How a global telecom got on a rocketship to the cloud

By Tony Velcich, Jan 04, 2021

The range of companies accelerating their move to the cloud is broad, and the comprehensive list of industries includes everything from airlines to retailers and supermarkets. They are all looking for the same thing—to rapidly gain the benefits of the cloud while minimizing the risks of data migration, especially when petabytes of data are involved. The telecom industry is no different in seeking to gain faster analytics at a lower cost.


Recently, another global leader in telecom, media and entertainment selected WANdisco to migrate numerous petabytes of Cloudera Hadoop data to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2. Once the data is in ADLS, the company is able to use any Azure compatible service to access the data, including Azure Databricks and their advanced analytics capabilities. ADLS is designed to integrate with a broad range of analytics frameworks enabling a true enterprise data lake, maximized performance via true file system semantics, and scalability to meet the needs of the most demanding analytics workloads.


The massive project of migrating tens of petabytes of data to the cloud is not a task for the faint of heart. The work, resources and risk involved in migrating this amount of data is significant and, if not done properly, can be extraordinarily costly to a large enterprise. Data must be completely migrated, including any ongoing changes that occur with production workloads. The client considered migrating the petabytes of Hadoop data using data transfer devices, or open-source tools such as NiFi or DistCp-based software but none of these solutions were suitable. Loading data transfer devices, shipping them and then loading the data to the cloud would take too long and introduce business disruption during the migration or be prone to error while trying to reconcile changes occuring during the transfer process. While open-source software tools introduce significant cost, time and risk in developing and maintaining a custom migration solution.


WANdisco’s LiveData Migrator offered a rocket-fast solution that could greatly minimize risk while also allowing the project to proceed without business disruption. Requiring no WANdisco expertise, LiveData Migrator is entirely non-intrusive and requires zero changes to applications, cluster, node configuration or operation. The multi-petabyte migration could begin immediately and continue while the source data was under active change. There would be no production system downtime or business disruption and zero risk of data loss. During the pilot, 100 TB of Hadoop data were migrated directly from the telco’s production environment to ADLS Gen2 storage over a weekend. This data was immediately available for use by Azure services.


With the ability to migrate data to the cloud faster, the company could add revenue producing applications and analytics sooner. Their cost savings could be realized quicker by moving to the cloud while reducing the expenses of managing their own IT infrastructure. The enterprise would not have to disrupt the current work of their data scientists since WANdisco does not require downtime during migration. Resources also wouldn’t be needed to define requirements, design a solution, develop code and scripts, or for QA testing and project management, which would be required with a custom solution using other migration approaches.


With WANdisco LiveData Migrator, this telco was able to ride a rocket to the cloud without the risks or costs of other migration options. They will benefit from faster analytics sooner on Microsoft Azure while freeing up their IT departments to focus on getting the most out of their cloud-based analytics.



Tony Velcich, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at WANdisco

Tony is an accomplished product management and marketing leader with over 25 years of experience in the software industry. Tony is currently responsible for product marketing at WANdisco, helping to drive go-to-market strategy, content and activities. Tony has a strong background in data management having worked at leading database companies including Oracle, Informix and TimesTen where he led strategy for areas such as big data analytics for the telecommunications industry, sales force automation, as well as sales and customer experience analytics.

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