Data migration

What is data migration?

Data migration is the process of moving digital information stored between computers, systems or formats. Data migration occurs for a number of reasons, including replacement or maintenance of servers, a change of data centers, data consolidation projects, and system upgrades. Since much of a company’s business knowledge and business intelligence is contained in its data, any data migration project should be done carefully to minimize risk.

Key points to remember

  • Data migration refers to the transition of stored information from one computer system to another.
  • This process can occur due to technology upgrades, movement between physical locations, or during routine maintenance.
  • Since businesses today rely heavily on their data to conduct their day-to-day operations, data migration must be done carefully and securely so as not to cause disruption, data loss, or security breaches.

Understanding data migration

Data migration is a significant risk to business continuity if not done correctly. Data loss is of course the worst case scenario, but businesses also face downtime, compatibility issues, and overall system performance issues. Data migration is made more difficult by large amounts of data, various data formats, and differing data habits within an organization.

To minimize the risk of data migration, companies create detailed data migration policies that prioritize backups, move order, and concurrent data environments where possible. If it is not possible for a company to run a pre-migration environment while the new environment is being prepared, there will be significant downtime as business operations on current applications are suspended to allow for the data migration. This type of shutdown, transfer and start of data migration may be necessary when moving to new platforms or when there are strict limits on physical storage, and swaps or patches are needed. on existing storage technology.

Data migration without downtime

The nondisruptive migration model depends on sufficient storage space to create and run two complete environments. A complete copy of a company’s data is transferred to the new environment and tested while employees remain in the old environment. Bugs are cleared from the new system, ensuring all apps are still running and everything is where it should be. When the tests are complete, a new copy is imported and all employees are switched to the new environment. Sometimes the old data environment is left open for several months so that employees can get files from the old data system but not write new data to those servers. In all data migrations, a post-migration data audit is performed to verify data loss.

Improve data migration

One thing that can improve a data migration is to clean up and standardize data practices before the migration. The organization of a company’s data is often a reflection of the different classification habits of its employees. Two people in the same role can very well use completely different practices. For example, recording contracts by vendor in one case and by year and month in another. Unifying data practices can be a much bigger task than actual data migration, but clean and consistently organized data, backed by clear policies, helps to sustain a company’s data for many migrations. future.

Sean N. Ayres