Several organizations around the world are slowly getting rid of legacy data warehouses and moving to modern ones, including cloud-based solutions. But, in the absence of a well-planned migration strategy, the procedure can prove to be an uphill task.
In this era of big data, data warehousing and business intelligence help in generating actionable insights that play a critical role in decision making. Any issues in the same can freeze the modern business BI architecture. So, a lot of insights need to focus on before starting the data migration process, as shifting to a new data warehouse involves massive investment in the form of resources and time. Here’re details and solutions for five of the most common challenges that firms might face while performing data warehouse migration procedure.
- Selecting Database Technology And Infrastructure
Choosing appropriate technology is one of the most significant and challenging decisions as several parameters need to be considered before doing so. The database features, the types of data used by applications, and the technology options offered by the cloud service provider need to consider as the first step. Then, performance needs, the organization’s real-time data processing needs as well as the number of concurrent users working on the data need to be considered.
The IT team also needs to give equal consideration to the deployment architecture along with its load balancing and high-availability needs. Last but not least, along with technology, the IT team must also select the tools required for incremental data migration as well as the onetime pull of the data.
- Minimizing The Risk And Security Challenges
No doubt, securing on-premise as well as a cloud-based data warehouse is a difficult task. Deploying security measures for an on-site data warehouse sounds easy because it remains on the company premises. However, that may not prove to be accurate, several case studies have pointed out data security becomes complicated as soon as businesses start scaling up their on-premise data warehouse solutions.
But, cloud data warehouse providers offer multiple security features. Data encryption (while at rest and transit), SQL’s security views, customer-managed encryption keys, and role-based user access to the data are some of the primary measures that most of the service providers have in place. Plus, data exfiltration risks can be reduced by securing data migration path with virtual private cloud (VPC) security controls.
- The Cost Factor
There is a major difference in the price tag for a legacy data warehouse and cloud-based solutions. On-premise system providers keep on billing users for the hardware cost during the first three years along with license fees, depending on the number of users who access the system. The firm needs to pay over and above in case if they increase the storage capacity at a later stage.
On the other hand, there are no fixed annual charges or capital costs involved when it comes to cloud-based solutions. There are several options for users when it comes to price and scale. Data warehouse appliances can be scale-out with the help of plug-and-play components that can be purchased easily. Firms can spend more and get more out of the data warehouse and vice versa.
The cost savings and levels of usage simplicity for the product may vary from one vendor to the other. It is advisable for the company’s IT team to check the operational cost for each cloud-based data warehouse option and compare it with its performance.
- Handling Data Loss And Corruption
Data loss or corruption can prove to be a big disaster. The organization can face catastrophic problems even in case of losing a single record for data warehouse data while moving the same. Thus, while shifting to the new system, experts recommend that the firm should have details for the exact number of records that need to be migrated to the new solution. So, an investigation can be carried out in case if the earlier numbers state a mismatch in comparison to the migrated records. The inquiry would prove if the mismatch were due to the elimination of duplicate data or something else that needs immediate attention.
Thankfully, there are several automated data validation tools for preventing corruption and data loss. Solutions like Xplenty, Logical Data Warehouse, Centerprise Data Integrator, Alloy Platform, Keboola Connection, etc. can help in ensuring the field types and characters in the client code fields of the new system match with the old ones.
Remember, the testing procedure is something that needs to be performed throughout the migration process rather than doing so after completion of the procedure. Data engineers are also advised to check the incidents concerning data corruption or system failure reported during migration projects carried out in the past. It is crucial to focus on such data because such events impact the quality of certain records, and this corrupt data can prove to be a trouble maker yet again. Opting for large samples of data testing can prove to be helpful in case if the project involves an extensive data system. Even validating 10 to 20 percent of the records can be good to go.
- Dealing With Legal Compliance Issues
Companies catering to selected industries, including banking and insurance, also need to consider compliance-related requirements for data storage and data security.
Data science engineers working on banking sector projects are advised to work with industry-specific migration and storage experts for overcoming security risks.
The IT teams and data science engineers must ensure that only a selected number of individuals have access to the data during and after completion of the migration procedure. Data sets should never remain accessible to the wrong people.
Tools like data warehouse migration utility can simplify the procedure in case of an on-premise SQL Server. If you are searching for a database development services provider who offers integrated data warehouse solutions and assistance in migration projects as well, you should consider discussing your needs with the team of data science engineers at Smart Sight Innovations.