Converting the content of Notes applications to a SQL database is easy to explain. In the left hand you have a Notes database and in the other hand you have a SQL database, all we do is move the content over.
Next you will need a server to run this tool on. When clients wants to convert massive amounts of Notes content (100GB or more) the server must be very powerful to be able to do the conversion in a weekend. This is where the problem lies. Because the conversion server hardware with 16 GB ram and 8 CPU's is costly. The Windows and SQL server licence for the 8 CPU's is even more costly. So this server must be purchased, configured (consultancy hours) and will be used for one month or so. The licences can not be purchased for one moth, so this is throwing money away.
This year I started using Amazon EC2 cloud servers for this job. I love them, they are great. Here the advantages from my point of view.
- Pay per hour the server is running. The costs per hour includes the complete Windows server, Windows and SQL licences. A 8 CPU system costs around 2 USD per hour including 2 TB storage and 8 GB RAM.
- Not start up, stop and terminate costs.
- Easy to create a backup of the complete system and use this image to create a new server within 30 minutes.
- I have an image ready with all programs installed and configured. This image is used to create dedicated conversion system for clients within minutes.
- Adding terabytes of storage on the fly within minutes.
- Increasing or down scaling the servers performance within minutes, for example increase from 8 to 16 CPU's in minutes.
The only disadvantage is that some clients don't want to store company information on a cloud server. But at the end when we explain how we can secure the content and when they take a close look at the costs they have no problems with the cloud approach.
By the way, I am a Lotus minded person. I am quite sorry to say I have loads of requests for conversion of Notes to SQL and zero request for the conversion of SQL to Notes :-(