Definition

data migration

Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems. A data migration project is usually undertaken to replace or upgrade servers or storage equipment, for a website consolidation, to conduct server maintenance or to relocate a data center.

Factors to consider in a data migration project include how long the migration will take; the amount of downtime required; and the risk to the business from technical compatibility issues, data corruption, application performance issues, and missed data or data loss.

There are three broad categories of data movers:

  1. Host-based software is best for application-specific migrations such as platform upgrades and for database replication and file copying.
  2. Array-based software is primarily used to migrate data between like systems.
  3. Network appliances migrate volumes, files or blocks of data depending on their configuration.

The following best practices should be used to protect data during a migration:

  • Understand what data you are migrating, where it lives, what form it's in and the form it will take at its new destination.
  • Extract, transform and deduplicate data before moving it.
  • Implement data migration policies so data is moved in an orderly manner.
  • Test and validate the migrated data to ensure it is accurate.
  • Audit and document the entire data migration process.

Contributor(s): Kim Hefner
This was last updated in May 2013
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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