Cloud Forum 2016 – Migration of OnBase to AWS

Sharif Nijim – Notre Dame

OnBase in AWS? Really? Windows app. AWS does Windows fine, OnBase doesn’t do the cloud fine. Licensing is painful for using elasticity. Looked at Hyland’s own hosted offering, but it was way more expensive.

A few lessons learned: EFS  doesn’t do CIFS – not useful if you want Windows File Service in the cloud. There are some products that can help. If they had to do it over again they’d probably run their own Windows File Servers in AWS, but they used Panzura because they had some licenses.

Moving the data – had a couple of terabytes. Tried AWS Snowball. Was complete overkill for what they needed. Transferred 16 GB of database in about 17 minutes. S3 multi-part parallel works well, but there were ~7 million small document files. Had to zip it up for transfer optimization and then rehydrate. Then tried Robocopy to trickle data over a couple of weeks. In order to make a choice, had to understand how the application actually works. Document is written to disk and never changes (annotations go in database). OnBase segments by directory loosely the size of a DVD. So it doesn’t matter if it takes a long time to move data, as it never changes.

OnBase uses NTLM Auth, which doesn’t work well with load balancers, so had to stand up HAProxy. Hoping that OnBase will implement Shib in the next year or so. Notre Dame default procedure is to shut down servers outside of 7am – 7pm. But with OnBase the hash codes for the licenses screw up how the license checks work. Had to get rid of load balancers and elasticity. Still gained separation of web tier from app.

June 25 2016 cut over production users and nobody noticed. Shut down 25 servers and liberated 2 TB of space in production environment.

Plea to cloud providers – make it easy to provision automation from the GUI,  by exporting to templates or whatever.

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