Migration Dangers – The Missing Link(s)

Content Specialists like me frequently recommend moving large amounts of data from legacy systems to new systems, sometimes based in the Cloud, for cost-savings and updating/modernization. Some of my clients even change entire data frameworks just to enable “mobility” (Tablet and Phone) features, integral to new systems yet expensive to build-on to legacy systems.
One of the unspoken dangers of migration is the loss of data location values, or links. Each new system builds on a new architecture, with new data locations, tags, and meta data. This is wonderful for new information streaming into the new system, but a dangerous pitfall for older data, notes, and files that become “orphaned” in the new system. Most of the time the data remains, but the existing “pointers” are focused on the old location! Imagine if you move to a new home and all your mail continues to be routed to your old address!
If it is a relatively small amount of data, this is not a major disaster, and can be fixed on an “as you go” basis, by the user or an admin. The pitfall of this Is years later, when doing a recovery from an old backup or a revival of old cases – the problem resurfaces! If no one remembers what to do – Now you have a crisis, and spend time and money fixing something that you thought you already dealt with.
If you are fortunate enough to have someone like me on your project (or at least in your contacts) the problem can be solved with some basic but essential software, most of which is readily available, and can monitor your links for broken links and possible “404 – page not found” errors. These make even the most calm users shake their fists and pick up the phone to tech support, since they are “stuck” until the problem is resolved.
To recap, missing links occur when migrating, during routine backup/restore operations, and even when putting more storage on-line. If you are finding a lot of orphan links, give me a call.