- What is Data Migration
- Types of Data Migration
- What is a Data Migration Plan
- How to Plan a Data Migration Project
- Data Migration Challenges
What is Data Migration?
The data migration definition is clear from its name. It is the process of transferring information from its current storage environment to another location. The main reason for data migration is streamlining work with datasets, making them more accessible, flexible and secure.
The data migration process may seem as simple as copy and paste. However, there is often a need for a more competent approach, a more simple data migration plan, and the careful selection of necessary tools and services.
Types of Data Migration
The selection of necessary resources for the data migration process depends on the type of migration data. There are three types of data migration:
- Storage migration. This process implies changing where the data is stored and moving information to a more business-specific and secure site.
- Cloud migration. It is the most popular type of data migration. More and more companies understand the business value of cloud infrastructure, especially when data security significantly matters to them.
- Application migration. In this case, an application and its corresponding data are transferred to a different storage environment.
Depending on the type of migration, you will need a specific data migration plan.
What is a Data Migration Plan?
A data migration plan is a document that describes your data migration and transfer strategy. A data migration plan template may consist of the following sections.
- Overview. This introductory section contains a brief overview of your data migration project plan.
- Introduction. It states the primary goal of migrating data.
- Assumptions, bottlenecks, risks and gaps. In this section, you need to provide an overview of the possible challenges you face if you are aware of them.
- Architecture. Here you need to describe the current state of your data storage architecture and detail the future one, including the benefits to your business.
- Development tools and the core approach of your data migration plan. There are several approaches to data migration, the Big bang data migration (you migrate data in one step) and tickle data migration (when the data is transferred in pieces). The choice of the data migration tool depends on the approach you plan to follow.
- Data migration testing and validation. It is the last stage of testing data operations in the new environment and validating the overall success of your data migration plan.
How to Plan a Data Migration Project
Below is a step-by-step strategy to plan and perform your data migration project.
- Identify your data format and its location. Evaluate data sensitivity. According to most migration plans, the first step in the process is identifying the current data location and re-assessing the weak points of the current storage. Next, you should focus on your data format and evaluate the level of data sensitivity. The last point will help define the right secure environment to which the data transfers and the necessary data migration software.
- Plan the size and scope of the project. At this point, you have to evaluate the complexity of your data migration and communicate it to the main stakeholders.
- Back up your data. Your data migration plan should state the need to make a data backup. While the core goal of data migration plans is to provide your data with some immunity in the process of transfer, practical experience suggests that you may face the need to roll the process back and try again.
- Access the necessary resources. Here, you need to define what expertise and professional skills you need to migrate your data. If there is no in-house talent to do this, consider getting in touch with a third-party data migration vendor.
- Execute your data migration plan. When a data migration company supports you, it is easier to seamlessly execute your plan and achieve the goal of data migration.
- Testing and validation. Like with custom software development, you need to test a new system to make sure it has no connectivity gaps..
Data Migration Challenges
Like with any other business transformation process, you may face some challenges when migrating your data. A data migration plan and corresponding strategy allow you to predict and overcome them. However, you still require to keep the most common pitfalls in mind. They include:
- Confusion and disorganization. You can solve this issue by carefully developing and validating your data migration plan and the strategy that powers it.
We have a business case pointing out the clear need for proper data migration organization. We have dealt with the data migration for Whirlpool, and the process of planning took much more time than the process of migration itself. The complexity of the case was largely determined by the fact that the company has used HPQC (an obsolete legacy data management system) and wanted to move it to Jira, namely its specialized X-ray plugin. Each system had its own entities and processes that other system didn’t have, and we had to carry out the transfer with minimal losses. But with the proper planning, everything worked out.
- Data loss. One more challenge we have faced within the Whirlpool case was minimizing data loss because the amount of data was quite large, and its processes were very different to compare. To deal with this possible pitfall, we defined crucial and non-crucial data arrays and sacrificed non-critical information when there was no way to include it in the migration.
- Compatibility. Sometimes you may find that the new software can’t handle and process the amount of data you need to transfer. The solution to this challenge is a careful analysis of a new environment: whether it can cope with the tasks.
There are two success factors of seamless data migration. You require a clear data migration plan and strategy, plus a tech-savvy vendor to help you with this process. Cprime | Archer has executed plenty of successful data migration projects, overcoming and seeing the possible challenges in advance. We also have experience with legacy systems, so get in touch with us to get your business to a more efficient and data-driven development path.