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What is Database Migration?

Today, adopting emerging technologies is a key prerequisite in running a successful business, especially when the end consumers’ embra ce disruptive technologies with open arms. The success of any business depends on the ability of the underlying IT infrastructure and the way it adapts to the changing business conditions while ensuring scalability, interoperability, and reliability while performing effectively. To increase efficiency and agility, enterprises are looking at adopting next gen technologies. Of all the critical tasks carried out during IT infrastructure upgrade initiatives, if there is one thing that holds no room for is takes, it is the Database Migration process.

After upgrading existing servers or hardware to an entirely new system, the next step is to carry out a database migration is transferring data between data storage system, data formats or computer systems, in a stable environment ensuring low downtime and high security with minimal manual intervention. Furthermore, a seamless migration will prevent application outages and business downtime.


Different Kinds of Database Migrations

Database Migration can be:

  • RDBMS to RDBMS: Based on your business needs, cost, scalability and technology trends, there are lot of database migration tools availa ble to migrate from one RDBMS to another RDBMS. In case of direct tool not available we can make use of the tool to migrate to X RDBMS and then to Y from that tool. As the tool will help us migrate 70 to 80% of the data, we have to manually take care of the remaining 20% of migration these are specific and native to that particular RDBMS product.
  •    RDBMS to NoSQL or vice versaIn case of Cross Migration, we should consider the percentage of the change we have to do in an Application after Migration. In case, the percentage of change is high, it is always better to rewrite the application with new target database instead of initiating the migration and then doing application changes. For Migration from RDBMS to NoSQL like MongoDB Happiest Minds has a tool called R2M (Relational DB 2 MangoDB Migration) which saves you from 50% of your migration effort.


What should your operational goals for an effective DBM be?

The ideal ingredient for a perfect Extract-and- Load process would be to capitalize on your automation investments through different tools. This would make the process extre mely efficient for you and your organization. Also note that lesser the number of manual resources working on it, the better chances of ensuring the following:

  • No instances of dropped or invalid records in the target platform
  • Low downtime window for your customers
  • Scalable processes in terms of cost and technology


Risks with Database Migration

Quite often, the costs associated with Database migration exceeds the budget because it is assumed to be a straightforward activity without risks. However, Database migration, like any other crucial activity, has certain challenges in tackling the process. Risks in Database migration depends on many factors like, business risks, IT risks and migration risks, coupled with some others. Here are a couple of noteworthy ones:

  • Ill-defined rules and requirements for the data being migrated can lead to faulty migration in terms of data integrity, security, availability and so on.
  • Lack of database migration expertise, leading to a concentrated but often flawed effort.

Before completing the process, the most essential step is the validation of the database migration – which is testing whether all data is in the right place and format belonging to the right schema. Some questions to help with validation are:

  • Does the result match the expectations set when the process was initiated?
  • Is the data accurately transferred – without new entries or records created and without old entries of records deleted?
  • Has the data been transferred in its entirety or are there missing components?


Best Practices for Database Migration

o help you get your database started off on the right foot, here are some quick best practices:

  1. Measure your network bandwidth so you can decide on how much to allocate for the migration
  2. Know your database map really well so you can recr eate without any issues.
  3. Give yourself learning time even if the first few migrations are longer than expected.

A database migration is a complex process that requires effective planning and execution. There are also several database migration automation tools that can help speed the process and ease the burden on the IT department. Be sure to evaluate all your options before going ahead with your database migration plans.


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