In general, data migration refers to the movement of digital information. Data migration includes the transfer of information to a new location, file format, environment, storage system, database, data center, or application. To be more specific, Data migration is the process of selecting, preparing, extracting, and converting data before permanently transferring it from one computer storage system to another.
Data migration is a typical IT activity. However, data assets might exist in a variety of states and places, making some migration initiatives more difficult and technically challenging than others. Examples of data assets include:
Unorganized collections of files stored on a variety of devices.
Environments, applications, and operating systems.
SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB are examples of relational databases.
MongoDB, Azure Cosmos DB, Document DB, Cassandra, Couchbase, HBase, Redis, and Neo4j are examples of unstructured databases.
Data lakes, blobs of data, and complete data centers.
As a result, successful data migration efforts necessitate preparation, implementation, and validation.
Companies must first identify and evaluate the data they currently have before gathering needs and scoping for data migration. They must map the data, ascertaining its volume, diversity, and level of quality or condition. Additionally, they will determine stakeholders and the required abilities, assign responsibilities, establish budgets and timetables, and come to an understanding of how everyone will communicate with the data conversion project.
After scoping the project, teams design the migration, which includes selecting the data migration software and hardware that will be used when moving the data, creating specifications for the data migration, and determining the rate at which the data will be moved: all at once, a little at a time, or anywhere in between. Many firms seek assistance and advice in right-sizing their migration, particularly when going to the cloud.
As soon as the migration is designed and the planning is complete, teams start the execution phase. Then build the data migration solution based on the requirements and detailed migration guidance created during the planning phase, and then start transferring the data.
Teams watch and evaluate the data as it moves to make sure it is moving correctly and is free of conflicts, problems with the quality of the data, duplication, and anomalies. Teams can swiftly identify and address any data migration issues thanks to the monitoring and testing done in a setting that is the same as the production environment.
Following the completion of the implementation and migration of all data, teams will audit the data in its new configuration to ensure that it was moved appropriately. Teams only remove the previous data configuration from the service after it has been validated by technical and business stakeholders, as well as anyone else who may use the data (including customers).
An organization may need or want to migrate its data for a variety of reasons. Lowering costs, stimulating innovation, improving performance, increasing availability, and ensuring security are some of the reasons. When businesses decide to migrate data, they must consider the data's quality, migration costs, and impact on the organization and its customers.
While each data migration project is unique based on the systems and data involved as well as the organization's goals, data migration may be divided into five major categories:
Migrating data to a new computing environment is part of application migration. This is an example of a data migration that includes many other types. Migrating an application may necessitate both database and storage migrations. The application's database, as well as the files and directory structure required to install and execute the application, will need to be relocated—and in certain cases, formatted to meet a new data model via data conversion.
This data migration type refers to the movement of data and applications to improve the management or operation of the business. The organization may transfer any type of data—including databases and applications—that serves products, customer experiences, operations, and practices during a business process migration.
Data or application migration is a component of this type of data migration, as well as subtypes of storage migration and application migration. An important distinction is that 'cloud migration' specifically refers to moving data or applications from a private on-premises data center to the cloud or from one cloud environment to another. The scale of migration varies. Cloud migration can involve moving all or some of your data, applications, and services to the cloud to meet your strategic goals or business needs.
Organizations may require database migrations when they need to upgrade their database software, migrate a database to the cloud, or switch database vendors. Before beginning the migration, teams must confirm that the database has adequate capacity and test to guarantee that there will be no impact on the apps that use the database.
When an organization must upgrade its infrastructure or equipment to get better performance or reduce the cost of scaling, it may decide to execute a storage migration. The firm may be able to manage, safeguard, back up, or recover data more efficiently thanks to innovative technology. Although it is less common for businesses to choose to change the format of the data during this sort of data migration, businesses still have the option to clean and validate the data during a storage migration.
Teams will utilize a variety of data migration technologies to transport the data and adjust it as necessary during their migration. Some groups will decide to design and construct their data migration tools from scratch. Teams can customize data migration solutions to fit their unique systems and needs, which is an advantage. However, creating data migration software can be time-consuming, require a significant amount of manual integration and re-implementation work, and cost money that can be better allocated to other steps in the data migration process. Self-scripted data migration tools could also have trouble growing or managing several input sources.
Teams could instead decide to use already-available data migration software to make the process of moving data easier, quicker, and more effective. Software frequently focuses on assisting with a certain form of migration, such as migrating a SQL Server database to the cloud. However, even with the software, the team still must be aware of every aspect of the data they are transferring, including how much and when they will migrate, any necessary revisions and any problems that may arise after the transfer is complete. Additionally, those teams will have to decide between on-premises and cloud data migration technologies.
In many firms, data migration is a routine operation of the IT department. It frequently causes significant concerns due to a variety of factors, including staff, environment downtime, and poor application performance, all of which have an impact on budgets. To avoid such challenges, organizations want a dependable and consistent approach that allows them to plan, design, migrate, and validate the migration. They must also assess the necessity of any migration software or tool that will meet their specific migration needs, such as operating systems, storage platforms, and performance. An organization requires comprehensive planning, design, assessment, and proper execution of the project and its variables to keep all aspects in check.
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