What is data migration?
The process of shifting data from one application to another or from location to another or converting data from one format to another is termed as data migration. This generally takes place when a new system is being introduced or the data is allocated a different storage location.
Various businesses undergo data migration when they undergo rejuvenation of their systems as the legacy systems are usually replaced or are augmented with the help of new applications. More and more data migrations are taking place these days as businesses are shifting from on premise data storage facilities to cloud based data storage in a bid to optimize their businesses. Most of the IT consulting services are providing data migration services too. The data is handled and migrated in the most careful manner.
Why data migration is considered risky and difficult?
The simple and precise answer to this question is ‘data gravity’. And this is even more risky when data transfers to cloud infrastructures take place. Data gravity essentially means three precise things-
- The process of integration of data into the business
- The attractive pull of data on other data is it grows
- The customizing effect of data as it changes over time
Achieving data migration can be difficult and challenging in more ways than one. Before venturing into that, here is a sneak peek at types of data migration:
Types of data migration
- Storage migration: This process included relocation of data from existing arrays to technologically superior arrays to enable easy access by other systems. This helps in budget-friendly scaling and significant improvement performance speed. Some valuable data management features like backup and disaster recovery, cloning and snapshots are also made available by this.
- Cloud migration: Applications, data or other business elements are moved to cloud from an on premise data center or another cloud by this process. In various cases, storage migration is also entailed by this process.
- Application migration: The movement of an application program from a particular environment to another is termed as application migration. On premise infrastructure to cloud, inter cloud or moving of the underlying data to a new form of application are some of the types of application migration.
Challenges faced during data migration
Contacting the stakeholder
Every data out there means something to someone. So when that data is moved, somebody would always care. And if the stakeholders are not intimated beforehand they could always disrupt the timeline. So tracking down the stakeholders and getting them on board is a huge challenge.
Communication with the business
Once the go ahead for the migration is obtained from the stakeholders, it is of paramount importance to keep them informed about the progress of the project and the situation surrounding it. Regular status updates regarding this matter is of utmost importance as it build mutual trust which enables the lengthy process of migration to take place effectively.
Transparent data governance
Every data has a chain of command. Each data has a particular person or group of individuals entrusted with the creation, approval, editing or removal of the said data. Clear documentation regarding each and every data during the process is a tedious but essential job and poses a big hurdle in data migration.
Experts’ supervision/involvement is mandatory
Migration is in theory a pretty straightforward task. But the movement is a lengthy process and requires handling of some pretty complex data. Hence the presence of an experiences professional in this matter goes a long way in ensuring the completion of the task properly.
Proper and advance planning
Various IT teams, in their haste to get the job done, sometimes don’t even have a concrete plan before embarking on a date migration. Although intense planning doesn’t guarantee sure shot success, it does curtail the time involved in the movement of the data by a considerable amount.
Most firms, to save time, usually go with the migration methodology advised to them by their vendors. There are ample chances for the whole thing to go wrong in such an event. It is advised to do proper research regarding the migration methodology used by similar business before and use a tried and tested method instead of just going along with whatever is offered.
Data migration is dependent on the vendor whom the firm hires to carry out the process. But it also requires supervision by someone who has intrinsic knowledge to the workings of the data to defuse any emergency that may arise. So it is wise to have someone from the business supervise the project and the vendor.
Even with the plethora of data migration tools and applications at our disposal, occasional slipups do happen. Quite a few times dependent datasets are mistakenly omitted from the plans. Contingencies for such situations should be kept prepared beforehand and put into effect immediately. The most apparent good thing about this is that even a last minute discovery of a dependent data set would not throw you off your timeline.