The process of migrating databases can be quite challenging. Migration may not only include the database but also the applications and equipment. It can be complex and can lead to a number of issues. There can be some of the basic issues around planning the migration appropriately. It is quite easy to fail to inventory the various systems or data as well as underestimate the resources that are needed for the migration. Having a solid data migration plan should be one of the first steps in any data migration. This includes identifying the individuals that should be migrating the data as well as the potential concerns to have some mitigation options.
Another common issue is having a siloed database when you have database migrated where the migrated database may not be integrated into the existing database infrastructure for an organization. There can be other issues where the databases could exist in different departments, locations, geographies, or even have completely different purposes. For some organizations, this can be more of an issue when there may be a database need that is developed within a group and used only within a group rather than across the entire organization.
Data loss and corruption are other big areas of concern. We must ensure that we test for this data loss or corruption during the data transfer. If there is a physical drive or system that we are migrating from, we may need to ensure that the drives aren’t corrupt or damaged. Although in some cases data loss may not be a problem if we can recover from the backups, losing confidential or private information is always a concern. Depending on where the data loss is, it may not be something that one may notice until an application crashes or a query does not work correctly. To avoid this issue, we need to ensure having backups and having backups for those backups. Ensuring the business continuity is also important where we may need to have mission critical data still available to the business users.
Security is also another issue to ensure that the data is still secure during the migration. Organizations could encrypt the data or remove personally identifiable information as part of the process. However, if this data is removed, rebuilding it can add some additional issues that we must identify. This can be a bigger issue with compatibility problems between migrations. As we looked at in a prior tutorial, you could have different data types or sizes that may need some intervention to make the necessary changes. This element can require changes to the database structure as well as the applications that interface with the database as well.