Despite more than a decade of cloud migration, there’s still a vast amount of data running on-premises. That’s not surprising since data migrations, even between similar systems, are complex, slow, and add risk to your day-to-day operations. Moving to the cloud adds additional management overhead, raising questions of network connectivity and bandwidth, as well as the variable costs associated with running cloud databases.
Part of the problem is that we tend to think of cloud services as a replica of our on-premises systems. That leads to a mismatch with the cloud, where we take servers that are sized appropriately for a multiyear lifespan with additional capacity for any sudden increase in demand and move that specification straight to a cloud infrastructure. The result is often underused virtual machines and a compute budget that’s substantially higher than what’s actually needed. Instead of lifting and shifting entire infrastructures we need to consider taking advantage of cloud services, working with them as platforms not as datacenters.
Introducing Azure Database Migration Service
Moving a database from on-premises to the cloud doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you’re migrating like to like. Azure’s Database Migration Service can support much of the process for you, with a set of wizards that guides you through the migration process. Like most on-premises migrations, when you’re moving a database from server to server, you have the option of an offline migration, with any ensuing downtime, and an online migration. If you’re using data, then an online migration is the best option, as you keep downtime to a minimum at the point you cut over between the two databases.