How to Migrate a SQL Database to the Cloud

July 13, 2023
How to Migrate a SQL Database to the Cloud

By Vikesh Kaushal

Many companies persist in using legacy on-premise SQL databases, despite best practices and business requirements suggesting the time for data migration is now. While there are obvious issues in using legacy databases, there are also subtle ways in which it impacts general business performance.

Several issues come with using legacy databases—either they’ve gone out of support, the person who built the database is not there anymore, or data migration may take such a long time that potential compliance and regulatory issues creep up, resulting in hefty fines. Regardless, many believe that database modernisation is an expensive affair to undergo.

“Technology leaders are aware of these issues, seeing legacy database integration as one of the main hurdles to modernisation. Enterprises are striving to work on newer, more capable databases that use slightly different versions of SQL, but accurate, safe and fast data migration remains a concern. Most companies upgrade slower than they want, which interferes with innovation and causes widespread frustration.”

Keeping pace with new technology allows you to stay ahead of the competition. Each advance in database technology brings more features and security improvements. Now, organisations are slowly migrating to cloud services, taking databases with them. This shift requires data migration procedures to maintain business-critical information while converting to the newer databases’ SQL version.

Why Are SQL Database Migrations So Important?

Data migration (moving information from one database to another) is an important step in transforming an enterprise. Sometimes it’s necessary if your old database has gone out of support, or you’re looking for the flexibility to quickly move to a more cost-effective platform with lower licensing costs. In other cases, the old database hinders innovation and is simply incompatible with the latest technologies available.

Whatever the pain point, a change in the database inevitably becomes a business necessity. There are two options. You can start from scratch in the new system or migrate data from the old to the new.

Starting anew, however, comes with massive costs. Suppose it took ten years to build your old database. Are you in a position to invest all of that time over again? And by the time the process is complete, your new database may already be outdated.

Data migration can serve you better in both the long and short term compared to a ‘fresh start’.
Migrating to a cloud database —from a physical data centre or from one cloud provider to another—keeps your business in control of software subscriptions and usage costs, in a tech world that changes increasingly rapidly.

Not only does new technology brings increased functionality, but legacy databases have their limitations. Many older database systems were built on the premise that disk space is expensive, but people are cheap. This resulted in using a lot of labour hours to work on the optimal design to minimise disk use. Now disk space is cheap, and labour is expensive, creating a mismatch.

Agility is key for modern businesses to thrive. Enterprise Data Management has changed too, and yesterday’s tools can’t keep up with new governance requirements, MDM tooling and data integration that modern software offers. But while it’s important to migrate databases for these and other reasons, businesses can’t afford to overspend on the process.

The Challenge In Migrating Databases

Migrating databases is complicated, especially when dealing with incompatible SQL versions. You’re likely to encounter various challenges during any transition—but how do you solve them?

Preparing ahead of time will alleviate some of the problems. Also, it’s simpler to migrate within a single data centre or between your facilities than from your facilities to the cloud.

However, trouble may occur with any migration—so it’s smart to work with a reliable partner, like Prolifics, who can plan the process out in advance. With foreknowledge of how long the migration will take and how much it will cost, you can make an informed decision.

But problems can persist past the planning stage. Even after data migration, you may encounter setbacks along the way. Ensuring applications that relied on the old database still function ideally—without making further adjustments—is paramount.

This requires a detailed, well-documented transition process—something hard to manage. And even many third-party migration tools won’t necessarily provide the auditability you need to verify the steps you’ve made.

Thankfully, Prolifics performs data migration with a holistic, end-to-end view, documenting every detail of the process. You can see which “decisions” we’ve made and why; this way, you can see that the migration is successful—rather than just hoping it is.

SQL Database Migration Made Easy With Prolifics

Prolifics makes it easy to migrate popular databases such as Oracle, SQLServer, SAP and MySQL—while avoiding complex and costly challenges. You’ll have full governance and documentation of all changes, compared to existing tools which are ‘black box’ offerings. Powerful automation makes migration efficient and rigorous; it can also prepare your data and apply cognitive capabilities to allow for further innovation.

When changing databases, it’s always best to do so in a sensible, controlled, and cost-effective way. Above all, you need to migrate with a low-risk method. You can’t afford the risk of the migration not finishing. Prolifics preps a comprehensive list of what needs to be done, end to end, to ensure successful completion.

We start the process by discussing your exact needs and assessing what can be automatically migrated upfront. Our team also detail what legacy code might not migrate easily so that you can plan around it.

After this consultation to establish what data to migrate where, a comprehensive report is provided at no cost, detailing the expense and time it will take to migrate. Forget the black box “solutions” and blind guesses that other companies offer.

Don’t waste money paying for days of work that may not even finish the migration. Prolifics offers a fixed price for completion and an accurate evidence-based time estimate.

It’s better to pay for an overall migration that offers confidence, rather than an arbitrary amount of labour. Knowing beforehand that you’ll get the desired result is an extra boost of confidence—and knowing afterwards precisely what’s been done is also crucial to your long-term success.

You won’t have to worry about attempting yet another migration to fix a half-hearted attempt, as might happen when pairing with an under-resourced consultancy. Instead, we offer the tools, knowledge, and confidence needed to migrate your data effectively in one attempt.

Migrate Your SQL Database in 4 Steps with Prolifics

Our simplistic SQL migration framework, rapidly accelerates the time taken to reach a new database. We break this down into four core parts of the process, giving you and your team full visibility.

1. Confirmation of Scope

We extract all of your SQL code, and run this through our tool, allowing us to confirm exactly what work is going to be required and the effort this will take. You will receive a fixed price proposal to migrate your database.

2. Convert Your Code

Prolifics covert your code optimally taking into account the nuances of SQL compatibility, to get the best version of your source. Incompatibilities are highlighted and changes tracked, to provide full auditability.

3. Migrate Your Data

The target database is checked against the source environment to confirm successful conversion of the code. Then, using Prolifics’ bespoke tooling of Python and NiFi we will migrate the data itself to the target database.

4. Test Your Solution

Without a robust testing methodology and knowledge of common SQL pitfalls, timelines can become compromised. Our specialist testing team create the right environment to make this final process seamless.

Cloud Databases: Moving Towards the Future of Business

As companies’ database requirements evolve, the future points towards cloud database technology to meet new demands. As your IT needs grow in size and complexity, you want a database solution that scales as you grow while handling the rapid organisation of highly complex data.

When you’re ready to migrate on-premise SQL databases to the cloud, choose the right partner to ensure your migration succeeds. Prolifics provides the only comprehensive solution for SQL code migration that guarantees visibility, accuracy and safety.

Prolifics offers cloud services with an end-to-end approach to get you over the finish line. From planning to deployment and migration, we’ll help you achieve your goals, faster.

Streamline your migration with a proven leader. From discovery to delivery, we’ll help you make a move and offer support.