Migrating from RISC based systems to x86 (CISC based systems) is another type of cloud migration along with application, database, and mainframe z/OS migrations. However, the steps, best
practices, process, methodology, and tools used are the same. The components of the current RISC based architecture that need to be migrated remain the same:
1. On line application
2. Batch application
3. Integration Infrastructure
4. BI and reporting
5. ETL processing
7. Operating System
Note on OS migration: Although an operating system migration is often assumed (UNIX to Windows/Linux) in a RISC to x86 migrations, this does not necessarily need to be the case as Solaris and HP-UX (announced) run on x86.
It may also be the case you are already running Linux on your RISC system so there is no need to migrate the OS. However, you will probably be upgrading to a
newer release of Linux.
8. Operating System scripts and tools
9. Application, network, database and operating system management and monitoring products and tools
10. Other infrastructure software such as DR, replication servers, gateways, back up and recovery ....
11. Hardware refresh - Of course, you will need to purchase, install, configure and test the x86 based hardware platform. This is a great opportunity to consider hardware infrastructure that is
better suited to the cloud such as blades (Dell, CISCO UCS, Sun/Oracle) or engineered systems (Exadata and Exalogic).
Ultimately the question is how long will it take, what are all the activities involved, and how much will it cost. The answer to these questions is based more on the OS migration that is being done
then the move from RISC to x86. Will the application language or 4GL product run on Linux/Windows? What is the impact of moving the database from one OS to another ? (this should be minimal as all major relational databases run on x86). The biggest impact (for the application migration) could be Unix specific KSH or CSH scripts. You may also be running management, monitoring, or older job scheduling tools that
only run on UNIX/RISC.
As you can see, nothing is different here from what I have blogged about regarding mainframe, client/server, and application cloud migrations.
Intel has a comprehensive RISC migration white paper here: