Completed project: PeopleSoft application server migration

Primary UITS contact: Randall Embry

Completed: January 15, 2009

Description: PeopleSoft application servers currently run on proprietary IBM pSeries hardware under the AIX UNIX operating system. As an alternative to upgrading from IBM p5 to IBM p6, we will migrate to a commodity x86 VMware environment running Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This greatly reduces our initial capital investment; in fact, we will fully recoup the smaller investment we make for this new platform over a period of three years from the recurring savings due to lower maintenance and software licensing costs.

This Linux-based solution is a sound platform and fully sanctioned by Oracle and PeopleSoft. This is a strategy currently employed by other large installations of PeopleSoft. The more environmentally friendly new platform will have a smaller footprint, occupy less space, use less power, and require less cooling.

We started this migration with the February 2008 upgrade to PeopleSoft by replacing AIX-based Apache and WebLogic servers with Linux equivalents. The next phase of our project began in May of 2008. Over the coming months, we will gradually introduce new servers in phases, introducing Linux replacements and then retiring physical AIX. No user downtime will be required.

This effort is also expected to simplify our move to the new data center in 2009 and reduce downtime during the move.

We intend to use automated load testing scripts provided by ESI to verify that load balancing is working as expected and that the new servers are configured appropriately to manage production load levels. We will begin by adding Linux nodes into the test environment, devising procedures for manipulating the pool (adding or removing systems as necessary), and insuring a heterogeneous mix of both Linux and AIX is viable. We will also experiment with different artificial load levels against multiple weighted pooling algorithms so that we are comfortable with how the cluster manages the load.

Developers may notice minor differences in the environment when compiling or deploying their code. ESA will work closely with ESI to configure this new environment to ensure any changes are viewed neutrally or as improvements.

Milestones and status:

  • Bring first node online and begin installing and configuring environment Completed June 2008
  • Activate Linux node in test environment Completed July 2008
  • Develop automated load testing scripts Completed August 2008
  • Introduce Linux node to formal test environment (heterogeneous mode) Completed August 2008
  • Retire AIX nodes from test environment Completed October 2008
  • Tune and configure for production operation Completed September 2008
  • Introduce Linux node to production environment Completed September 2008
  • Retire AIX nodes from production (keep on standby) Completed October 2008
  • Dispose of AIX nodes

Comment process: Send email to Randall Embry.

Benefits:

  • Substantial reduction in both initial and ongoing costs
  • Virtualization benefits:
    • More efficient use of resources
    • More flexibility to address fluctuating needs
    • Improved disaster recovery and business continuity

Project team:

Enterprise Systems Administration (ESA):

  • Mike Egolf
  • Randall Embry
  • Ann Edmonds
  • Jim True

Enterprise Software Integration (ESI):

  • Karen Watkins
  • Kevin Eder

Governance:

  • EI AVP: Dennis Cromwell
  • EI systems director: Rob Lowden
  • ESA manager: Mike Egolf

This is document axes in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-09-30 00:00:00.

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