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Changing the status quo of database migration

Five ways to make database migration easy as “Save As → Cloud”

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Product Manager, IBM Bluemix Lift, IBM

Talk to any database administrator (DBA), and they’ll tell you the same thing: there is nothing sexy about database migration. It is by far the least interesting and most dreaded part of every DBA’s job. Months can be spent coming up with airtight migration plans that can get tossed out the window as soon as the migration starts. Weeks can be spent debating the pros and cons of an approach, only to realize that you’re forced to choose the least bad option for disrupting your business. And don’t forget to add the days and weeks that can be spent doing the actual migration. Altogether, you probably spend a good part of the year on this process.

Other status quo setbacks

Data movement to the cloud adds a fresh layer of complexity. Moving tens or hundreds of terabytes across the Internet takes a long time. Your shop can’t afford to take a month’s vacation during the process. The databases powering your business have to keep running—always. And when you’re moving proprietary data across a public medium, the possibility of a costly and embarrassing data breach can keep you up at night.

And while migrating all that data, the cost of lost opportunity looms. Spending months planning migrations means you’re not focusing on the day-to-day work that keeps the business running smoothly. The cost is overhead; the time is not well spent, and it’s not spent doing productive work. Nobody wants that kind of scenario, no matter your role or profession.

Innovative data migration

In short, database migration status quo can end up being a miserable experience. I am not happy with it, and you shouldn’t be happy with it either. However, IBM has a solution for the status quo. It is announcing the open beta availability of IBM Bluemix Lift, a self-service, ground-to-cloud database migration offering. Using Bluemix Lift, database migration becomes fast, reliable and secure. Here’s what it offers: 

  • Speed: Bluemix Lift helps accelerate data transfer by embedding the IBM Aspera technology. Aspera’s patented and highly efficient bulk data transport protocol allows Bluemix Lift to achieve transport speeds much faster than FTP and HTTP. Moving 10 TB of data can take a little over a day, depending on your network connection. In other words, data transfer with Bluemix Lift is blazing fast.
  • Zero downtime: Bluemix Lift can eliminate the downtime associated with database migrations. An efficient change capture technology tracks incremental changes to your source database and replays them to your target database. As a result, any applications using the source database can keep running uninterrupted while the database migration is in progress.
  • Secure: Any data movement across the Internet requires strong encryption so that the data is never compromised. Bluemix Lift encrypts data as it travels across the web on its way to an IBM cloud data property.
  • Easy to use: Set up the source data connection, provide credentials to the target database, verify schema compatibility with the target database engine and hit run. That’s all it takes to kick off a database migration with Bluemix Lift.
  • Reliable: The Bluemix Lift service automatically recovers from problems encountered during data extract, transport and load. If your migration is interrupted because of a drop in network connectivity, Bluemix Lift automatically resumes once connectivity returns. In other words, you can kick off a large database migration and walk away knowing that Bluemix Lift is on the job. 

Speed, zero downtime, security, ease of use and reliability—these are the hallmarks of a great database migration service, and Bluemix Lift can deliver on all these benefits. Bluemix Lift gets data into a cloud database as easy as selecting Save As > Cloud. Bluemix Lift also provides an amazing jumping-off point for new capabilities that are planned to be added in the future such as new source and target databases, enhanced automation and additional use cases. Take a look at IBM Bluemix Lift and give it a go. I think you’ll love it as much as we’ve loved building it.

If you are at IBM World of Watson, do visit us at the demo area.