Healthcare providers may need to perform an Oracle DB migration for various reasons. In some cases, the version in use may be outdated and lacking vendor support. Migration may also be necessary to meet business needs, take advantage of new technology, or move to a new cloud platform.
Whatever the case, database migration is a complex process that requires a detailed project plan. This article will highlight some of the main steps for successful Oracle database migration to Microsoft Azure SQL.
1. Detailed Analysis
A detailed examination of the source database is necessary because databases are complex, and moving them without a careful analysis can result in many bottlenecks, downtime, and frustrations.
During your analysis, you need to get a complete view of the database structure and elements. Then list out every part of the database you need to migrate.
You should pay close attention to all the connected applications. Take time to understand how the migration may affect the performance of applications during and after the migration.
2. Migration Planning
With many tools available today, it is tempting to begin the migration without a plan. Planning the migration allows you to identify the tasks involved, the best activity sequence, the time required, and the resources needed for success.
Planning the migration also enables you to identify the potential bottlenecks such as network congestion and latency. Since the Azure platform does not have a native framework for Oracle, many conversion tasks will be necessary. All these can be identified during the planning phase.
3. Choose the Right Tools
After planning the migration, it is time to select the best tools for each aspect of the project. Microsoft seems to be ahead in providing tools to migrate other databases to Azure SQL Server.
The tools that you may explore for your migration project include:
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. This tool assesses the database and generates a report that enhances the migration process’s planning. It also offers software and hardware information.
- SQL Server Migration Assistant. This tool enables you to assess the source database’s schema, code, and environment.
- Oracle Extension Pack. This tool simulates features like materialized views that are not yet supported in Azure.
- Azure Advisor. Use this tool to get insights into the performance of the database when you migrate it to the cloud.
4. Database Schema Conversion
After creating the migration plan, the next step is to develop your database schema on the Azure SQL Server. You can do this with the SSMA or with a proprietary database tool to create the new SQL schema from the Oracle database. With the SSMA, it is possible to compare the schema for the source and target before you start populating the new database.
5. Data Migration
In most cases, migration involves three stages:
Note that extracting a large volume of data takes up a significant amount of server resources. So CPU-intensive tasks should be scheduled for an off-peak time to reduce the impact on the server and network.
6. Data Validation
Data validation is a form of quality assurance to ensure that all the data is migrated successfully. While checking each data item in an extensive database may be difficult, some parameters can be reviewed for accuracy. These include the number of rows in each table and the number of bytes of data transferred.
It is also essential to verify that indexes, views, and other objects migrated to the target database.
Creating a detailed plan for your migration project will prevent unnecessary errors and enable you to succeed on the first attempt. However, carrying out a data migration project on a sizeable real-time transaction database is complex and sensitive.
It is essential to work with a database migration and archiving specialist in such cases.
Contact a Database Migration Expert
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