Why Migrate a Database and How to Get it Done

Database teams can be called upon to engage in many different activities as they perform their role of protecting organizational data assets. Some of the responsibilities of DBAs and developers are tasks such as improving performance, ensuring availability, and verifying backups. These basic functions are a daily part of the job and become second nature to experienced database professionals.

Sometimes business interests require that the team engage in less familiar ventures like migrating a database. This may require a DBA to operate outside of their comfort zone and perform a procedure with which they have less experience. It is often the case that these types of activities are carried out to meet critical business needs. As such, there is great importance on their successful completion. Failure can cause significant damage to the enterprise in lost revenue and dissatisfied customers or users.

Reasons for Database Migration

Database migration and replication are not new concepts in the world of information technology. While not the kinds of things that are done every day, they have been used to address many situations that face a database team. Modern DBAs need to perform system migrations to cope with the additional scenarios presented by engagement with public cloud providers.

Here are the main reasons that database migration or replication is performed.

Cost savings - Cost is one of the driving factors in many organizational decisions. No enterprise wants to spend more than is necessary to support their IT environment. Saving money while providing the required resources has always been a challenge to organizations that depend on extensive computing infrastructure.

Two emerging paradigms have shown promise in addressing these concerns. Virtualization and the availability of cloud-based computing are changing many organizations’ computing landscape. Moving from physical hardware to virtualized instances of a database requires a migration. This is also the case when reducing the on-premises data center footprint in favor of a cloud solution.

Advancing technology - Just like everything else in the world, systems get old. Some may age gracefully and still provide acceptable performance and functionality that defy expectations. Somewhere out there a mission-critical program is running on a Windows 95 machine because the programmer is no longer available and no one can figure out how to move it. This is not the kind of situation in which an organization wants to find itself.

A better course of action is to upgrade systems as the associated technology improves. Modernizing systems has gained even more importance with the heightened emphasis on security and data privacy. Older versions of database platforms may not be as secure as newer versions, influencing the decision to migrate away from legacy systems. Migration is also performed to test new versions of a database before switching to it for production systems.

Database consolidation - Consolidating databases can be necessary to address several situations. Mergers and acquisitions play a big role in the business world and new systems need to be incorporated into the computing environment. This may entail migrating a particular database instance to conform with enterprise standards or combining a new arrival with an established system.

Another important reason for consolidating databases is to break down the data silos that may exist in an organization. Very often, different departments have databases that contain the same or similar information. This can hinder communication and result in lessened productivity. Consolidating to create a single, shared source of data can help enterprises streamline internal and external processes that can only benefit the business.

Using SQL Comparison Toolset for a Smooth Migration

Migrating a database is a complex undertaking that involves planning, execution, and verification. It requires individuals who fully understand the platforms they are working with and are provided with viable tools to accomplish the task. Staffing issues need to be addressed on a specific organizational basis and are hard to generalize. Tools are more easily evaluated for functionality and their utility in getting the job done successfully.

IDERA’s SQL Comparison Toolset is an excellent choice for database teams faced with the migration of SQL Server or Oracle Databases to different versions or environments. It offers advanced comparison and synchronization features that speed up the migration process and eliminate manual errors. Using the tool makes your team more productive and increases the probability of a favorable outcome for the migration.

Some specific features provided by SQL Comparison Toolset include the ability to take schema snapshots during the migration process for history and audit trails. You can compare and synchronize changes to databases and schemas across various versions or instances and these processes can be automated. Comparison sessions can be saved for subsequent analysis and automatically generated and ready to reply SQL statements help minimize synchronization errors.

SQL Comparison Toolkit furnishes users with an intuitive interface that saves time, reduces errors, and shortens the learning curve. It’s a valuable piece of software that belongs in the array of tools your database team brings to the table when performing database migrations.