Pros, cons of host-based technology for data migration

Host-based replication technologies exist for nearly every major operating system platform, including mainframe, Novell, Windows and most flavors of Unix. The free utilities that ship with the operating systems should only be used with offline applications or files. Look for a third-party solution if you need to maintain application availability while moving data to a new storage location. Products differ in the number of steps required to perform the data migration and how they manage the process.

There are a number of good reasons to use host-based technologies for data migrations such as:

  • Lack of money to purchase replication software
  • Inexperience with array- and network-based solutions
  • Comfort level with existing migration techniques
  • Integration with existing databases or a mix of different vendor's storage arrays

    But before selecting a host-based tool, it's important to understand its pros and cons:


  • Migrates from anything (internal or external disk) to anything
  • Inexpensive if used with existing OS utilities
  • Can change volume characteristics during migration
  • Requires root-level access to each server
  • May need to install software in addition to migration software
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