Bye Bye mainframe

October 5, 2018

Bye Bye mainframe
Report of a cut-over weekend

A little background
This project encompassed a migration from an OS 2200 COBOL application of over 5 million lines of code, 3000 ECL scripts and over 170 integrating applications going to an Asysco AMT COBOL solution. It was a challenging project as it required a relatively new platform to evolve into one that can support over 20 developers, 400.000 daily transactions and a daily batch of 700 programs.

Preparing to Go-Live
A little over 2 years after the start of the project the moment of truth arrived. The Go-Live weekend. Given the complexity of the application, we gathered a significant Asysco team for this cut-over weekend.
We prepared for a long weekend. To give us as much time as possible the client closed business at noon on Friday. We (the on-site team) got ourselves into position and prepared for things to start.
Most of Friday afternoon was spent shutting off access to the mainframe and unloading data and files. By 9.30 pm everything had been loaded to AMT and some basic health checks had been completed. Time to call it a day.

Saturday was predominantly spent on the execution of the daily batch. Fortunately, this ran like clockwork and finished within a few minutes of schedule. Once more several health checks were run through. We were joined by a couple of business users to give everything the once over. Still no signs of any troubling issues. With everyone satisfied we retired to the hotel at 8.30 pm. It was a good day!

Sunday morning started with nearly 100 business users coming in to run a series of scripted tests, inquiry only at first but by lunchtime moving on to some updating. It was here that we encountered our first serious issue. A team was quickly assembled to work through what had happened. Within a few hours, the problem was isolated and a fix was in progress. It turned out to be the only serious issue encountered in the weekend, which in itself is a staggering outcome, but to have it resolved within such a short timeframe gave everyone a great deal of confidence. We all left the building at 7.30 pm, just in time to watch the Super Bowl!

The moment of truth
Monday, the first day running on AMT COBOL. People started to come into the office at 8.30 am, an exciting moment. The team was standby monitoring everything closely. Apart from a handful of small issues, which was to be expected, the AMT solution ran smoothly. Nothing has stopped processing of a normal day’s work. Business as usual. High five! Relieved, proud and a bit tired we left the premises after yet another successful migration.
Looking back, this has been an incredible project with a scale and complexity above and beyond what we’ve done so far. With every challenge, there’s been a solution that showcased the dedication, talent and hard work of the Asysco team. It was not an easy journey, but we made it all happen.

Mike, Sr. Project Manager