Connections for migration

When migrating (NL), it’s also important to look at the connections that are used during the migration. How do you move virtual machines (VMs) from the old location to the new one? Which connections are needed for this? And what do you have to think about? You can read the answers and other tips below.

The role of connections in migration

Migrate IP addresses or not

When VMs are migrated to a new location, this means in most cases that these VMs get new IP addresses at the location they are being migrated to. After all, it’s a transfer to another provider. You can choose to leave your old IP addresses in the old location and use the new IP addresses at the new location. This is the simplest solution.

However, this also means that the VMs may be temporarily inaccessible if, for example, a domain name still refers to the old IP addresses and not yet to the new one. Switching the reference to a domain name occurs via a DNS server that uses a specific caching time, or the time to live (TTL). This period of time may be up to 24 hours. It’s true that this TTL itself can be set, but in practice it appears that especially the larger parties ignore the self-set time and simply keep 24 hours before clearing their cache. That’s why it is wise to use both your old and new IP addresses in these 24 hours after the DNS records have been converted to ensure that you remain accessible.

The temporary inclusion of your old IP addresses is most commonly used in a migration. At the new location, both old and new IP addresses will be temporarily used. As a result, the VMs are accessible  at both the new and the old IP addresses.

A final option is to keep the old IP addresses. This does mean, however, that an internet connection still has to be purchased from the old provider, while the VMs do switch to a new location. Because this often entails extra costs, this is rarely done in practice.

Several connections

If it’s been decided to take the old IP addresses temporarily to the new location, there are several options to establish a Layer-2 connection. With this Layer-2 connection a connection between the old and the new provider is made.

Direct link

The first option is via a data centre patch. This connection can only be used when migrating within the same data centre. If this is the case, then it’s possible to create a ‘private line’ within the data centre on which the VMs are transferred. An advantage of this line is that it’s a quick solution with relatively low running costs, although the setup costs may be high. If migration takes place within the same datacentre over a longer period of time, this is a good solution.

VPN connection

A second option is a Layer-2 Virtual Private Networks (L2VPN) connection. This is a private connection via the internet via which migration between different locations can take place. For example, VMware uses this connection for automatic migration. The advantage of this connection is that it’s very flexible, but because the connection is via the internet, this means that an internet connection is needed on both sides. This leads to double internet costs. Note that the height of the bill is often the same as the highest peak passing through the line. That is why it is wise to ‘spread’ the migration well in order to keep the peaks, and therefore the costs, lower.

MPLS

A third connection that can be used to migrate VMs is an MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) connection. This connection is purchased from a provider, who has a network of different connections. You agree in advance what bandwidth you will use, how long you will use it for and what the costs are. This makes it less flexible to implement, but you won’t have variable costs. Another advantage is that these connections can often be supplied redundantly, because a whole network of connections is used.

Everything at a glance

Options for migration. Old IP addresses can:

  • Not be taken to the new location. As a result, VMs may be temporarily inaccessible;
  • Be temporarily taken to the new location. This bridges the period in which both the new and the old IP address are referred to. This makes both addresses accessible;
  • Kept on. This does give double provider costs.

The connections when temporarily transferring the old IP addresses to the new location:

  • Datacentre patch, when migrating within a data centre;
  • L2VPN. A flexible connection via the internet. Note that there are double internet costs here, where the highest consumption peak often determines the amount of the bill.
  • MPLS connection. A connection is purchased from a provider with prior agreements on consumption and costs.

Migrating data

The above mainly deals with the IP connection of the VMs after migrating, but you can also migrate data in this way. You also have the option to move the data physically, for example by bringing a hard drive from one location to another.

 

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