Blog

Data Migration, What’s The Deal?

Date
7 Dec 2021

Author
Mark Goy

Data is what drives most modern day businesses. Data never sleeps. That means data migration and data integration needs to be a well established, seamless process. Heres how…

Back

We often get asked “Do you help with moving our old data to the new platform?” But before we can answer this question, we are first, going to take a look at what exactly data migration is. 

Data migration is the process of moving data from one system to another. While this might seem fairly straight forward, it involves a change in storage, database or application. There is one active data set before and after the migration. This is in contrast to data integration where data is active in both, or several, places.

Data is what drives most modern day businesses. Data never sleeps. That means data migration and data integration needs to be a well established, seamless process.

Data migrations are one of the most common data processes and almost all companies will eventually undertake one. There can be many reasons for data migrations, including application replacements or upgrades, business process changes, data volume growth and performance requirements.

Regardless of the exact purpose for a data migration, generally speaking the goal is to enhance performance and competitiveness. 

Case study

Trimtraders & Tiles

Trimtraders

Types Of Data Migration 

Data migrations can take a variety of different forms. Some of the most common types include:

Storage Migration – These types of migrations focus on transferring data from one storage device to a new or different one. This can take place either on-site or in the cloud. This kind of service is usually provided by an IT company or a server provider. 

Database Migration – With database migrations, you’re usually upgrading a database engine and moving the entire installed data bases of files to a new device or location. Database migrations are typically more involved than storage migrations, largely because you’re dealing with higher volumes of data that might be formatted differently.

Application Migration – This type of migration can be a combination of both database and storage migrations. When you’re moving an entire software application from one place to another, they typically have databases, folders, and installation files that all need to be relocated to a different server, for instance. You may also need to work with the application vendor to take any additional steps that are specific to that software to ensure things go smoothly and the application functions properly post-migration.

Reach Studios offer a full scope of Database and Application Migration services. Our team of in-house experts are on-hand to guide you through the entire process.

Approaches To Data Migration

There is more than one way to build a data migration strategy. Most strategies fall into one of two categories: “big bang” or “trickle.”

“Big Bang” Migration – A ‘Big Bang’ data migration is when you migrate all the data in one operation. This may take a while, but for users there is a single point in time where they can no longer use the old data and the new system goes live. From their point of view, change was made in a single ‘big bang’ event. 

Big Bang migrations typically have significant preparation periods and short down times, during which the system is unavailable. The ideal big bang migrations has zero down time, but you can’t always guarantee this. 

The big bang data migration process can be broken down into 4 sections:

  1. Design Phase
  2. Development and Testing Phase 
  3. Th Big Bang
  4. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) 

“Trickle” Migration – A trickle migration can be likened to an agile approach to a data migration, breaking the migration down in many smaller sub-migrations, each with its own set of goals, data deadlines and scope. 

This approach allows stakeholders to verify the success of each individual phase, giving a stepwise indication of progress. Should any of the sub-processes fail, it is usually necessary to re-run only the failed process and lessons learned from that failure can be applied to subsequent runs.

Trickle migrations, however, may require more complex planning. They also place a higher burden on users of the data since they have to keep working with two systems while the ongoing overall migration takes place.

An organisation’s specific business needs and requirements will help establish which strategy is the most appropriate.

Ready to discuss a project?

Find out how we can help you grow your business.

6 Key Steps In A Data Migration Strategy

  1. Explore & Asses The Source – Before migrating data you must know and understand what you are migrating. As well as how it fits within the target system. Understand how much data is pulling over and what that data looks like. There may be data with lots of fields, some of which won’t need to be mapped to the target system. There may also be missing data fields within a source that will need to pull from another location to fill a gap. Ask yourself what needs to migrate over, what can be left behind, and what might be missing.
  2. Define & Design The Migration – The design phase is where organisations define the type of migration to take on — big bang or trickle. This also involves drawing out the technical architecture of the solution and detailing the migration processes. Considering the design, the data to be pulled over, and the target system, you can begin to define timelines and any project concerns. By the end of this step, the whole project should be documented.
  3. Build The Migration Solution – It can be tempting to approach migration with a “just enough” development approach. However, since you will only undergo the implementation one time, it’s crucial to get it right. 
  4. Conduct A Live Test – The testing process isn’t over after testing the code during the build phase. It’s important to test the data migration design with real data to ensure the accuracy of the implementation and completeness of the application.
  5. Flipping The Switch – After final testing, implementation can proceed, using the style defined in the plan.
  6. Audit – Once the implementation has gone live, It is important to set up a system to audit the data in order to ensure the accuracy of the migration.

Conclusion 

Data migrations can be large and difficult endeavours. This is particularly true when you are transferring sensitive or critical data subject to regulatory compliance. That’s why it’s so important to have both a plan in place for secure migration, as well as the right technology tools to ensure things go smoothly.

Data migration is like moving your valuables from one home to another. You want to take extreme care and caution that your most prized possessions, in this case, your data, get safely where they need to be. 

Creating a data migration plan, implementing the right technology, and finding experienced partners are all key elements which ensure your project goes smoothly and that your data arrives securely in its new home.

Now, remember the initial question from the beginning? Well the answer is YES. Reach Studios can use data migration to scale up your business and assist in meeting constantly changing demands. 

Data Migration Process

Kick start you data migration process by getting in touch with us today. We can help you get it done. 

MAKE AN ENQUIRY

Let's kickstart your project