Prepare Now for Cloud Database Migration

The global pandemic has forced companies to pivot over the past year in significant ways. Whether it was transition­ing to a remote workforce or reimagining how to interact with customers, digital transformation initiatives within businesses were happening tenfold. As part of that, the pan­demic notably accelerated corporate planning for cloud computing.

In “The SolarWinds Query Report 2021: Data­base Priorities and Pitfalls,” respondents said that less than half of their databases are hosted/man­aged in the cloud. And more than half of the sur­vey respondents said their organizations planned to adopt cloud DBaaSs within the next 3 years.

That same survey found that 36% of respondents said that integrating cloud was one of their organization’s top priorities in 2021. As organizations shift to the cloud, the need for database migration increases in parallel. In short, if you haven’t migrated your database yet, you will soon.

But before embarking on the lengthy and complex migration process, IT professionals need to spend time analyzing and plan­ning the right migrations to ensure the solution and process they select is compatible with and right for their business.

For a seamless database migration, here are some tips to get you started.

Plan, Set Goals, and Prioritize

Migrating your database to the cloud can’t always be done overnight. With more complexity than ever before, planning is crucial. In fact, 31% of respondents said complexity increased due to COVID-19 along with the transition to remote work over the past year. The top three drivers of added complexity were increased data demands from users, the increased volume of data, and security/compliance issues such as GDPR.

With this increased complexity, it’s important to plan accord­ingly. Before the database cloud migration begins, work with all necessary teams to make a list of business goals. This will help you establish the ground rules and spark a conversation about what technology is best suited for your migration. Also list the skills needed for each part of the migration to ensure you have the right people for the job. Get­ting a strong team together will be instrumental to the success of the migration.

While every step of migration is important, you must remind yourself and your team that not everything can be priority number-one. If you’re ever struggling with what to prioritize, a quick cost-benefit-risk analysis will likely point you in the right direction.

Map Your Data Estate

With your team together and a migration plan built, you’ll want to drill down deeper to map out the entire cloud journey. This will assist in determining which capabilities and activities are required to execute effectively. If you don’t thoroughly test and sort through data, for example, the migration process could potentially fail.

You don’t want to spend time and money migrating data and applications that don’t need to be moved. Kick off a basic data and code cleanse to ensure that only what’s needed is migrated. This will help to both reduce complexity and overall cloud cost.

A detailed assessment of the data estate to evaluate the depen­dencies or complex coding features which exist is part of the mapping process. Anything interconnected with a database must migrate to the cloud, so taking the necessary precautions now will help avoid surprises later.

Following that, database professionals should ensure they have insight into what the company will pay for in the cloud. After understanding the associated costs, you should focus on maxi­mizing output and compute requirements to account for those costs, and test for data fidelity to validate data integrity post-mi­gration. This step is often ignored—but critical.

Though it may seem like a big undertaking, with careful plan­ning and evaluation, you’ll be able to implement a successful migration strategy. Whether you like it or not, it’s highly likely that you’ll start to have these conversations soon. Prepare now to avoid complications later.