Data migration Services involves transferring data from one application to another application, database, or the cloud. Most people opt for data migration to shift data from one place to another or transfer from one email client to another. It has become a common requirement, you, therefore, need to build a data migration strategy that will help you manage data migration.

What is Data and Data Migration?

The process of moving data from one place to another is known as data migration. This process selects the data that has to be migrated moves it to a designated storage system. It is also referred to as system storage migration. In addition to this, data migration services can help in transferring on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based storage/applications.

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Data Migration Strategy

Benefits of data migration

  • Maintains the integrity of data
  • Advanced ROI reduces the costs of media and storage
  • Reduces unnecessary interruption activities
  • Decreases daily manual effort for business operations
  • Increases the productivity of an organization
  • Sustains the growth of the business

Types of Data Migrations

All data migrations are not conducted from the same sources. Generally, the migration is expected to include storage, database, application, cloud, and business process migration.

Storage Migration

IT teams migrate data at the time of a storage technology restoration. The goals of upgrading technology are faster performance and vibrant scaling, along with better data management features.

Database Migration

Moving a database means migrating data between different platforms, such as from on-premise to the cloud, or transferring the data from one database into a new one.

Application Migration

Application migration means migrating data within an application, such as transferring from on-premises Microsoft Office to Office 365 in the cloud. It can also mean substituting one application with another one, like shifting from one accounting software to a new accounting platform from a different provider.

Cloud Migration

Cloud migration is transferring data from on-premises to a cloud or from one cloud platform to another. This type of data migration is not similar to backing up data in the cloud. Data migration is a separate project that migrates data from the source environment to settle a new one.

Difference between Data Migration, Conversion, and Integration

Data Migration- Transferring data between storage devices, locations, or systems. It includes subsets, such as quality assurance, cleansing, validation, and outlining.

Data Conversion- Converts data from a legacy application to a modernized or new application. ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) process is used.

Data Integration- Combines stored data existing in different systems to generate a unified view and overall analytics.

Risks and Challenges in Data Migration

People often find data migration as a risky and difficult task and it is definitely not an easy process. It is time-consuming, which needs detailed planning and implementation strategy and there is always some risk included in projects of this scale. Let’s take a look at some key challenges.

Data Loss

During a data migration project, there is a risk that you may suffer data loss. When executing on a small scale, this may not cause any problems e.g. IT can repair files with backup.  However, sizable data loss can have a disastrous business impact. In the case of a temporary connection failure, IT may not even identify that the short-term failure unexpectedly terminated the migration process. The missing data could go unobserved until a user or application searches for it, and it’s not found there.

Compatibility Issues

Compatibility issues can also occur during data transfer, such as changed operating systems and unpredicted file formats; or uncertainty about user access rights between the source and target systems. Although the data is not properly vanished, the businesses are not able to find it in the target system.

Poor Implementation Impacts the Business

Many IT teams choose to do a migration process in-house to save funds, or the management team makes this decision for them. But doing it by yourself is hardly ever a good strategy. Migration is an uncertain business with major business inferences and requires widespread expert attention.

A badly run data migration project causes extensive downtime, loses data, misses deadlines, surpasses budgets, and results in balanced performance.

Planning A Successful Data Migration Strategy

Regardless of the intricacies and risks, IT should ensure a successful process within budgets and time limits. The project will require knowledge, strategic planning, management, and software tools.

A well-functioning data migration plan will include the following steps:

Budget for Expert Help

Many IT organizations aim to be practical and some migration budgets do not allow for expert guidance. However, unless IT already has migration specialists within the team, they can save money and time by hiring consultants who have experience and expertise in data migrations.

Plan the Strategy

Be aware of the design requirements for migrated data together with migration schedules and priorities, backup and duplication settings, capacity planning, and prioritizing by data value. It is the step where the IT team needs to decide on the type of migration execution schedule; it can be a big bang or a more gradual tickle migration.

Let’s take a look at these terms:

Big Bang migration involves the complete transfer within a limited time interval. There is always some downtime during data processing and transfer, but the project is finished rapidly.

Trickle migration executes the project in stages, including operating source and target systems simultaneously. It is more complex than Big Bang and takes more time, but has less downtime and more chances of testing.

Work with Your End Users

Consider the data migration process as an important business process instead of just a set of technical steps and engage your end-users. They will have comprehensible concerns over the success of the migration project. Work with them to know the data rules and definitions, what data is the focus in compliance, and priority data that should move first. Also, realize what they are trying to achieve in the process- Is it for Analytics or better performance? A simple way to subject legal holds?

When you spend time working with the end-users, you will understand more about a successful data migration project in less time and at a lesser cost. 

Audit the Data and Fix any Concern 

Firstly, you need to know how much amount of data you are migrating, target storage capacity, and growth opportunities. Database migrations need auditing the source database for idle fields, outdated records, database logic, and making changes before moving data to a new platform.

Storage migration is easier because you don’t need to update the older storage and plot to the new. However, migrating data between two storage systems is not as simple as just copying data from one secondary system to another. You can use software tools to find out dark data and remove or archive them correctly before the migration.  It is important to erase obsolete files, discarded e-mail accounts, and out-of-date user accounts. Figure out and compress the source data if you are migrating data over the WAN, then transfer and test.

Backup the Source Data before Migration

Even if the worse happens, if you lose any data during the migration, you should be prepared to restore it to the original systems before starting again. It will be best practice to create a backup image that you can instantly restore to the original system if you lose data in the migration.

Move and Validate the Data

Invest in an automated data migration tool that enables you to plan staggered migrations of data subsets, validates data integrity in the target system, and sends reports for troubleshooting and confirmation. Protect databases during dynamic migrations with a software tool that connects the source and target databases in real-time.

Final Test and Shutdown

Once you have transferred all data- then you can test migration using a reflection of the production background. When all the checking is done, carefully go-live, and carry out final tests. After the new environment starts running smoothly, you can shut down the legacy system.

What is the need for Database Migration?

In this competitive world, modern needs have given companies some of the evident reasons to adopt new technologies. It includes the speed of doing things, standardization of overall performance, etc. Now when it is clear what database migration is, then you need to know the reasons for performing database migration. Let’s check out these reasons below:

To Save Expenses

Making use of old databases might increase overhead expenses for the company. It is similar to installing other applications or systems to work in a speedy mode. They will transfer its database to a platform that will serve their purpose in a competent way. It will help in savings on infrastructure, personnel, and expertise required for supporting it.

Upgrade to New Technology 

It is a common reason for migration, where the company would move from either an out-of-date system or a legacy one to a system that is intended for the modern data needs. 

In this age of big data, adopting new and proficient storage techniques is a need. For example, a company might select to shift from a legacy SQL database to a data lake or any other agile system.

To Decrease Redundancy 

Data migration is a vital task for the companies in order to transfer all the company data to a single location. It will help in reducing redundant data. Also, the data saved in one place can be easily accessible by all the departments of the company. 

Sometimes, it happens after acquirement when the systems require to be united. It can also occur when various systems are siloed across a company. 

For example, various departments have different databases, and there is no connection between them. It gets really hard to leverage insights from your data when you have different databases that are contrary.

Security Fixes

According to research, it is understood that databases are one of the most susceptible units to cyber attacks. The reason is that they are the easiest to enter into through networks. Most organizations do not upgrade their databases as often as they perform other systems. It ultimately leaves a broad gap for hackers to penetrate and reveal or steal sensitive data. 

Why Should You Hire Experts for Data Migration Services?

The process of moving data from an old application to a new one or a completely different platform is managed by a team of data migration experts. These data migration experts plans, execute and manage to change forms of data for organizations, particularly streams transferring between different systems.

Data migration professionals generally manage the following responsibilities:

  • Connect with clients or management to identify data migration needs
  • Strategize and plan the complete project, comprising migrating the data and converting content as necessary, while evaluating risks and potential impacts
  • Audit available data systems and deployments and find out errors or areas for improvement
  • Cleanse or convert data so that it can be efficiently migrated between systems, apps, or software
  • Manage the direct migration of data that may require slight adjustments
  • Test the new system once the migration process is completed and check the resulting data to discover errors and points of corruption
  • Document the whole thing from the strategies implemented to the correct migration processes put in place, including documenting any fixes or modifications done
  • Build up and recommend data migration best practices for all present and future projects
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory needs and guidelines for all migrated data

If you are considering migrating your data from one system to another, it’s best to get expert support. Otherwise, it may result in a loss of time and data. You will be provided help with setting up your plan, strategy, and overall compliance to conduct a complete data migration.  ExistBI offer Data Migration services in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe, contact us to find out more.


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