Concise Guide to Data Migration

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Concise Guide to Data Migration

Int his article, you'll learn the definition of data migration, the reasons for data migration, data migration key implementation steps, and more!

· Database Zone ·
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Migrating data is a challenging but very important process: it’s a fundamental component of upgrading or consolidating servers, conducting server maintenance, relocating data to a data center, adding data-intensive apps like data lakes and warehouses, among other important processes.  

Because of the complexity of data migration and risks associated with it, such as costly downtime or corrupted or lost data, understanding the process and having a solid data migration implementation plan is critical. 

In this concise guide to data migration, you’ll learn 

  • The definition of data migration and reasons for migrating data;
  • Data migration stages, categories, and strategies;
  • Data migration key implementation steps;
  • Top 3 tools for data migration.

What Is Data Migration?

Data migration is transferring data from one computing environment to another. Before the actual transferring occurs, data needs to be selected, prepared, extracted, and transformed. The data migration process also includes the validation of migrated data and shutting down the legacy data system. 

Reasons for Migrating Data

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there are many reasons for data migration, among a few of those are

  • Server maintenance;
  • Server/storage replacements, upgrades, consolidation;
  • Application migration;
  • Disaster recovery;
  • Relocation to a data center.

Benefits of Migrating Data

Data migration aids companies maintain a competitive edge while improving or sustaining performance. Data storage solutions, as well as the quality of data, degrade over time, hence the steps should be taken to improve its value via upgrading or moving to another data storage solution. Data migration is extremely useful in identifying and eliminating wasteful data and reconciling databases for better use. 

Data Migration vs Data Conversion vs Data Integration

Data conversion is only one step in a data migration process which includes transforming data from one format to another. 

Data integration is the process of combining data from different sources and providing users with a unified view of that data. 

Data Migrating Stages

There are three main stages in the data migration process: planning, migration, and post-migration. Each of those stages includes their own steps, which are described in detail below.


  1. Identifying data to migrate, including the data format, its location, and sensitivity
  2. Defining the scope of the data migration process, including the resources you need to allocate and realistic budget
  3. Performing an advance analysis of both the source and target system
  4. Determining whether the data migration process will interfere with normal business operations and scheduling it to avoid business interruptions.


  1. Validating hardware/software requirements
  2. Ensuring migration processes are customized and function as expected
  3. Extracting data (from the old system)
  4. Data loading (to the new system)
  5. Verifying the completion of the process


  1. Verifying the accuracy of the translated data and its completeness
  2. Running both systems in parallel to determine disparities and data loss
  3. Documenting and reporting
  4. Decommissioning of legacy systems

Data Migration Categories

Storage migration is a process of moving volumes of data from an old storage system to a new storage system, whether it be on a disk or cloud. 

The reasons for migrating storage include 

  • Technology refreshes
  • Identification of corrupt or obsolete data (data validation and optimization)
  • Remediation of storage inefficiencies

Database migration is a process of moving data from one database to another. Database migration is necessary in the following circumstances:

  • Upgrading to the latest version of the database
  • Moving the data to another database to reduce costs and improve performance
  • Merging data from several databases into a single database

Application migration is a process of moving data within an app, between apps, or switching app vendors and platforms. Migrating application is a complex process mainly due to the huge differences that can exist between the source and target environments. Apps that are designed for the specific platforms are also designed to run on those platforms and not elsewhere, so switching between them might prove complicated and require additional middleware to bridge the gap between those technologies. 

Cloud migration is a process of migrating data, apps, other business elements to a cloud computing environment. There are various variants of cloud migration, such as transferring from an onsite data center to a public cloud, moving data from one cloud to another, and moving data off the cloud (cloud repatriation).

Data Migration Strategies

There are countless ways to implement data migration. However, the two major strategies are Big Bang migration and Trickle migration. Big Bang migration advocates for data migration as a one-box event, meaning all live systems experience downtime while data goes through an ETL process and transitions to a new system. Trickle migration, on the other hand, advocates for incremental approach and migrating data in phases, with the old and new systems running in parallel.    

Data Migration Key Implementation Steps

While the implementation will vary across industries, there are a few common steps which are pertinent to any data migration process:

  1. Exploring and assessing the source system;
  2. Defining and designing migration;
  3. Building a migration solution;
  4. Conducting a live test;
  5. Backing up the source data before moving;
  6. Implementing changes and performing data migration;
  7. Performing a post-implementation audit.

Top 3 Tools for Data Migration

Paragon Drive Copy Professional

Paragon Drive Copy, which is available as a part of another solution, Hard Disk Manager, is a an easy-to-use utility that allows you to migrate your data from any source to any target.  

These are a few things Drive Copy can do:

  • Create backups and manage partitions, 
  • Migrate data (for example, your old OS to a new PC);
  • Clone your OS to a USB flash drive;
  • Clone your HDD to a larger drive;
  • Copy/restore data to an HDD with a different sector size, and so forth.

For home use: $79.95

For business: from $99 flat to $899 (as a subscription).

Acronis True Image

Acronis is best known for its extra security features by combining reliable backup solutions with sophisticated anti-malware technology. 

Acronis Disk Cloning tool is responsible for data migration functionality:

  • Reliable backups and recovery;
  • An easy change from HDD to SSD;
  • Copy, format, partition of an HDD image;

From €49.99 to €99.99 per year. 


Zinstall Migration Kit Pro is a complete and intuitive data migration package that allows for

  • Transferring from external HDDs and to SSDs;
  • Transferring without network connection;
  • Selective and virtualized transfers;
  • Transfers to Apple Mac-based Windows environments. 

Price for Migration Kit Pro: $169

big data, data analysis process, data managemnt, data migration, databases

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