What is data migration
In simple words, data migration is the transfer of data from the source to a recipient. The transfer can be between two formats, platforms, applications, servers, and two locations, it can be from one computer storage to another storage form; like an external hard disk.
The process of data migration can be quite elaborate and risky. It includes selection, extraction, conversion and finally the preparation of the data to be transferred to the other computing storage device. The data thus transferred is validated and the withdrawal of legacy data storage device is done. The business aspect of this process is the introduction of data migrating applications that can assimilate data from a legacy system and substitute or supplement with a compatible application.
3 essential steps for data migration
Among various steps for migration, these three steps are the most essential.
- Data clean-up – The first step towards data migration is the cleaning of the data. It helps to assimilate, segregate and then select specific data to be transferred. A crucial stage in the process as it reduces the bulk and helps in managing time and cost incurred during migration.
- Data backup – Although it may sound clichéd, the fact is; there might be loss of data during or post-transfer. Hence data backup is a must.
- Identification of the data and its components – Then comes the identification part where the data format is identified, its location and sensitivity along with the size and the feasibility of the transfer are determined. External data sources and dependencies are detected so that migration can be completed within the given time frame. Then the source is matched with the recipient in terms of the hardware and the format for a smooth migration. Migration is possible only when the requirement is justified and approved as it is a time consuming and cost enduring project.
- Selection of migration tools – The next part is to select appropriate migration tools depending on the data format as analyzed based on the tests conducted, mappings, automation scripts, and other procedures and determining the suitability of the migration architecture. Choosing an integration tool with pre-built connectors to the migrating system can save a lot of time and leads to fewer errors.
After validation of the basic requirements; a migration plan is chalked out, this usually includes pre-validation tests to ensure better migration.
- Data migration plan execution – The primary process begins with the data extraction from the source, the data thus is read in order to be extracted from the primary source system. Then the data is loaded to be written to the recipient or new system.
- Live testing – This is a crucial part to ensure a hassle-free transfer of data. In every step, a live test is conducted in real-time to be sure that there is minimum data loss on the way. This process also helps to conduct aligned and an error-free transfer with minimum down-time.
- Maintenance of the data migration and follow-up plan – lastly, the responsibility of a successful migration does not end with data transfer alone. This process basically calls for verification of the data migrated to the new system from the legacy system. After the transfer; logs and Audit trails are created to verify properly synchronized migration. At times, both the systems are run parallel to verify accurate migration before withdrawing the legacy or source system.
Data migration can be done either manually or by automation. Nowadays, most of the data transfer is done by automation as it has more advantages over the manual process.
Challenges faced in manual data migration
- The process of manual migration is inconvenient as it is not error-free.
- The templates once used cannot be reused and are difficult to customize.
- Retention of history is not possible as well.
- In manual migration, migrating large projects and the support for external links and attachments is difficult.
Reasons to choose automated data migration over manual data migration
- Automated migration offers an error-proof, convenient, risk-free data duplication and easy migration.
- It can easily migrate test entities; such as test plans, run, suits, and results.
- There is a possibility of label sync for version control.
- The mapping of multiple-to-one is possible in this process.
- There is no requirement for any programming tasks and installation of software.
- The availability of access 24*7 is the best advantage of this process, as there is almost no human involvement; hence, it can start at any time from any part of the world.
- This process has advantages over all the points covered in the challenges in manual data migration.
In the era of digitization data is the most important source of ready reference for any organization. However, the data must be managed, organized and migrated at times for up-gradation or exchange of information. As expected, it is not an easy task and involves a lot of time and cost as well.
Hence automated data migration is usually preferred over manual data migration. There are plenty of data migrating and integrating tools available in the market. The end-user must choose the migrating tools wisely for a seamless migration procedure. Kovair offers a unique cost-effective solution; Kovair QuickSync is a windows-based desktop solution, with a wide range of data migration solution for any enterprise across industries. For further information please visit our website https://www.kovair.com/.