Streamlining a database migration project

Streamlining a database migration project

Nov 6, 2014

 

Upgrading to a new database is a challenging task, one that many businesses may delay for too long because of the risk and time involved.

There will come a day, however, when an older database version becomes redundant and the provider withdraws support for the product. At this point, a database migration becomes unavoidable.

A number of problems can arise during a database migration, many of which could create significant issues for a company's operational capacity.

For example, traditionally, the process will require a scheduled outage. This means the company database will be unavailable while the migration takes place.

The larger the database, the longer the downtime involved. Unfortunately, it is typically the organizations with the biggest databases that can't afford their systems to be unavailable, even for a short period of time.

Delays and project complications could cause further problems, eventually leading to revenue losses, overburdened staff and unhappy clients and customers.

How real-time replication technology works

Oracle database users hoping for a seamless migration experience may find that real-time replication software can considerably ease the process.

The key benefit is there is virtually zero downtime, making it an ideal solution for businesses that must have access to mission-critical systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

While a traditional migration involves stopping any application processing by the legacy database before making the switch, Oracle replication technology performs the change in stages.

First, the software briefly locks the original database to record its status. Essential processes and applications can then continue running uninterrupted while the database content is migrated up to the point at which the database was locked.

Data replication then applies incremental updates to the new database based on changes made to the legacy version since the recorded point. Any further changes will also be carried across in real-time.

Making the switch

Once the business is ready to switch to the new database, the software can establish the secondary version as the new production data repository.

However, it is possible to reverse the flow of updates so that any changes made to the replacement database are similarly applied to the legacy system.

This is essential in case businesses need to revert back to the older version without data loss, which may be necessary if problems arise in the new database.

Organizations can save significant time and money with this feature, as the traditional approach would require the recreation of the full database from scratch - leading to more scheduled outages and lost revenues.

Aside from database migrations, real-time replication software can also offer offload reporting functions, enabling companies to create and manage dedicated environments for this purpose.

These allow teams to perform ad-hoc and scheduled reporting without overburdening the main production database and slowing down online or transactional systems.

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