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Migration is the process of moving from the use of one operating environment/existing hardware to another operating environment/existing hardware that is, in most cases, is thought to be a better one. For example, moving from UNIX to Linux can be considered a migration because it involves making sure that new features are exploited, old settings do not require changing, and taking steps to ensure that current applications continue to work in the new environment.

Migration could also mean moving from Windows NT to a UNIX/Linux-based operating system (or the reverse). Migration can involve moving to new hardware, new software, or both. Migration can be small-scale, such as migrating a single system, or large-scale, involving many systems, new applications, or a redesigned network.