Customised Azure DevOps Migration Solves Complex Challenges

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Case study - Customised Azure DevOps Migration Solves Complex Challenges

About the Client

SureView Systems is a global provider of software that improves the ability of security operations centres to manage and respond to security events. We were appointed to migrate its flagship Immix product from TFS to Azure DevOps.

Standard methods couldn’t achieve the desired end-state, so we extended the functionality of opensource tooling to overcome technical issues. We helped the business achieve a seamless transition and enabled software delivery acceleration with Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) principles to facilitate Surview’s movement towards SaaS.

Challenge: Standardised Migration Methods weren’t up to the Task

Migrating from TFS to Azure DevOps is a complex process. For SureView, this was compounded by the fact that it had another application already running on Azure DevOps. Using the standard Microsoft database migration tools would have resulted in two separate ‘organisations’, which would hinder the CI/CD principles SureView wanted to adopt.

Additional complications included the sheer number of Git repositories that had to be created. It would have been too time-consuming to validate each of these manually ahead of the migration, so we had to develop a reliable alternative.

“Immix is our core product and it was vital that its migration to Azure DevOps was handled with care and expertise. [This collaboration] delivered on both counts. The high calibre of consultants and engineers ensured this complex task was completed on time, with potential issues resolved during the dry-run.”

Simon Morgan
CTO at SureView Systems

Solution: Bespoke Tactics and Estate Insights Cracked the Challenge

At the outset, we worked closely with SureView’s in-house team to examine the source control of Immix, as well as work item templates and customisations. This gave us the insights we needed to devise a frictionless migration, ensuring the right code was moved in the correct format and any necessary customisations were applied in the new Azure DevOps environment.

Our core task was to transition the source code from TFVC in TFS 2013 to Git-hosted in Azure DevOps. In total, 668 Git repositories had to be created and uploaded to the new platform.

Since Microsoft’s supported database migration tools were not a viable option on this occasion, we used the open-source Git-TFS to convert the source code. Then Azure DevOps Migration Tools were deployed to push the code into SureView’s existing Azure DevOps organisation.

To handle the 668 Git repositories quickly without compromising validation, we developed a PowerShell wrapper for Git-TFS. This performed a series of checks against the existing TFVC repository ahead of the migration. Then it validated each Git repository post-migration to ensure the code’s version history had been preserved. Automating this process enabled us to quickly identify any issues with the migrated repositories, so we could focus on fixing them.

We also migrated around 5,000 work items and removed unnecessary customisations. This involved mapping custom work item types and states into standard types and states. It enabled SureView to make a fresh start and use the new work item model in Azure DevOps to apply any future customisations.

Outcome: Seamless Migration Enables SureView to Embrace Modern Ways of Working

The Immix code base enjoyed a successful and frictionless transition to SureView’s existing Azure DevOps organisation, despite the scale and complexity of the process. The IT team now has an enhanced ability to embed CI/CD principles and develop more adaptive working practices as it moves towards an SaaS offering. This, in turn, facilitates competitive differentiation and customer satisfaction, driving commercial advantage.

“A key driver for the migration was the need to keep pace with the latest development and deployment tools as we migrated towards a continuous delivery, continuous integration DevOps model. The migration was handled in the optimum way to help us achieve this goal.”

Simon Morgan
CTO at SureView Systems

This case study is based on work completed by DevOpsGroup before the team joined forces with Sourced Group, an Amdocs company.