UNITEC Modernizes SPARC servers by migrating Solaris apps to Charon-SSP on Google Cloud in 24 days

About Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC)

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC), one of two private universities under Laureate International Universities, offers high school, bachelor, and postgraduate programs on 10 campuses in Mexico City and in the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico, and Querétaro, as well as online. With more than 90,000 students, it is the largest private university in the region.

Industries: Education
Location: Mexico

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UNITEC is poised to increase its application footprint on Google Cloud, while enhancing focus on overall business expansion, exceeding expectations, and meeting an aggressive timeline.

Google Cloud results

  • Infinite scalability on demand
  • Zero negative impact on end-user experience and application performance
  • 24 days to migrate eight servers, 22 zones, 25 TB of data from SPARC servers to Google Cloud

Eight SPARC servers with 22 zones migrated in 24 days

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC) is one of the post-secondary education learning institutions under the Laureate Education, Inc., umbrella of Laureate International Universities. The CIO of UNITEC decided it was time to modernize the university’s IT infrastructure and that the most efficient way to do this was to migrate all IT workloads to Google Cloud, thereby exiting their data center.

“Given the time-crunch situation we were in, the Stromasys and Google Cloud teams stepped up and migrated all the servers, applications, and data in the promised time. I couldn’t have been more proud of the team.”

Ivan Alonso, CIO, IT Services, Laureate International Universities

The date was set, but one major obstacle to a complete data center exit needed solving. What about the mission-critical Solaris applications running on proprietary SPARC systems? No such hardware exists in any cloud. UNITEC had eight SPARC T5-2 server LDOMs with each hosting several Solaris zones running Solaris OS versions 8 through 11.

The Google team recommended Google Cloud Technology Partner Stromasys and its elegant solution, Charon-SSP (software that emulates legacy SPARC systems).

The customer took full advantage of Charon-SSP’s SPARC system virtualization to move the legacy applications to Google Cloud, with no change to the applications or operating systems. The project was completed in twenty-four days. “Given the time-crunch situation we were in, Stromasys and the Google Cloud team stepped up and migrated all the servers, applications, and data in the promised time. I couldn’t have been more proud of the team,” said the CIO, IT Services at Laureate.

How the legacy systems were migrated to Google Cloud

Laureate was running a SPARC T5-2 server ( 512 RAM | 32 Cores) to host their application servers, whereas the database back end was in an on-premises VMware cluster. The SPARC system had eight LDOMs, each with around 3-10 zones running Solaris OS versions 8-11.

Diagram of flow from legacy environment migrating to Google Cloud

The databases running on their on-premises VMware clusters were easily migrated to Google Cloud VMware Engine, which is Google’s fully managed VMware cluster. Then they were able to quickly spin up three custom VM instances running RHEL OS on Google Cloud with the specific number of RAM and CPU that was required. The Stromasys team then installed the Charon-SSP emulation on top of the RHEL VMs as hypervisors so that the LDOMs can be created and the data migrated over a low-latency dedicated interconnect connected from Laureate to Google data centers.

The benefits of running on Google Cloud

The legacy application now running on Google Cloud not only gets a new lease on life, but can now take advantage of options and new capabilities. The benefits of Charon cross-platform virtualization of legacy SPARC, DEC, and PA-RISC systems on Google Cloud:

  • Risks of a legacy workload failure are mitigated (legacy hardware is gone)
  • Costs are optimized with Google Cloud pay-as-you-go consumption model
  • Google Cloud CPU fast-clock speeds deliver enhanced performance for applications
  • Organizations can now include legacy systems in their Google Cloud mass migration plans
  • No application recertification and end-user retraining is required (it is the same application)
  • System capacity becomes flexible with possible adjustments in minutes
  • New Google Cloud high-availability schemes and disaster/recovery best practices become available

Charon on Google Cloud supported by technology partner Stromasys

Stromasys offers product support for Charon on Google Cloud during business hours or 24/7 for all emulators worldwide. Support typically applies to the Charon emulator software itself. Stromasys can also offer operating system support such as support for OpenVMS 7.3 and earlier.

Stromasys is a Google Technology Partner that addresses the data center modernization needs of customers by allowing the movement of legacy system applications and data to x86 infrastructure without changing any legacy code or data.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC)

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC), one of two private universities under Laureate International Universities, offers high school, bachelor, and postgraduate programs on 10 campuses in Mexico City and in the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico, and Querétaro, as well as online. With more than 90,000 students, it is the largest private university in the region.

Industries: Education
Location: Mexico