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HCL hosted a highly anticipated webinar on February 27th, explaining to the community the next steps for the Connections Cloud.  The webinar was hosted by Danielle Baptiste who was joined by Richard Jeffs, Steve Foley and Scott Favreau.

The Connection Cloud has an end of service date by the HCL of July 19 and will now be available as an offering through HCL’s cloud partners. There are some advantages to joining the Connections cloud:

  • You get a secure environment scaled for leveraging innovation
  • Zero downtime: a lift and shift strategy which will enable you to move from one environment to another with ease.
  • Connections 6.5 CR1 and all the latest updates
  • The existing integrations with HCL Engagement Center, Sametime, etc. are ready to go
  • You can bring your customizations with you.

 

Here are the HCL Cloud Hosting MSPs:

 

The New Connections Cloud Migration Process

So, let’s get down to business and see how the migration will work. The approach will be: your data will be migrated via a direct database extraction. It’s deemed to be the best because:

  • It’s a simplified approach. API applications have to account for the nuances and the differences in each of the content-oriented components and account for those in code. This approach is less complex.
  • It’s faster. The database extraction approach requires fewer moving parts.
  • Cost effective. No need to build, or contract to have built, a specialized application to move your data.
  • Secure. Your data is protected at all phases, at rest within the IBM infrastructure, in transit, via TLS/HTTPS from IBM to Amazon S3, at rest in Amazon S3 (encrypted with keys that you / CH-MSP provide), and in transit to the MSP via TLS / HTTPS.
  • Keep working as you’re migrated. Minimal disruption to your end users, so they can keep working now, and pick up where they left off in their new environment later.

Here is an overview on how that data migration works:

How to Start Planning Your Migration

One of the questions that pop up more often than not is: “How big is my environment?” If you are a Connections cloud ADMIN, you can contact HCL support and the support team will provide you with detailed sizing information. 

This info will be requested from you by your Cloud Hosting Provider. Based on the “SizeMediaFiles” you can consider your environment size to this scale:

Even if you decided not to move forward with Connections Cloud, this info might come in handy to your new partner and HCL is more than happy to provide you support with the transition regardless of which platform you choose.

The transfer scripts are still being worked on, but as soon as HCL progresses with the script testing they will be able to provide time estimates for the export / import process to the Connections Cloud customers. 

Here is what the workflow for the Connections Migration will look like:

The first 3 steps the Connections Cloud customers can complete right now. 

First, select your MSP and sign the contract. HCL will not be able to work with them prior to that to preserve the privacy of your data. 

Next, establish with your MSP the migration schedule. 

Once you have the migration schedule figured out, you can add your MSP as a contact in the HCL Support portal as a named caller so they can work on your behalf. 

The fourth step comes after the data has been migrated: validation. You need to make sure that everything is right for your end-users. 

If you decide to not move to a Cloud Hosting provider, you can begin your data migration right now. The APIs are available for your access and the documentation for those is available in the support portal at HCL. One important note is that once you have migrated your data, or starting with July 16th your data will be deleted off the cloud.

Next, let’s have a look at the timeline HCL has prepared for us:

One thing that you need to keep in mind when looking at this timeline is that even though the data import scripts will be available mid-April you should not wait until then to start looking for a MSP and scheduling your migration. 

HCL has stressed that July 16th is a solid date, it will not shift and that all migrations need to be completed by that time. All the data transfers should be scheduled between April 15th and June 30th 2020. 

One other thing you can start doing as of now is informing your user-community. The URL to access Connections will change. Work with your Cloud Hosting MSP to determine what other changes will impact your user community. 

If you are going to migrate your mail too you will find this blog post interesting. HCL is currently working with the CH-MSPs to test SSO to ensure anyone waiting to migrate their mail now can still access their Connections environment as they await migration. 

Here is the HCL’s official Q&A blog post where you can get answers to even more questions.