What is Data Migration?

Data migration refers to the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems. Data is moved from one location to another, or one application to another often time under the initiatives due to business and technology changes.

Most organizations today engage in data migrations when there is need to replace or update from legacy systems to new ones, when new systems are being adopted, when mergers and acquisitions or a de-merger or buy-out occurs, or regulatory changes. Take data storage for example, enterprises today are migrating tons of data from their on-prem storage systems to cloud-based infrastructures for faster performance, more elasticity and more flexible cost structure.

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Typical types of Data Migration

The need to transfer and convert data is usually driven by business requirements and can touch on many types of data migration. There are several typical types of data migration.

  • Storage Migration — The process of moving data off from exiting storages to modern ones. Many businesses today migrate storage to achieve faster performance, more nimble features and scalability that is also cost-effective. A popular customer choice nowadays is to move from your on-prem data storage to Amazon S3. This is also often accompanied by a well-rounded data lake strategy.
  • Database Migration — Similarly, it is often necessary to move to a new database to meet latest business requirements, given that the database technologies are blooming with a wide array of choices. Depending on your different business and application needs, you can migrate from a typical on-prem one to a NoSQL database, a SQL database in the cloud, or even Database as a Service.
  • Application Migration — Often, organizations switch and upgrade application vendors to get latest functions suit business needs. This will inevitably engage many data transformations for the new data model, schema changes and API changes.

A common trend we see among those different types of data migration is that everything is moving to cloud, no matter if it’s storage, database, or application. The promise of cloud has brought many benefits to the technology landscape today and also to data management, more and more data will be created and will live in cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.

Stages of Data Migration Projects

There are five major stages in most data migration projects:

  • Extract — moving the data from the current system to begin working on it.
  • Transform — match the data to its new formats, ensure that metadata reflects the data in each field.
  • Cleanse — de-duplicate, profile, match, and address any data with quality issues.
  • Validate — test and re-test that moving the data to the target location provides the expected response.
  • Load — transfer the transformed, cleansed, and validated data into the new system.

All these stages must be carefully planned, tested, and reviewed with ideally all stakeholders involved in the data migration project. It is a rather time-consuming process if you build in-house data migration tools from scratch. Using a graphical tool to help data migration can save a great deal of time, improve team productivity, and shorten your time-to-market.

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What to Look for in a Data Migration Tool

Because the stages in a data migration project often involve typical ETL processes, so it naturally makes sense to engage a Data Integration tool to simplify this process and get the most value from it while making it as part of your infrastructure architecture. The features you should look for in such a tool should include:

  • A lot of connectors: there are many systems and applications in the world; the more pre-built connectors your data integration tool has, the more time your team will save
  • Open-source: open-source architectures typically provide more flexibility while helping to avoid vendor lock-in.
  • Portability: it's important, as companies increasingly move to hybrid cloud models, to be able to build your data integrations once and run them anywhere.
  • Ease of use: Data integration tools should be easy to learn and easy to use with a GUI interface to make visualizing your data pipelines simpler.
  • A transparent price model: your data integration tool provider should not ding you for increasing the number of connectors or data volumes.
  • Cloud compatibility: your data integration tool should work natively in a single cloud, multi-cloud, or hybrid cloud environment.

Talend is a Perfect Fit for Data Migration

Rather than painstakingly building from scratch and fighting drawn-out budget battles in order to purchase costly proprietary software, you can make real progress today with the leading open source data migration solution Talend Open Studio for Data Integration. Talend can help you to quickly get the project rolling.

Talend Open Studio for Data Integration is a fully functional open source application that you can download and use for your data migration project. It is packed with productivity-boosting features that help organizations efficiently design and execute data migration projects, including:

  • An integrated graphical development environment with extensive drag-and-drop functionality, robust modeling and job management tools, and a unified repository that facilitates the efficient reuse of components across projects.
  • The largest set of data connectors of any integration software on the market. More than 900+ connectors and components allow for easy bridging of data sources and targets of all types.
  • Rich built-in functionality for data cleansing and data transformation, enabling you to migrate your data to the right form as well as the right place.

Download Talend Open Studio for Data Integration now and start making progress on your data migration project.

| Last Updated: September 2nd, 2019