage any Microsoft technologies.
Through engaging with TechConnect on a project to modernise their approach to converting competitor data, it was identified that there was a need to revisit Genie Solutions’ historical systems and the processes used to migrate previous customers, to ensure that the new data conversion design could accommodate all the variations encountered in the past.
As a step to improving the way historical data is managed, Genie Solutions engaged further with TechConnect through AWS Windows Modernisation funding. This is a low-cost short engagement where TechConnect’s technical and business analysts meet with a customer team, execute ideation meetings to understand the customers environments, problems, business values, their drivers and success criteria for the envisioned project, and use this information to derive a preliminary cloud solution and its predicted cost savings.
Through this process, TechConnect analysed Genie Solutions’ history of customer migrations, grouped the customers according to the data storage technology used, researched ways to modernise each stack, assessed the modern architecture for gaps to enable those historical systems, and created a prioritised backlog of work required to realise a complete solution. There was also focus on identifying systems that leverage Microsoft technologies and ways to minimise using these in the data migration process.
TechConnect then provided Genie Solutions with several strategies to reduce their Microsoft licensing footprint. These include using native Linux versions of databases and restoring data using those versions rather than using the Microsoft Windows equivalents. Where native solutions do not exist, TechConnect recommended using compatibility layers, like Wine, to run Windows under a Linux environment. The solution also makes redundant the current Windows conversion (Genie Desktop) creating a user friendly, configurable user interface running in the AWS environment with significant savings gained from the deprecation of this windows application.
The strategy proposed by TechConnect creates a modern data conversion platform, currently in development, which provides Genie Solutions with an overall reduction in data conversion costs and Windows licensing costs. In addition to the cost savings Genie will have a fast, scalable, and maintainable solution reducing the need for bespoke migration development to take them into the future.