Business Data Migration for Any Platform

Data migration consists in transferring data from one to another computer system or between formats, platforms and storage types. The migration can be manual or automated, of course the goal of websites is to achieve an automated migration, in order to get rid of difficult issues for people.

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Why Data Migration?

The main reasons for data migration are freeing storage, upgrades and maintenance; also to delete old information or for the introduction of a new system. So the final aim is to improve the quality of the system. If the data was inaccurate and with redundant files, it may cause problems after the migration on the new system, cause it could be inadequate for a more sophisticated platform and so it will have a negative impact.

Usually data migration doesn’t get the attention it deserves because it is part of a bigger project, thus everyone will focus on the big project and the migration will be considered secondary (also due to the fact that it is a boring action). This is not good at all because the data transferred could not fit the new system and could even get lost for this reason. You will think that data migration sounds easy to accomplish but it is actually one of the hardest things to do, and its difficulty is often underrated.

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Types of Data Migration

In general data migration can be divided in different stages. Firstly there is data extraction, consisting of retrieving data from the old system/format. Then there is data loading, i.e. writing data in the new system. Finally the new files are subjected to data verification, which is useful to confirm that all data was accurately moved between the systems. If a part of data gets lost then we talk about data loss.

Cons of Data Migration

There can be disadvantages about data migration, for example if some of data gets deleted because it is obsolete, this does not mean that also the technologies (maybe obsolete as well) will be abandoned. Also data migration has to be repeated every time migrated data degrades, so it takes a lot of your time. In order to postpone the degradation, you should maintain and even improve the quality of data.

Moreover, you need a lot of storage for the migration, and this can mean that you will have to purchase additional storage and it can cost a lot of money. You need to be very careful with data migration. If the data you are moving is really important, assure yourself to duplicate it and then move it, so that if something gets lost during the migration, you will still have a copy.

After the migration, test the data to make sure everything is the same as before and that everything is properly working. If it is not, then you can do the migration all over again. There are many types of data migration but there are two principal strategies: big bang migration and trickle migration. The first one is considered the easiest way.

It consists of transferring all data at once from one system to another. Although this sounds like the best way to do it, it can carry some risks like the loss or the impairment of data. On the other hand trickle migrations take a lot of time but they have less disadvantages. This migration consists of moving the files in phases and not all at once and it is harder to handle cause you will have to manage two systems (the old and the new one) at the same time.

Organizations usually do not go for the migration by themselves cause they do not have the appropriate knowledge; so they involve experts. The choice of the right people is very important because they will be responsible of all your files, so they need to be experts and know everything about the history, the meaning and the structure of data.

So the best things to do for a successful data migration are:

Be sure that the data you are going to migrate is not damaged. Minimise the quantity of data that has to be moved. Put a deadline to the project in order to organise all the work in a better way. If you do not follow these “rules” your project can easily turn into a waste of time and money. Well now there is just one thing left: Enjoy your data on your brand new system!

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