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To Migrate or Rebuild

By mothershelper ·
I need some advice here. Do I attempt to migrate or rebuild?

A company I was asked to work with is using a server they purchased in 1999 and it's running NT4 SP4. The work stations are using a hodge podge of XPHome and Pro. The router is Cisco. Obviously it's a workgroup and not a domain.

Nope, not joking. I also doubt the old server could handle migrating or transfer to a new machine. It's pretty much done.

To save myself grief, I'd have NO problem just lending them a server with WS2003SBS and just rebuild the system&network.

If it weren't for their mission critical program.

They use UniData/Wintegrate. It's fairly standard issue with the exception of about six custom modules. Right now that old server uses UniData 3.6 and the company that provided them the software also provided them version 6.1. But the db is all for this company.

If anybody can advise me on how to get the database moved or copied off to a new server using WS2003SBS and UniData 6.1.7 - without it getting lost or corrupting down the road. I will cheerfully recompile & recatalog if I have to - if somebody could point in the right direction I would be grateful. The vendor has all but refused to help or advise; I'm reasonably certain their customizations though are included with the software they sold/provided this company.

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Depending on what resources you have available

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to To Migrate or Rebuild

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/

You may want to create a virtual instance of the NT server (known working versions) while you test getting the data into the new version on the SBS2K3 box.

This way, the client can continue to function while you work on a better long-term solution.

Just a thought.

Good luck!

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Remember to set up a physical disk

by Dumphrey In reply to Depending on what resourc ...

partition to use as the disk for the virtual NT, it improves performance noticeably over a file based "disk".

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Virtualize it?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to To Migrate or Rebuild

I don't know what your budget is but you could load VMware ESX on the server currently running SBS, then convert the NT box to a virtual machine. Will NT migrate to '03 SBS? If so, you could test that on the abandoned physical NT server, or back up the virtual system and try upgrading it to SBS and UD 6.1.

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total failure

by mothershelper In reply to Virtualize it?

I tried virtualizing yesterday/last night. It wasn't pretty. I should have mentioned that the first thing I had to do on arrival was clone the old hard drive. I'm wondering if that didn't contribute since I pretty much made certain I could pull the drive out and it would boot on any other machine if needed. Since the whole system is so dicey and their server is SO finicky the whole 'less is more' rule has applied in force.

I did find an interesting bit on Microsoft about SBS and compatibility mode. So I'm going to try that next - after I install some updates to NT4. Hopefully the current machine can handle the whole install/reboot/repeat business a few times.

Compatibility only goes back NT SP5. I'm hoping if I can get it that far, and the program still runs properly - then I can hopefully load the old software and move the old db over into the loaner machine and it will go in compatibility mode.

I'm also starting to wonder if the combination being left in the dark/intimidated by the vendor and fear of the software hasn't carried over to me throughout this job.

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1 in thousands

by mothershelper In reply to To Migrate or Rebuild

Well after months and months of working within the law and with what I had; I finally got the answer to why this particular piece of middleware wouldn't upgrade.
A little background - it's written in pick which is supposed to be forward compatible, and it's platform is unidata. All put together to work on a Windows server.

It's problem goes back to my predecessors and a bad setting that put it into a language group that included English and anything else. It would seem that older Unidata programs and older Windows operating systems aren't too bothered by that. All of the new stuff is - new programs don't much appreciate subtitles or translating.

This one was wierd. Not all of the program and the data was done up in a different language or written back to the drive in windows subtitles. But enough to make it do the wildest things I've ever seen an enterprise program do.

Lesson learned. So to make a long odyssey short - after running a series of stupid simple commands from the debugger and TCL - that old program cleaned up and loaded. It took some work to clean up the mess and finish the conversion; but it's doing alright now.

If you have a pick program - maybe any custom program - that suddenly won't run or starts calling up the debugger and you get nowhere with that; check the language group settings. It's a fluke but possible that the program and therefore your data is being stored in or as a program language group you or the program's creator didn't intend it to be. Or it's not the same language group as your new platform. Or it's being written back to the drive by Windows when it tries to help out <take over> and translate.

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