Re-platforming Informatica for the Cloud

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Sourced blog re-platforming informatica

A mass migration we handled for a major financial services company involved re-platforming data integration tools from Informatica to run in the cloud. This blogpost looks at how Sourced Group (Sourced) an Amdocs company ensured the complex process ran smoothly to achieve the desired outcomes.

Informatica is one of the most widely used software platforms in the financial services sector, performing business-critical data management and governance functions. Our client needed to migrate three Informatica applications to Azure: Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC), Axon Data Governance (ADG), and Informatica Data Quality (IDQ). We were responsible for re-platforming these resources to run effectively in the cloud.

Re-platforming is a great way to modernise applications, but it’s not without risks; challenges range from unplanned downtime to compatibility issues to data loss. So, while platform engineering skills were essential for this project, they were just one part of the equation. Creating new infrastructure to install the Informatica applications on Azure required extensive collaboration, technical expertise, and effective communication.

Three Critical Factors for the Informatica Migrations

1. Collaboration

This project required three-way collaboration between the Sourced team, the client, and Informatica. From the start, we treated Informatica like a second client, investing time and energy to build a strong relationship and help things run smoothly. Having clearcut roles and responsibilities was an essential part of this. Informatica was the product expert, Sourced was the platform engineering specialist. Our shared goal was to find the best way to re-platform each of the three target applications to achieve the cloud capabilities sought by the client. 

To this end, we ran an extensive discovery and design process with Informatica’s technical and project teams. Each application was analysed in dedicated interactive workshops where we examined the current infrastructure and defined any architectural changes that would enhance performance in the cloud. We also identified potential risks so they could be planned for and dealt with proactively.

This deeply collaborative approach formed a strong foundation for success where everyone understood the part they needed to play. We created a high-level project roadmap with enough detail to get the work underway, but the flexibility to adapt as the journey unfolded.

2. Technical expertise 

These were complex migrations which inevitably posed technical difficulties. Recognising that this would be the case, Sourced allowed time upfront for detailed engineering preparation. This encompassed the development of infrastructure as code (IaC) as well as the pipelines required to deploy infrastructure and configuration code. Before individual applications were deployed, Sourced built an enterprise landing zone to host the Informatica infrastructure, with core networking and connectivity incorporated. We then developed an automated ‘vanilla install’ whereby software is installed in its original form using the base installation package. At this point, we handed back to Informatica for the applications to be configured and customised according to the client’s needs.  

A challenge encountered early in the process was a disconnect between client objectives for the EDC application and what could be achieved via Informatica’s standard approach of re-platforming onto Azure virtual machines (VM). The client wanted to push cloud capabilities for the EDC SQL database further than a VM re-platforming would allow, so we investigated the possibility of using Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS). Our prior experience with Azure PaaS enabled us to devise a compatible approach for re-platforming EDC in this way. Working closely with Informatica, Sourced established the technical requirements, then determined how to achieve the best possible fit. 

3. Communication

Many of the problems routinely encountered during cloud migrations can be averted with open, honest communication between the various stakeholders. Conversely, poor communication can itself lead to problems arising. It’s vital that all relevant parties know what’s happening when, what they’re expected to do, and what’s at stake if they don’t do it. Data security must always be front of mind, and it requires effective coordination across teams as well clearly defined roles and responsibilities. 

Sourced’s communications strategy for the Informatica migrations involved various formal and informal touch points to ensure a high level of visibility across project governance and delivery. Tasks were divided into fortnightly sprints, with progress reports shared at the end of each sprint cycle. We also met with the client and Informatica monthly to track and review progress against the plan. This meant all parties were aware of any imminent changes that potentially risked unplanned downtime. It was also an opportunity to discuss technical issues and blockers that emerged during the engagement, so we could respond before they escalated. On top of this, Sourced regularly checked in with Informatica and the client providing informal updates on current work.

A Repeatable Pattern for Informatica Deploys 

Informatica is undoubtedly the expert in its own solutions and applications. Combining this with Sourced’s cloud expertise was a winning formula for the migration. We were able to take the client’s requirements and make informed decisions on the best path to take. 

On completion of the project, Sourced added the proven deployment patterns to an inner source library, meaning we can bring greater speed and efficiency to future Azure migrations of these applications. What’s more, this collaborative approach can be applied to the migration of any business-critical software application to any cloud provider. 

Find out more about our cloud migration services here.

As a Managing Principal Consultant at Sourced Group, Bob leads engineering teams in the orchestration and delivery of cloud migrations and transformations. He specialises in the Azure platform, and has deep technical knowledge of cloud-native technologies and processes.