Cover-All Managed IT Services - Case Study

Case Study: Business Unit Application Migration to Private Hosted Mainframe

Companies can successfully migrate a single business unit’s applications and data from a shared mainframe environment, to a private hosted server.  

Our client is a Fortune 500 financial services industry leader. They wanted to move a single business unit’s application and data from a shared corporate mainframe, to their own private hosted mainframe at Cover-All’s Data Centre. The needed to move their system within a very tight timeline and budget was important. However, it was critical to move the system without interrupting service to their client-base, while providing the highest levels of systems, network, applications availability, and data security.

Business Challenges

Pull quote MainframeThe main challenge with this move was that our client’s department shared a large mainframe running z/OS with multiple departments. It was not possible to back up the entire system in a ‘lift and drop’ scenario because our client did not have a dedicated Logical Partition (LPAR). Since it was a shared environment, mission critical mainframe applications had to remain available to the corporate environment. This meant that Cover-All would need to replicate the client’s current hardware, software and security environment to match what the client had in the shared environment. We had to do this all within our client’s six month goal and on budget. In addition, it was important that the user experience not be impacted.

Business Solutions

Cover-All has decades of experience moving clients into our Data Centre and have developed procedures and processes to ensure a successful transition. Our employees managed the transition with a proven transition methodology.

Phase 1 – Review Current Environment

In this phase, a team of Cover-All mainframe experts were dispatched to meet with our client’s corporate IT team. We were able to assess the scope of the project with the client team and review all the hardware and software, including proprietary software, being utilized by the client.

Phase 2 – Document Target Environment

In this phase, we documented our client’s current mainframe environment and conducted a software inventory including IBM and Independent Software Vendors (ISV). Then we identified replacement software for any current proprietary software. At every phase, we obtained client sign-off to proceed to the next phase.

Phase 3 – Replicate System Software Stack and Create z/OS Environments

Phase 3 is one of the most critical phases of the transition process. The more moving parts there are in this phase, the higher the probability of a transition failure. Our team began to build the IBM software environment. We configured the Direct Access Storage Devices (DASD), assigned hardware resources, and added ISV products. We also added replacement software products for proprietary software as required. It was vital to ensure that all the software needs were replicated appropriately to avoid any disruption of service to their client interfaces and to ensure security was not compromised.

Phase 4 – Develop Backup and Restore Procedures 

In this phase we worked to back up their data and restore it in the Cover-All Data Centre. The client’s objective in this phase was to ensure that we were able to demonstrate month-end results that mirrored their corporate results

Phase 5 – Migration to Cover-All

In the migration test to the Cover-All Data Centre, we embarked on two dry-runs before we finally cut-over to the Cover-All Data Centre and received client approval to go live. As a result of the meticulous attention to detail in replicating their environment in phase 3, both dry-runs and final cut-off to the Cover-All Data Centre were successful.

Business Results

Pull quote

Our client was able to successfully transition their data to an IT environment that meets their current technology needs, with room to grow as their business expands. They were able to move their systems on time and within budget. More importantly, we are able to provide them with the network, systems, applications availability and data security they need for their highly sensitive financial data in Cover-All’s Data Centre, without a single client interface interruption.

Our client is now confident in the knowledge that their clients’ data is hosted in a private environment located in Cover-All’s Data Centre.  


Cover-All is a Managed Services Provider (MSP) delivering cost effective solutions for Managed Cloud, Managed IT, Cyber Security, Co-Location, Backup & Recovery/DR, and Cloud and IT Consulting Services. To find out more call 1-833-268-3788 or visit