Published on July 25, 2022 by Solvaria
Use the best cloud migration tools for your databases
Your critical data is the beating heart of your business, the epicenter from which all organizational operations flow. Virtually all industries rely on databases that contain pertinent information regarding internal analytics, client documentation and the actionable intelligence that empowers your decision-making processes.
This is why the thought of migrating on-premises data infrastructure to a cloud-based solution has been a traditionally daunting one for many of today’s business leaders. Organizations are at times apprehensive to off-load mission-critical workloads into the cloud, citing security and compliance concerns as the reasons for their hesitancy. For some, the concept of the cloud itself is only partially understood, and the protocols to complete a migration are only somewhat comprehensible.
Whether the fear of regulatory non-compliance or perceived performance degradation is holding you back, trusted solutions are available. If consulting your database administrators (DBAs) regarding cloud migration has resulted, like for many companies, in the realization that such protocols are an increasing necessity, it’s time to deploy the best tools for the job.
This article will examine the growing popularity of cloud-based architectures while offering strategies to ensure your data migration offers productivity benefits for your workforce and end-to-end visibility into the processes that power change.
Why are companies migrating databases to the cloud?
Today’s digital business infrastructures are increasingly complex, with new assets, networks and connected devices all attempting to access your critical information and data. Your security teams must ensure that your organizational posture remains protected amidst an ever-increasing wave of new technologies. Your business teams must drive revenue while managing costs and adapting to the realities of today’s hybrid workforce.
Despite the whirlwind of business evolution occurring all around you, reaching the calm in the center of the proverbial storm is achievable.
A recent Digital Journal report indicates that the global cloud migration services market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.86% between the forecast period of 2022-2028. According to the report, the revenue generated by cloud migration services is expected to expand from $150 to $550 billion during the time period, a clear indication that database transfer is the way forward for many organizations.
Cloud adoption offers many advantages for your business, including:
- Increased scalability. Today’s cloud-based architectures are designed to scale quickly and efficiently. The process of scaling along any dimension generally involves adding or subtracting nodes from a cluster to alter the storage capacity allocated to your database. The latest cloud-native databases can navigate and execute the redistribution of copied data across nodes that deploy scalability for your infrastructure. Simply stated, your cloud platform can scale alongside your business as it grows. You won’t need to reformat your physical data center to house additional racks or upgrades to your uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
- Cost savings. With a virtual data center, you only pay for what you use. Physical data centers must deal with the costs associated with temperature regulation and the constant monitoring of the host environment. A cloud-based platform frees you of these costs while ensuring you only pay for the additional storage as you grow. Some cloud providers offer price match options and pay-as-you-go storage solutions.
- Greater security. Let’s face it – if cloud solutions couldn’t deliver on the promise of increased security, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Cited by many late adoptees as a reason to keep their data on in-house servers, the cybersecurity protocols of today’s leading platforms have advanced to offer the greatest degree of protection against threat actors looking to exploit vulnerabilities in your infrastructure. Cloud databases are impervious to natural disasters, fires and power outages, and the geo-independent nature of many data centers ensures failover to a different location in case of a critical event.
- Reduced administrative burden. A cloud-hosted data warehouse won’t eliminate the need for your trusted DBAs, but the largely self-managed application will reduce the unnecessary elements of their workflow. They’ll enjoy the increased productivity associated with being free of the more repetitive and mundane tasks that were associated with the monitoring of your on-premises resources. You’ll enjoy the ability to reallocate their talents toward endeavors that drive revenue for your organization.
Best cloud migration tools for your database move
There are many tools available on the market today designed to aid the transition of your database to a cloud service. A recent Tech Funnel article listed the Top 15 Migration Tools of 2021. Common features of the leading platforms include the ability to observe the deployment status of your transferring data. The full list contains a wealth of options from a host of household names and proven cloud-service providers.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to implement a hybrid or full migration, here are some of the leading platforms to assist the transfer:
- AWS Migration Services. Featuring continuous data replication that can be used in multiple places and the ability to perform heterogeneous and homogeneous data migrations, this AWS cloud offering is considered by some to be among the leading cloud computing tools on the market. The AWS server migration service provides end-to-end visibility into the transfer process by employing a uniquely appointed AWS migration hub.
- Azure Migration Tool. The Azure migrate platform offers a centralized hub for on-premises databases from which you can track and execute your cloud services migration strategy. The pay-per-service model of an Azure migrate model provides integrated tools and flexible deployment options.
- Carbonite Migrate. One of the primary features of this tool is the reduced downtime and loss of data prevention protocols. It offers a repeatable and structured migration process that users can innovate using a wealth of migration tools. The nimbleness of the tool affords the ability to migrate between cloud-based and hybrid environments.
- Google Migration Services. The ability to migrate while securing data – even during upload errors – makes the Google cloud offering a safe and secure choice for many businesses. The service offerings include a built-in validation testing system for secure migration and rollbacks to ensure data security while transferring information. Another benefit of the google cloud service is the live streaming capability for data migrations and running workloads.
Before choosing your perfect migration tool, it’s important to select the features and processes that match your data warehousing needs. Once you’ve determined the ideal cloud provider for the job, the next step is to begin the transfer process.
Practices for a successful cloud migration
Today’s migration services will handle your database transition and maintenance with the skill and dexterity your critical information and resources deserve. After selecting your cloud computing solution, you’re ready to deploy your data migration strategy. If you’ve selected a cloud migration service from a third-party provider, the experts from your chosen service will begin the migration process.
Here are the steps of a successful migration:
- Discover. By identifying all existing workloads, applications and resources in your environment, your chosen migration provider will establish an understanding of the architecture of your data environment. This component of the migration process is critical, as missed workloads and applications can cause problems during the transfer. The review of virtual networks and your cloud migration strategy will provide you ease of mind regarding the final destination of your ported and protected data.
- Audit and asses. Once you’ve zeroed in on the workloads and applications associated with your migration strategy, it’s time to evaluate your existing infrastructure. Are there any components missing, or that you’ve established as redundant? Now is the time to consider and identify any data that will not be making the journey to your new cloud environment.
- Extract data. Data extraction is the first phase of a three-step process, known as extract, transform, load (ETL). This is the stage in which your source data is extracted from the original data source in an unstructured format. In the ETL process, your data is ported to a temporary staging repository.
- Scrub and transform. The act of data scrubbing – removing PII and other sensitive data before it hits your digital warehouse – protects your resources during the migration process. Once your data has been scrubbed, additional transformation and data enrichment must be done in order to clean and model the data before it can be practically used for analytics applications.
- Load. In the final phase of your data migration, your extracted data is loaded into a destination that serves as a platform for BI reporting. Cloud data warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse or Google BigQuery are popular destinations. The load process must be tethered to your specific, intended destination platform.
ETL vs ELT: An alternative method
Extract, load, transform (ELT) is a version of the ETL process where data enrichment, cleaning and transformation happen after the loading process. The scalability of modern cloud-based data warehouses makes this alternative form viable. One benefit of an ELT approach is that you can move all raw data from a variety of sources into a unified data repository, or single source truth.
When it comes to the transformations performed in the cloud, the native tongue of the process enables your IT experts to observe the reformatting for unprecedented access to the process.
Transformations may be written in sequel (SQL), a language known to a wealth of data experts, from engineers and analysts to scientists. This level of visibility ensures that your entire team can view and contribute to the transformation logic.
ETLT: A hybrid solution
Depending on the size of your cloud migration process, you may look to combine the processes to handle the complexity of your data warehousing needs. Extract, transform, load, transform (ETLT) is a hybrid process that benefits datacenters with extremely large volumes of data.
Whether you’re seeking a hybrid cloud solution – aiming to maintain your physical data center with the bolstered storage and security of a cloud-based architecture – or a full migration, it is important to enlist the best tools for the job. Identifying your ideal data migration strategy may involve employing the services of a trusted facilitator, who can streamline the process for you.
Working with the experts in cloud migration
Solvaria offers support services to facilitate the migration of your data architecture. Solvaria’s team of expert DBAs are all highly skilled and experienced, and can be resourced to guide and monitor the end-to-end migration strategies you deploy. In addition, our team of former Chief Information Officers brings unparalleled experience to provide your company with big picture IT strategy to guide you through your ideal migration solution, if needed.
Whether selecting an Oracle database, Microsoft Azure or IBM cloud SQL relational database management system (RDML), our dedicated team is able to educate and facilitate the journey to your ideal platform. By employing a proven ETL structure to your migration process, you can ensure your critical data and resources are fully transported while being protected throughout the transition.
The “been there, done that” nature of your tasked migration partner provides comfort that no situation is insurmountable during the port, and your hybrid or fully cloud-based data center can be tasked with assistance for upgrades, updates or patching issues that emerge post-transfer.
Cloud technology is no longer a vaguely understood concept. Today's managed service offerings can ensure your migration process is efficient, illuminating and empowering for your business. To learn more about Solvaria’s comprehensive data solutions, including insight from our thought leadership regarding the latest data warehousing news, visit our resources page.
When you’re ready to begin the migration process for your valuable IT infrastructure, contact one of our experts to learn how a Solvarian solution can deftly maneuver your transition to the cloud.