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Powered by Cloud: Steps for Upgrading to IBM Cognos Analytics on Bluemix

by Norm Goddard

Mar 07, 2017

There is a lot of content out there on the worldwide web about how important cloud is for your business, but not a lot of information on how you actually move your business to the cloud. The purpose of this blog is to act as an informative guide for organizations looking to convert their on-premises data to SaaS using IBM Bluemix technology.

IBM’s SaaS Bluemix offering is an on-demand software, centrally hosted in a single environment that allows subscribers to access the current functionality of IBM Cognos Analytics. IBM customers can also opt for an IaaS model, which is essentially the same as an on-premise model except that the VM’s are in IBM Bluemix instead of local infrastructure. Both IaaS and SaaS have their benefits and drawbacks, the right choice varies from company to company. Recently, I lead a project where we moved a client from an IaaS cloud model to SaaS because the IaaS model really didn’t offer the full business benefits of cloud, such as reduced cost and increased security. To learn more about the different types of cloud offerings, watch CCG’s Cloud 101 webinar, Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room – The Cloud.

Migrating to IaaS requires little more than providing IBM with your desired architecture and IBM sets up the servers based on what you’re requesting. The lift and shift to the SaaS model is a bit more complicated. Here are the five steps to migrating to SaaS on IBM Bluemix based on my experience:

    1. Documentation: New IBM Bluemix customers immediately receive a welcome letter from IBM. While this sounds like a friendly gesture, this letter is not junk mail that you can ignore. This welcome letter includes questions about your environment, key contacts, email configuration, security and VPN documentation which must all be completed and sent back to IBM
    2. VPN Set Up & Testing: A VPN meeting will be booked with your Network Administrator and CloudOps Administrator to bring up and test your VPN tunnel. It is crucial at this time that you set up a POC to test your security before migrating your environment. Though users will need corporate security credentials to access your data, if you would like additional security restrictions such as limited IP address access, you must configure those extra security precautions at this time. 
    3. Configure Environment: Using the information that you provided in your welcome documentation, IBM will configure your new environments. Please note – IBM’s SaaS Bluemix offering comes with two environments, PreProd and Prod. If your organization requires more than two environments (I’ve worked with clients who need seven), be sure to speak with your IBM Representative about your environment needs before starting this process.
    4. Permissions: Once your environments have been configured, log in to the portal. You will see that there are two namespaces, “Idap” and your company. Transfer the Cognos Administration from Idapadmin to a user from your namespace then test the newly configured permissions. 
    5. Clean up Namespaces: If the permissions are correct, you can now remove the 2nd “Idap” namespace from your environments. At this time, the onboarding configuration is complete. IBM will send you a final Welcome document with all of your information.  
    6. Migration: Existing IBM customers can quickly move their content to the new environment with limited disruption. 

    IBM does a good job of providing support throughout these migration steps, however I have never worked on a cloud migration project that hasn’t come with its share of surprises. If you would like to discuss your migration path and look into engaging a consultant to support your cloud configuration, I can be reached at Convergence Consulting Group via phone at (813) 265-3239. 

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