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Endeavor Energy sparks colocation move with Datadobi

Facing impending office construction, Endeavor used Datadobi's DobiMigrate to move its production workloads and corporate file storage to a colocation facility.

Faced with aging servers and an impending office remodel, Endeavor Energy Resources, LP decided to solve both problems with Datadobi's DobiMigrate and move its production data to a colocation facility.

The Midland, Texas, exploration and production company, one of the largest private oil producers in the U.S., had to move about 25 TB of production data over to a colo in Dallas. Since this data was being actively worked on, the migration needed to be as non-disruptive as possible.

Endeavor went through a similar migration six years ago, when data from a corporate file server had to be moved to a newer platform. At the time, the best tool available to IT operations manager Jim Green was Microsoft Windows' standard robocopy command.

Robocopy could move data, but not the sharing, permissions or security rules attached to it, Green said. It ultimately took him about two months to move 12-15 TB of data.

Jim GreenJim Green

"It was a very laborious process," Green said, and one he didn't want to repeat for this new migration project.

Green decided to do a trial run with Datadobi off a recommendation from Dell EMC, one of Endeavor's IT vendors. Using DobiMigrate, Green moved a small amount of data as a proof of concept. The work got done quickly and successfully transferred over the permissions and shares. While Green evaluated other tools, which he declined to name, Datadobi won out due to its speed and effectiveness.

He also liked that the two systems kept talking to each other during the migration, so changes on the old system would be reflected in the new one. This allowed Green to perform the migration with no downtime.

Datadobi walked us through and got us to the point where we understood the migration process. With robocopy, we were just stumbling our way along, Googling things.
Jim GreenIT operations manager, Endeavor Energy Resources, LP

Aside from DobiMigrate's performance, Datadobi provided much-welcomed support. One of the biggest drawbacks of using robocopy for migration was that he couldn't turn to a vendor for help, Green said.

"Datadobi walked us through and got us to the point where we understood the migration process. With robocopy, we were just stumbling our way along, Googling things," Green said.

Once he set up the servers, Green initiated the migration in March. The migration process took less than 24 hours, but Green had both locations running concurrently for another two weeks to make sure everything worked properly. He did a cutover on a Monday evening, switching all of Endeavor's production workload to brand new Dell EMC Isilon servers at the colo.

There was only one trouble ticket issued, from a user who didn't close out of their system during the cutover, Green said. He restored the user's lost file using backups.

Two reasons to migrate

In addition to Endeavor's servers needing an upgrade, the floor housing Endeavor's data center needed a remodel. Overall, it made sense to migrate everything to a colo and onto new servers at the same time, Green said. A colo facility would also provide backup power and physical access security, he added.

As of now, Endeavor's core file servers have been successfully moved to the colo facility in Dallas. There are still some servers holding archive data Green is in the middle of moving, but he estimated the total migration process is about 90% complete.

Some of the old servers got junked and Endeavor donated others to Veterans Alliance, a program that trains veterans on IT skills and helps them pursue IT careers.

Green has a five-year plan to expand Endeavor's cloud usage, which would reduce its reliance on a physical data center. Currently, the organization uses the cloud for Office 365, Rubrik backup and some enterprise applications.

In addition, since Endeavor's core servers have only been running in the colo for a little over a month, Green is still in the process of developing a new disaster recovery (DR) plan. Green is keeping the Datadobi license active for now because he knows he'll need it to support the upcoming cloud and DR projects.

"We're keeping DobiMigrate just in case, because we can see a use for it in the future," Green said.

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