If you are a CTO of an organization and you consult your Database (DB) admins regarding improvement of the DB server performance, 9 out of 10 of them will suggest migrating to Cloud environment. Although you may consider their advice, you might be wondering why you need a Cloud Database Migration? Consider few use cases here.

  • Your on-prem database and scalability support may not be sufficient.
  • Your DB admins have recommended to cut capex cost of your DB servers.
  • You require Cloud as a testing environment for a new application your team is developing.

Cloud database migration, is of two kinds. In heterogenous migration, a schema conversion tool is used and in homogeneous migration, a database migration service is used.


Source DB Architecture 

The source and destination of databases play a role in supportability and handling of future business requirements. A heterogeneous migration is where the source and destination DBs are two different environments and controls need to be changed according to the destination environment in the source DB for quick migration and enhanced performance. It is an imperative that source DB requirements must match with target DB SLAs including maintenance, backup and recovery RTO and RPO.

Scalability and expansion plans 

Most of the Cloud environment provides a large scalability support, where cloud can accommodate any number of new business requirements. However, we need to assess the cost of the scalability support. For example, Databases like Oracle DB doesn’t provide a free scalability support rather open source database unlike PostgreSQL.

Cloud database migration

Security and governance 

Business strategy and risk factors guide feasibility of migration from source to target DB. It is essential to know about the target security parameters such as role based access, automated backup and host replacements. Hence, it is mandatory for businesses to understand the governance features of the target DB.

Business goals and migration cost 

Preliminary studies need to be conducted on ‘rent’ vs ‘buy’ model to understand the metrics of total cost of ownership in source and target DB environment. It is also necessary to know whether the target DB satisfies your business goal after migration and you achieve a better ROI. For an instance, if your business goal is better performance after migration, the KPI to measure in the target DB would be records/minute processing time, and higher response time.

While the major considerations are part of the initial migration plan, it is also important for tech-leaders to understand the advantages of Cloud DB migration to leverage business benefits out of Cloud DB.

Advantages of Cloud DB migration

  1. Lower Cost and no initial Capex needed 

    No upfront hardware or software costs needed for Cloud DBs and it is absolutely on pay per use basis, which also does not demand a long-term commitment. Migrating from Oracle and SQL to Public cloud-based RDBs like Amazon RDB, Azure SQL DB are few use cases where upfront cost is eliminated upto 82%.

  1. Higher scalability 

    Most of the Cloud based RDBs offer free or low-cost scalability support that helps mid-size organizations to expand with new business opportunity without worrying about the capacity of their Databases.

  1. Security as a priority 

    Cloud based RDBs are built with multi-layer threat prevention mechanisms such as access control, encryption at rest and in transit and isolated VM instances. Most of the Cloud RDBs offer PCI governance and IPSec VPN connections, which is a great value addition to the security features of your Database.

  1. Simplified administration 

    Most of the maintenance work is undertaken by the Cloud Service Providers. Hence, it reduces the work hours of DBA on business applications. Further in cloud RDBs, version control is minimized, and has increased availability zones that help in better disaster recovery.

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