Migrating data, applications, and workflows to the cloud is one of the largest, most complex, high-impact projects that a technology professional will undertake. A poorly planned, or badly executed, cloud migration could impact employees throughout the organization. The success or failure of a cloud migration project will reflect on the capabilities of the people involved, either reinforcing or undermining their perceived skills and abilities.
Because of this, it is critical to plan and execute migrations carefully, particularly when migrating a database that works with a number of critical business applications, as many Oracle databases do. Best practices of migrating an Oracle database to the cloud include:
1. Evaluate the existing system
Create a detailed, accurate map of the existing database, including all interdependencies between the Oracle database and the applications that add to or draw from the database. This is an important step to plan your migration strategy and minimize system downtime and workflow disruption.
2. Plan migration strategy
The best migration strategy for you will depend on several factors, including the size of the database and the version of the software in use; the number of business-critical applications that work from the database; and the timeframe available to accomplish the migration. These factors should help you decide if the migration will take place in a single step, over several stages, or if the migration should incorporate continuous replication from on-premise to the cloud.
3. Optimize the Oracle database
Prior to the migration, the database should be reviewed to ensure that inert, inaccurate, obsolete data is eliminated, and that data is cleansed and checked for quality, to ensure that only valid, accurate, useful data is transferred.
4. Conduct a thorough assessment
Pre-migration planning can be as critical a function as the migration itself. A thorough assessment of the applications and data, the strategy of the migration, and the skills of the internal technology team must be reviewed, to ensure that all requirements are met both during and post-migration. This will help to avoid expensive delays, challenges and service interruptions. The assessment should include:
- The status of the application and data - optimization and data cleansing should be completed pre-migration, if necessary.
- The goal of the migration: to improve processes, analytics, collaboration, or something else?
- The skills of the internal staff: can they manage the application during and after the migration process? Should the team receive training, or is additional staff required?
5. Leverage partner
Selecting a partner with experience in cloud migration can help to fill in some of the skills gaps in an internal technology department, without the need to source and hire full-time employees for a short-term project. Most technology professionals will complete a migration only once per career, but a third-party team that specializes in migrations has a depth of experience and understanding that comes from completing hundreds of these projects.
Migrating an Oracle database to the AWS cloud can be a difficult, problematic project for technology professionals – high-visibility, high-impact, and complex, with the potential for repercussions throughout the organization should anything go wrong. Set your project up for success by planning and evaluating carefully, and leveraging all the tools available to streamline and automate the process.