Data Center Migration Tools and Real-time Replication

Mark Van de Wiel

Data Center Migration: A Practical Approach

In today’s data-focused business environment, almost all organizations face data migration challenges. While it is possible to meet these challenges using script-based or manual approaches, many organizations prefer to use a proven real-time replication tool as a cornerstone of such projects, especially when migrating multiple databases as may occur in the following scenarios:

  • Moving data between on-premises and cloud systems
  • Cross-platform operating system migrations
  • Hardware migrations due to upgrade or failure

The technical complexity inherent in these scenarios can also be compounded by the need to ensure application availability and business continuity during the migration process. For organizations that provide 24×7 service, whether they be web-based businesses, airline systems, government or defense agencies, database and data center migrations cannot be allowed to interfere with their online operations.

Four Steps to Migrating a Database with Minimal Risk

Many organizations must, therefore, strive to deliver maximum application and data availability during the migration process. Migrating a database with minimum downtime and risk involves four steps:

  1. Schema build
  2. Initial data load
  3. Change data capture
  4. Validation and Repair

In a previous blog, we reviewed these steps and a best practice guide to database migration in detail. In this blog, we will focus on data center migration that, in many respects, requires the same approach as individual database migrations.

Data Center Migration Tool Requirements

However, unlike migrating a single database which can be done either manually or using scripts, migrating a data center efficiently requires the use of scalable, robust and easily managed data replication tool that can automate the migration process and handle the variety and volume of data that needs to be migrated across data center environments. Based on our experience, there are two specific features that we believe data center migration tools must provide:

  • Hub and Spoke Architecture – in a complex project with many component tasks, it is critically important to have a single point of control and a single view of all relevant activity.
  • Network Efficiency – when moving large volumes across a network that is also supporting operational systems, it is important to be able to do this without impacting network performance. To achieve this, migration tools must offer advanced features such as highly efficient data compression and large block transfers.

Two Common Data Center Migration Scenarios

Recently, HVR has seen an increase in two specific data center migration scenarios. First, migration of some or all data center assets to an outsourcing partner and, second, migration of selected data centers assets from an on-premises data center to the cloud. Although both of these scenarios have much in common, for example, the need for data encryption during the migration process, they each have some specific characteristics and needs, for example:

  • Outsourcing – it is important that there is flexibility in where the migration hub is located. Some companies will want or need the hub to be on-premises and under their management, while other companies will either be agnostic on this issue or will want the outsourcing company to host the migration hub at their hosting site. Also, there is likely to be a wide range of sources and targets to be supported in the migration process and, ideally, these should be supported by a single migration tool, such as HVR.
  • Cloud migration – the most obvious need for a successful cloud migration is that the migration tool supports all of the traditional SQL-based data sources and the appropriate cloud targets, forexample, Amazon RDS and/or Redshift andMigrate to the Cloud Microsoft Azure. One of the other needs or expectations that HVR has encountered for cloud migrations is that they can be accomplished quickly. With HVR, this rapid migration is easily facilitated by cloning as many HVR Virtual Machines as necessary to support the migration process within the customer’s timeline.


Why choose HVR as your Data Center Migration Tool?hvr logo

Many of HVR’s customers and business partners use HVR as their migration tool of choice and cite the following reasons for this decision:

  • Simplification – HVR’s centralized hub concept provides the visibility and control to manage complex data center migrations.
  • Single tool for data migration, replication and real-time data integration – the ability to use a single tool in all three scenarios reduces licensing costs and the learning curve thereby reducing overall cost of ownership.
  • Best-in-Class Support – because HVR is a data migration specialist, we know that when you have a data migration problem, you need knowledgeable support now and our global support team is geared up to meet that expectation.

If you are considering migrating all or parts of your data center to an outsourcer, to the cloud or between hardware environments, please contact us for the opportunity to help you through what can be a challenging process.

About Mark

Mark Van de Wiel is the CTO for HVR. He has a strong background in data replication as well as real-time Business Intelligence and analytics.

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