Database migration is the transfer of data from one platform to another. There are several reasons why a business may want to move to a new platform, such as the cost savings of moving to a cloud-based database. In some cases, database migration is a necessity, such as when legacy systems are outdated. There are multiple phases of database migration, including assessing the current database, migrating the schema, moving the data and completing ongoing testing, there are also different types of database migrations.
Migrating data to a new platform can have countless benefits for businesses, including cost savings, the move to modernized software as well as the creation of a single, centralized location that is accessible by all divisions of a company. Today, businesses have access to a wide range of data migration tools designed to streamline the migration process, such as Microsoft SQL, AWS Data Migration, Azure DocumentDB, CloverDX, Xplenty and IBM InfoSphere.
Database Migration: What Is It and How Is It Done?
Database migration comes in a variety of forms. Data can simply be moved from one database instance to another of the same type, such as transferring data on a MySQL database on an existing server to another MySQL database on a different server. In some instances, database migration may consist of moving data from a storage medium, such as tapes, into another storage medium, including hard drives.
How long database migration takes is dependent on several factors, such as how much data is being transported, with more data resulting in a longer migration time. How the data is being moved also impacts the timeframe. Businesses must determine how much bandwidth their connection supports and how much data transformation is required to complete the project.
A Look at Database Migration in SQL Server
SQL data migration is the process of moving data to or from the SQL Server. This type of migration can be complex, especially when used to move a large amount of enterprise data. There are several reasons why a company may choose to move or restore their databases, such as moving to a new server, creating a development server, transferring to a different instance of SQL or restoring a database from a backup.
The SQL server migration process involves four main stages. First, data is retrieved from the source database, or server, and sent to a staging or intermediary server.The source data is then matched to the destination formats to avoid compatibility issues. Aggregation tasks are performed next to de-duplicate records and finally, the cleansed and aggregated data is transferred to the target database.
What are the Different Types of Data Migration?
Data migration provides businesses with opportunities to improve their agility, identify business priorities and enhance growth. There are four main types of data migrations used by businesses, including the following:
1. Storage Migration
Storage migration refers to the transfer of data from one storage device to another, such as moving from a hard disk. There is a strong risk that all electronic media will ultimately fail, meaning companies must take the initiative to move their data onto new media before the old systems are no longer accessible. Technology updates present an excellent time to migrate data.
During these types of database migrations, it is easy to introduce data protection features, such as cloning, data validation and the reduction of outdated or invalid information. One of the most common times that businesses choose storage migration is when upgrading their storage equipment to more sophisticated storage equipment. Storage migration typically consists of moving from paper to digital, hard disk drives (HDD) to solid-state drives, tapes to HDD and hardware-based storage to cloud-based storage.
There are several key benefits to using storage migration. This process does not have to go through servers, meaning data migration time is reduced. There is no need to change the source storage system’s configuration and there are no additional licenses or software required. Dedicated equipment for data migration is also not necessary.
2. Application Migration
Application migration refers to the process of moving application programs from a current operating environment to a different environment. The migration of applications to a better environment is a complex process but certainly has its benefits.
Application migration is commonly used to improvise existing systems to enable them to support challenges that may occur for a range of reasons, such as the emergence of destructive technologies, intrinsic need to upgrade functionality or the government regulation of technology use.
Every application possesses a unique model of the data, and programs are not portable. During the development and implementation process, virtual machine settings, operating settings and management tools of each application differ.
When undergoing these types of database migrations, it is essential to ensure that the data is communicable between the software. New application platforms may need radical transformation because of new application interactions following the migration. Application programming interfaces (APIs) from vendors can be useful to protect data integrity.
3. Data Migration
During data migration, the database, in its entirety, is moved from one vendor to another. Alternatively, the current software being used by the business for databases receives an upgrade. Transferring data between two database systems can impact the data language or protocol simultaneously with the initial data shift. The migration of databases modifies data without affecting the structure.
Data migration requires ongoing planning and testing, which may involve assessing the target database storage space, maintaining data security and reviewing applications. Before starting a data migration, it is important to go through several precautionary steps, such as testing the database size, using the database test applications, assuring the security of data in the database and checking the consistency of the migration process.
Other benefits of these types of database migrations include comprehensive data integrity. Data migration helps reduce storage and media costs with improvements in ROI. This type of migration also minimizes the amount of disruption to daily business operations and can assist in the scaling of resources to meet the company’s growing datasets needs.
4. Business Process Migration
Business process migration relates to the business practices of an organization, particularly business management tools that require an upgrade or replacement, and is most commonly used during mergers or acquisitions (M&As). Data transfers are generally required for any movement from a business, database or application to another.
This type of migration requires the movement of business data and applications on business processes and metrics to a different environment. Metrics may include product, operational or customer information.
Companies commonly maintain their important information and applications within a data center. This refers to a physical place, rather than a digital one, that contains IT technology and equipment. Business process migration may be a viable solution when a business must move all of its digital property to other parts of an operating facility. Equipment can be costly and difficult to replace, meaning businesses must take extra precautions to avoid damage.
A Look at Database Migration in MySQL
Businesses may choose to move MySQL databases for a variety of reasons, such as when there is a need to transfer data to a testing center or move a database to a new production server. This migration process is fairly simple, although it can take some time depending on the amount of data that needs to be migrated.
At some point, data may need to be migrated between two MySQL servers. For example, migration may be needed when separating databases for performing reports or when migrating databases to a new server. This process would normally require a backup of the data on the first server. After securing the data, it can be remotely transferred to the new destination server and the backup can be restored on the new MySQL.
Migrating a Database to AWS
It can be costly and difficult to manage databases to run at scale with a high level of reliability and availability. Moving databases to Amazon Web Service (AWS) can be a wise decision as AWS has a long history of being cost-effective, high-performing and fully manageable.
There are several steps involved in AWS database migration, starting with a replication instance. The tool is connected to the source and the target bases. Next, databases, schemas and tables must be chosen, followed by the AWS data migration service. This allows AWS to load the data and keep it in sync. Applications are then switched to the target once synced.
Data Migration Best Practices
Regardless of which type of data migration that a business chooses to use, there are some essential best practices to keep in mind. These include:
Create and test a backup before starting
There is always a risk that something will go wrong during the migration. No business can afford to lose valuable data; therefore, having a backup that has been tested is critical before getting started.
Select and stick to a strategy
One of the biggest mistakes that data managers can make is to abandon the migration process when interruptions occur. Although the migration process can be complex at times, it is important to stick to the plan.
Perform testing at each phase
Testing is required throughout the planning and design phases. It is also critical to test during implementation and maintenance. Testing can help ensure the best outcome possible.
Speak With A Custom Software Development Company
If your business is moving to the cloud, upgrading systems or consolidating data, there is likely a data migration in your future. When done correctly, this process can maintain the integrity of the data and have a positive impact on business operations. To learn more about the different types of database migrations and their benefits, or to speak with a Maryland custom software development company, reach out to the database migration experts at Orases today.