Data migration is categorized as storage, database, application and business process migration. These scenarios are routine IT activities, and most organisations migrate data on a quarterly basis. Data migration occurs for a variety of reasons, including:
Business process re-engineering and business transformation programs
Company mergers or de-amalgamations
System, server or storage equipment replacements or upgrades
Website consolidation – portals and content management sites
New system implementations
Organisations use various strategies to minimize such impacts, including effective planning, technology, implementation and validation.
Planning, migration and validation is key to effective data migration. Planning requires a clear understanding of design requirements, such as scheduling, replication requirements, hardware requirements, data volume and data value. Prior to data migration, an organisation typically communicates methodologies, installs migration software and configures required hardware.
Automated data migration minimises human intervention and application downtime and enhances migration speed. Migration documentation facilitates tracking and reduces future migration costs and risks.
Once data migration is complete, an organisation validates statistics to determine data accuracy. Finally, data cleansing facilitates improved data quality via the removal of unnecessary or repetitive data.
Data MC has a full range of services, tools and methodologies to support any data migration effort. We aim to achieve three critical goals:
Utilising automation makes the whole process of data migration repeatable. With the strict use of automated source and target system refreshes, data extracts, script execution, data quality checking and tagging, data loading, and finally the auditing and reporting, the whole data migration process can be run end-to-end as often as is practical depending on the size of the overall migration.
The way in which the overall data migration is designed and built in a modular fashion, allows for the automation to gradually increase over time. Data MC consultants work closely with the business and data owners from day one to understand, check, cleanse, and validate the data. This spreads the load of the business involvement and required effort, allowing for the creation of a much ‘cleaner’ data migration experience for all involved.
To ‘guarantee’ the result of the final data migration, the main cut-over and system go-live deployment, the expected result should be known beforehand. This concept is extremely difficult to obtain, given the ever-changing nature of the data, unknown data quality errors introduced just prior to the final migration, target system changes, migration requirement changes, and even changes in project resources.
At Data MC we pride ourselves on our ability to obtain as near to perfect as possible the final data migration result. Our whole methodology is geared towards building a predictable outcome for the business during the final data migration, the systems go-live event. The ‘repeatability’ of the built data migration solution is there to support multiple end-to-end migration runs, nightly if possible, to enable all likely scenarios to be encountered and if necessary mitigated before the go-live migration.
As much as having a ‘repeatable’ and ‘predicable’ data migration is critical to achieving a successful data migration, so too is the time in which the go-live migration will take. As with the ‘predictability’ relying on ‘repeatability’ of the data migration, the ‘timeliness’ relies on the ‘predictable’ nature of the final migration. Under no circumstance should a go-live event be attempted without a confident, scheduled ‘Runsheet’ being developed beforehand. There are many strategies Data MC consultants have utilised in past migrations to contain the go-live migration inside the cut-over window, from delta loads, script optimisations, to selection refinement. The end goal is to orchestrate a successful go-live deployment, within the allocated timeframe.