A Data migration is the process of moving data between computers, servers, networks or storage devices. Data migration is categorized as storage migration, database migration, application migration and business process migration. These scenarios are routine IT activities, and most organizations migrate data on a regular basis.
Data migrations are performed for a number of reasons:
- Server/storage replacements or upgrades
- Server maintenance
- Data centre relocation
Data migrations may impact business operations, which is why they are usually performed during the hours when businesses are non-operational. In cases when this is not possible, businesses ensure proper strategies are put into place to minimise such impacts – advanced planning which includes syncing both sides with knowledge as to when and how data migration(s) will occur, the use of proper technology (hardware and software) in order for the migrations to be performed effectively and with very minimal downtime, implementation and subsequent validation so that things can be checked immediately and any issues be attended to at the soonest. Data migrations are often a sensitive process as both clients and managed IT services providers need to collaborate to get it right.
Planning is often the most important stage of the data migration process as this is where most of the decisions are made. Scheduling, hardware and software requirements, replication configurations, data volumes, data values and general configurations – all of which, and more, are communicated by the managed IT service company and the client(s). Usually, initial data migrations are the most important, migrations thereafter can be automated which minimises human intervention and potentially enhances the migration speed. Managed IT service companies will take care of everything in this department – documentation is usually a task carried out by the company to ensure that everything is logged and documented to avoid or improve on incidents which occurred during the migration process.
Once data migration is complete, an organization validates statistics to determine data accuracy. Finally, data cleaning facilitates improve data quality via the removal of unnecessary or repetitive data.