Best Data Migration Strategy for your Next Project

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Does your next project involve data migration? You need to work out the right strategy. If you want to make sure your data stays safe and efficient after the migration you need to take a careful approach to the process.

The majority of companies that employ data migration, reports problems along the way. While it may seem that they are unavoidable, the right strategy can keep them to a minimum.

In this article, you’ll learn about the most efficient data migration strategies for your next projects and figure out which one suits your needs.

Simplicity and Failure: Why you can’t adopt the “Off-Hours” migration strategy

Many companies believe that they can move data from one system to another during the off hours to avoid downtime.

Simply moving the data from one system or app to another during the “off hours” may be problematic for the majority of modern businesses because:

  • Such migration is expensive since it involves employees working overtime.
  • It decreases the overall morale in the company due to the extra workload during “off” hours.
  • If the process takes longer than planned, it may disrupt the normal work hours and lead to unexpected downtime.
  • The majority of companies today simply don’t have sufficient “off” hours for data migration since they work round the clock.

Now that we know that such migration is hardly possible to achieve let’s go on to the efficient strategies.

Tickle and Big Bang: What you should know about these strategies

The most commonly used data migration strategies of today are “tickle” and “big bang”. Of course, you can work out your migration strategy by customizing either one of them or even coming up with something brand new and unique. However, the majority of companies settle for one of the two.

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Big Bang Migration Strategy

This strategy involves completing the entire data transfer in one operation. Even though the migration process may take a substantial amount of time, there is a point when the entire transfer is completed. The old system stops working while the new one goes live. The transition point is called “Big Bang”.

This strategy usually involves a lengthy preparation process. Periods during which the system doesn’t function at all are short. Many companies choose this strategy because of the lack of lengthy downtime. With the Big Bang method, you can achieve a zero-downtime migration.

However, if something goes wrong at the initial stages of migration, you only find out about the problem when the entire migration fails.

Tickle Migration Strategy

According to experts at Entrance Consulting, while the Big Bang strategy is similar to the “waterfall” methodology, the tickle strategy is more like “agile”. The migration gets broken down into smaller parts of the process with its own goals, deadlines, and scope.

Tickle migration allows the stakeholders and team members to check the success of each step of the migration, being able to make adjustments along the way. If any of the steps go wrong, it’s possible to fix them without affecting the rest of the process. The migration will then pick up where it is left off.

Unlike Big Bang migrations, it’s Tickle counterparts require serious and highly complex planning. Meanwhile, the system users have to work with two systems at the same time until the migration is finalized. The parallel system running approach helps avoid downtime.

Big Bang and Tickle Migration Strategy – Which One Should You Choose?

Depending on your needs, time requirements, deadlines, and budget, you can choose the migration method that suits you the most. This comparison could make your choice a little easier.

Tickle Advantages:

  • Allows you to fix problems along the way
  • No downtime
  • Using both systems at the same time

Tickle Disadvantages:

  • More expensive because you need to run two systems simultaneously
  • Requires extra effort from employees to keep these systems running
  • Complex and requires extensive expertise.

Big Bang Advantages:

  • Not as expensive as Tickle because less employee training is required.
  • Not as complex as Tickle since you don’t need to run two systems simultaneously
  • Faster than Tickle, this can be a serious deciding factor for many companies

Big Bang Disadvantages:

  • Risk of unexpected problems at the end of the migration since it can’t be monitored in the process.
  • If the migration fails, it must be started from scratch.
  • In some cases, it requires downtime

If you are on a tight budget and can allow data migration to cause slight downtime, Big Bang is for you. If you are ready to invest time and money into lengthy migration, which is more likely to bring positive results, Tickle can do the trick.

3 Important Steps to Simplify Data Migration

Once you choose the migration method, take advantage of the below steps for the process to go as smoothly as possible.

1. Define Your Data

Before diving into the migration, you have to have a precise idea of what exactly you need to move. How much data needs to be migrated? Is all of the data you use on one system needed on another? Make a full data assessment in order not to take unnecessary actions.

2. Figure out the Tactics

You could migrate the entire data in one step or break your data into pieces. If the migration is large, it may be smart to take it one data subset at a time.

3. Check it twice

Test the data migration design with real data to ensure the accuracy of the process and the efficiency of the migration method.

While the migration is on the way, you should set up a system to audit the data to make sure the process is going as planned.

Final Thoughts

Data migration is a time consuming and complex process, which requires a serious approach. It’s virtually impossible to achieve migration without proper preparation. Tickle and Big Bang are the most common migration methods that suit the majority of companies. The above information should help you choose the best strategy for your next migration.

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Roy M is a technical content writer for the last 8 years with vast knowledge in digital marketing, wireframe and graphics designing.

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