Risks and Pitfalls to avoid in Migrating Extremely Large Databases to Oracle Cloud

July 28, 2022

The time and money it costs to move large Onprem or Legacy databases to Oracle Cloud is proving to be heavy and that can slow the pace of cloud adoption. A Big bang approach to move all databases to the cloud is not highly recommended.

As organizations begin migrating their on-premises systems to the cloud, technical professionals need to know what tools can help with database migrations to the cloud, how to plan and carry out database migration projects, and how to move forward with cloud implementations. This blog shares risks and challenges and how to mitigate them on migrating big databases and their associated data to the cloud.

Migrating projects are inherently risky, but effective migration strategies can reduce the risks. This section provides a list of potential risks, with mitigation strategies for each.

Issues in Big Data Migration to Cloud

1. Problems Might Arise in the Bulk Data Transfer

When performing the build data load over the network, network interruptions or delays might interfere with the load process. Oracle does offer Oracle FastConnect to speed things up but at a cost and feasibility. Or when using physical storage devices to transfer the data, the shipment of the storage devices might be delayed. (Due to weather, theft, chipset shortage, wreck, damage and so on.)

How to Mitigate: Retain a backup of the data that is to be transferred to Oracle Cloud or ensure that the data can be re-created easily. Communicate clearly with all the concerned parties, and reset timelines as needed. Buy or use insurance, where appropriate. And be sure to maintain security compliance as required.

2. Data Synchronization Problems Might Make a Parallel Run Unfeasible

The data synchronization tool might not be able to keep up with the volume or velocity or changes data after the initial bulk load, making it impossible to test the new cloud database in parallel with the on-premises database before cutover.

How to Mitigate: Find the adequate data synchronization tools and test them thoroughly as part of your migration planning. If synchronization is not possible, work with the business leaders to identify contingency plans for reducing any risks that this might pose to the enterprise.

3. The Migration Project Could Easily Become Late and Over Budget

The data loading, data structure conversion and software development effort might end up taking significantly longer than estimated, making the migration project late and over budget.

How to mitigate: Start with small migrations to gain experience before tackling large or complex migrations. Find the right cloud migration partner to help you plan and execute the migration, and adopt agile/DevOps to continually deliver business value instead of trying to carry out waterfall projects.

4. The Migration Plan and Objectives Might be Misaligned

You might discover that the migration project as planned will not accomplish the objectives that were set at the prework step.

How to Mitigate: This may make it necessary to begin the process all over again, so that the migration plan is brought into line with the objectives and requirements. However, the cloud migration is planned and failing to meet the objectives is preferable to taking after the migration and implementation work which has been done.

5. The Goals of the Cloud Migration Might Be Technically Unfeasible

The migration method (rehost, refactor, re-architect, rebuild, or replace) that is most appropriate from a technical standpoint might not suit the business strategy or objectives that were set during the planning / pre-work stage. The business goals might not be easily realized and business strategy might not be easily implemented because of technical realities in the legacy application portfolio.

How to Mitigate: This may make it necessary to begin the process again at the pre-work stage, in order to reset the expectations of business leaders regarding the technical realities of the legacy application portfolio.

6. Public Cloud Providers Might Not Meet Your Requirements

You either may not be able to find a provider that meets your requirements, or your provider might lack the services you need to offer a complete service.

How to mitigate: Use an iterative approach when developing your requirements and evaluating the public cloud vendors. An iterative approach will aid in the development of realistic requirements and will also help you keep abreast of advancements achieved by cloud providers. Also, look at both managed & Unmanaged options Unmanaged options can be like IaaS in which database services run in a virtual machine. By nature, the managed options are more restrictive. The unmanaged IaaS options is a fallback used by some cloud customers.

7. The Requisite Skills are Not Available internally or From Partners

Cloud database migration is a new and growing area, so you might not be able to find the necessary skills amongst your staff. Also, potential partner organizations might be too expensive or otherwise unfeasible to work with.

How to mitigate: Address the skills issue early in the planning process and proceed with the migration project only as you can find or develop the necessary skills.

8. Your Database Might Not Perform Adequately in the Cloud

The platform differences between the cloud environment and the on-premises data center could result in functional inadequacies when the old app and database are moved to the cloud.

How to mitigate: Test the cloud database thoroughly during the planning steps to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises after the migration. You might perform quick pilots or a proof of concept upfront for critical pieces of functionality and to check that they work as expected. Also, during the parallel run of the two systems, perform thorough testing to find any performance or capacity problems in the cloud-based system.

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