The Challenge of Managing Newly Acquired Databases

In the rapidly changing IT environment that powers many companies and organizations, it is very common for a database team to be charged with managing newly acquired systems. New databases are often the result of corporate mergers and acquisitions and need to be incorporated into the existing computing landscape. Databases are also purchased for marketing purposes and may need to be modified before they can be used productively. Large corporations can have multiple environments and have business reasons for moving a database to a new support team.

Whatever the reason that new databases appear in scope for a database team, they need to be incorporated into the organization’s IT environment. They can go about that task in a variety of ways.

Bringing New Databases Into the Environment

There are multiple ways that an organization can go about bringing new data resources into their environment. Based on the database platform and how it is used, one of the following strategies can be employed by an IT team. Each has some benefits and disadvantages that may influence the decision on how to proceed.

  • Keeping the new databases intact is one option that can be taken. This strategy involves provisioning hardware resources to support the databases. These can be physical or virtual servers and may be located either in an on-premises datacenter or with a cloud provider. The main advantage of this method is that it is simply a matter of moving the database to new hardware. This is also its main disadvantage as it necessitates identifying or procuring the computing resources to house the databases.

  • Migrating the databases to a new platform is another route that an IT team can take when faced with supporting new systems. The advantages of this method include the ability to choose a platform with which the database team has the experience and support tools. A disadvantage to migration is that it complicates the process of absorbing the new database and may increase the amount of time required to use the system productively. This method may also require additional physical or virtual computing resources.

  • Integrating the databases into existing systems is another option that can be taken under certain conditions. This may be the most effective method when it can be successfully implemented. The disadvantage of merging databases is that it can be a complex undertaking that requires extensive research and planning. The advantages of a merge or integration include eliminating the need for new computing resources with its commensurate cost savings. In cases where a merger is warranted, an organization’s data resources can be bolstered by the addition of the information contained in the new databases.

Tactics for Teams Migrating or Integrating Databases

Management may make the decision to accept the costs of providing more computing power and choose to host the acquired databases as they currently exist. The demands on a database team are then confined to providing support and maintaining the performance of the new systems. In cases where migration or integration is called for, the responsibilities are more extensive.

At a minimum, the preliminary steps required to integrate two databases involves a thorough comparison of the data and schemas used in the systems. Though the databases may have been designed to serve the same purpose, elements like naming conventions, field length, and data consistency need to be addressed before attempting an integration. Similarly, if migration to a new database platform is being considered, the team needs to understand what they are dealing with and have the tools available to verify the database once the migration is complete.

IDERA’s SQL Comparison Toolset is a flexible application for DBAs supporting SQL Server and Oracle environments. It eliminates the time-consuming and error-laden task of manually performing database comparison and synchronization. The tool allows sessions to be saved so they can be rerun with a single click when necessary.

SQL Comparison Toolset can be a valuable tool for database teams that need to integrate new databases as well as when moving to different versions or editions of Oracle or SQL Server. Extensive SQL scripts can be generated for simplified synchronization. Large databases are no problem for this comprehensive database tool. An intuitive user interface streamlines the tasks required of your database team and contributes to productivity. It can be the difference between a smooth and painful database migration or integration.