Those people that have ever changed their residence or moved to another office know what a bother it is. You must pack your belongings carefully for them not to be damaged, try not to leave any of your stuff behind, find a transport company to perform the moving, and arrange the things in the new place so that you could easily discover where the item you need lurks.  

A similar routine confronts an organization that plans to move its virtual chattels to a different storage location. As an expert in data migration endeavors, DICEUS knows how complex, effort- and time-consuming this procedure is in view of the vast amounts and versatility of dossiers and files to be lifted and shifted. 

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What is data migration? 

Conventionally, when someone speaks of data migration, we imagine transferring data from an outdated on-premise legacy environment to a cloud facility (aka hydrating the cloud). While being largely symptomatic, this is only one specific instance of a wide range of processes covered by the generalized term “data migration”. In fact, this is a practice of relocating data related to different storage types, systems, and formats without changing the nature of the content, as far as it is achievable. 

By undertaking this ordeal, companies pursue multiple objectives. Once properly implemented, data migration can bolster performance (both in terms of speed and quality), enhance data usability, curtail operational costs, provide more content consistency, ensure scalability of data and software, automate redundant procedures, and reduce security risks.  

Aware of these perks, many organizations still make bold to take the plunge, not of their conscious desire for a necessary improvement but only being spurred by some real-world developments. 

4 most common reasons to migrate data 

Data migration comes as a part of the general transformation strategy carried out by an enterprise. Such changeovers can be related to: 

  1. The organization’s relocation. When an enterprise moves home to take anchor in a different neighborhood, city, province, or country, its virtual property should travel with it.  
  2. Restructuring of a company. This major upheaval comes in different guises. Several organizations may unite to form a larger whole by dint of merging or acquisition, a business may grow out of its former clothes and need expansion, a part of a company may change hands, etc. All of these can be accompanied by physical relocation (see above). Naturally, such development shouldn’t result in data loss, which necessitates database transfer. 
  3. Software upgrading or augmentation. In the rapidly evolving IT universe of the 21st century, software is a perishable commodity that can grow obsolete within a couple of years (sometimes even faster). Organizations keeping abreast of the latest high-tech advancements switch over to state-of-the-art software (or introduce it to scaffold the older one), enabling them to obtain – or not to lose – a competitive edge over their rivals. As a result, old data formats and legacy hardware are rendered inadequate, requiring major data adjustment and transformation. 
  4. Drive for excellence. This reason isn’t a typical one but characteristic of forward-thinking CEOs who wish to improve their firm’s workflow and business efficiency without waiting for a pinch to come. And data migration is a sine qua non to propel their organization on the bonanza quest. 

Data migration is predominantly an IT venture which spells the employment of a relevant tech stack to see it through. 

IT services to be leveraged in data migration 

Being a company that has delivered numerous data migration projects, we at DICEUS are sure that one of the main factors that condition the success in this venture and allows us to avoid a fair share of challenges in data migration is the wise choice of data migration tools. The software you will eventually opt for can vary depending on the peculiarities of the procedure (like the necessity to transform the data, content organization model, location of the databank, security requirements) and the size of your wallet.  

database migration challenges

Open-source tools 

This is an excellent choice for startups and small businesses on short commons since they are free for anyone to use (or at least considerably cheaper than their commercial counterparts). Moreover, you can modify them to match the unique needs of yours – in case you have relevant competence and skills. So, if your database isn’t that large, you can try Apache NiFi, CloverETL, Myddleware, Pentaho, or any other tool you can lay hands on free of charge.  

On-premise tools 

These are instrumental only if you transfer data between two or more on-premise facilities. Although most modern companies choose to make use of cloud-powered enterprise data warehouses, some organizations still rely on on-premise networks and servers for security considerations. In case you are one of them, the odds are your option shortlist will contain Microsoft SQL, IBM InfoSphere, Oracle Data Service Integrator, Centerprise Data Integrator, and other similar tools.  

Cloud-based tools 

Since cloud computing is all the rage in the contemporary IT industry, these tools are in the greatest demand in data migration services. They will suit you to a tee whether you contemplate the on-premise to the cloud migration pattern or want to move your data from one cloud provider to another. To minimize possible data migration issues, you should select the tool in accordance with the cloud type and brand that is to be the target of your removal scheme. Most likely, you will utilize AWS Migration Services, Azure Migration Tools, Google Migration Services, CloudScape, Snaplogic, Stitch Data, or Turbonomic. 

Whatever type of tools you will opt for, database migration challenges prevention should become the cornerstone of your migration strategy.  

Addressing challenges of data migration 

DICEUS knows all ins and outs of the data migration procedure so we offer solutions to the 6 most frequent data migration problems organizations encounter.  

Challenge 1: Inadequate teamwork 

Being a complex undertaking that involves dozens of people (both from within the organization and third-party service providers), a cloud migration requires enhanced coordination of efforts. As a rule, principle stakeholders have a different scope of participation, understanding of their roles, and qualifications. This tangle of responsibilities and cross purposes engenders mistakes and oversights that can spoil any plan, however well-thought-out it might have been at the outset. Moreover, participants will try to find fault with their colleagues for the failure of some chunk of the project, as likely as not. 

Solution: Modern technologies furnish a viable way out of the predicament. You should set up a specialized platform containing requisite collaboration software to serve as a reference and contact point for the migration crew members. Thus, the lion’s share of misunderstandings will be avoided, and all actors will be kept on the same page throughout the project duration. 

Challenge 2: Organizational pitfalls 

If you hope to implement the migration relying on oral directions and acting on a hunch, the process is sure to face problems very soon. There is a plethora of details and peculiarities to remember, and people involved in the undertaking aren’t robots who will do their bit once properly instructed. 

Solution: A detailed migration plan is a sine qua non. It must include a list of data meant to be moved, their previous and future storage place, migration tools you are going to employ, approximate project duration, and other coal-and-ice landmarks. Besides, all stages and domains of the project should have specialists assigned to them to perform or/and supervise.  

Challenge 3: Forgetting about software compatibility 

New software that you are going to switch to may render your data inaccessible. Sometimes it is only certain files (which is a surmountable nuisance), but it may well be the entire database (which spells a job of work to redress). 

Solution: Before starting the migration, you should lay operational requirements to all files earmarked for the migration fair and square in the plan. In this way, you will avoid compatibility problems or at least will be able to deal with them on short notice. And remember to check whether everything functions smoothly in the new environment before disabling the previously used system.  

Challenge 4: Forgetting about hardware parameters 

Preparing for data migration, some people tend to neglect hardware, believing that the procedure is exclusively a software issue. And even if they do give the hardware a thought, they usually focus on what they have rather than on what they are going to get. As a result, the new servers (even the cloud-based ones) turn out to be incapable of housing all requisite data. 

Solution: Before opting for the cloud provider (or acquiring new on-premises equipment), the basic parameters of the target facilities ought to be scrutinized to verify their ability to accommodate your databank in its entirety. 

Challenge 5: Data loss accidents 

However well-planned the data transfer may be, there is always a chance that some pieces of data can get lost or misplaced in the helter-skelter that accompanies all grand endeavors. As ill-luck would have it, it happens with the most valuable information and files. To make matters worse, the loss often isn’t missed until some emergency when you need the data here and now.  

Solution: Backing up reigns supreme. All the files and software labeled for removal must be copied and stored somewhere in a safe place. And this place shouldn’t be a secret to be soon forgotten in the commotion of the process to the dismay of stakeholders. 

Challenge 6: Neglecting testing 

Elated by the smooth progress and quick completion of the migration process, you go through the roster of files deposited on a new server, make sure nothing is omitted, delete the backup, and launch the new ecosystem into action. And it doesn’t work. What could be wrong? The answer is simple: your approach. 

Solution: The data transfer isn’t over until you see that everything functions as it is meant to. It is especially true of the apps that may just prove incompatible with the new software. So before taking any irretrievable steps (like disabling the legacy system), you should run series of tests that would ensure the availability of all operations the old database enabled you to perform. If any malfunction or bug is detected, it is to be identified and fixed before putting the old system out of commission. 

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Data migration is a complex and diverse process that abounds in difficulties to overcome and pitfalls to avoid. If you want it to go smoothly and be accomplished, you should entrust the whole procedure to competent and experienced IT specialists who will make the stipulated deadline and guarantee a high quality of service