Gartner just released research that delivers some powerful insights about database management systems and their relationship to the Cloud.
You can download the full report here, but the overarching conclusion was that the Cloud is now, by far, the default platform for database management. Gartner argues that on-premises is obsolete and only applicable for special situations.
We all saw this trend emerging, and I think we were all relatively aware that Cloud was taking over, but this research solidifies the urgency of a Cloud migration plan for your business. The Cloud transition is now in full swing, with more integrative capabilities and dynamic data functions than ever before.
Gartner points out various statistics to verify this explosion:
- Between 2017 and 2018, the DBMS market saw its fastest growth in a decade, with an 18.4% increase
- 68% of that DBMS growth came exclusively from Cloud
- Vendor rankings (especially big ones like AWS that focus their systems entirely on Cloud) are dramatically affected by this growth, as is shown in Gartner’s chart below
Photo Credit: Gartner, 2019
In fact, the research summary points out that Gartner’s most inquired on topics all have to do with Cloud migration and the selection of Cloud platforms. They go as far as to say, “Data and analytics leaders selecting DBMS solutions must accept that cloud DBMS is the future and must plan for shifting spending, staffing and development accordingly.”
Preparing for Migration to the Cloud
So, if you’re gearing up to move to the Cloud, (Which, based on this research, you should be!) what should you do to prepare? We have a few tips:
- Determine if both your data and your processes will migrate.
It’s one thing to transfer information to the Cloud, but will the processes you currently use on-premise still be relevant? If not, it’s important to plan for the changes you’ll need to make.
- Stay on top of security.
Data policies and Cloud governance are crucial for data security, but once the migration is underway, best practices also dictate that you should monitor the logs of your systems, databases, apps, network touchpoints, etc. as a backup for security and compliance. Is it all processing correctly? Are compliance standards being met? If not, you’ll need to reassess the dynamics of your Cloud system and find the weaknesses.
- Consider the costs of data storage.
How much data will you be storing in the Cloud? Will that affect the price of the solution you’re using?
- Educate yourself on API transaction limits and throughput limitations.
Some Cloud platforms limit the number of transactions that can be performed at once. Educate yourself on the limitations of your solution so you can realistically anticipate your timelines.
- Understand your service levels and the up-time anticipated.
Transitioning to the Cloud is a delicate process. Don’t expect changes overnight. Prepare to invest your time and attention to the project to ensure success.
- Research the costs of upgrading and understand the upgrade experience.
Although the move to the Cloud is necessary, it can also get expensive if you don’t know all the associated costs going in. Do your research to discover all additional costs for upgrading your system once it lives in the Cloud. How will that affect your budgets moving forward?
- Prepare your data by accessing it via analytics or data warehousing options.
Which route you choose will be dependent on your current data strategy. Work with your migration partner to determine the most seamless way to prepare your data.
- Find out if your software licenses transfer to the Cloud.
Do your on-premises software licenses transfer to the Cloud? Most software companies give permission for these actions, but it’s always best to double check before beginning a migration project. If the current license doesn’t allow for the migration, find out if the vendor will let you update those licenses for use in the Cloud.
- Clean data as you migrate.
Think about the experience of moving from one home to another. In the process of packing up, it’s not unusual to purge unnecessary items. Doing so leaves your new home fresh and uncluttered. Make sure your data is given the same deference as it moves to its new home.
Selecting a Cloud Migration Platform
The best migration platform will allow you to map your data to the Cloud in a way that’s customizable, extensible, and straight forward. How do those actions translate to features? That’s a question we asked ourselves when developing the StarfishETL iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solution. Here are the features we instituted to create the most dynamic migration possibilities:
- A visual designer that includes tools to simplify data mapping
- Purpose built connectors specific to the nuances of your systems
- Out-of-the-box migration maps for faster up-time
- Monitoring and notifications to head off any major stumbling blocks
- Deep logging and troubleshooting tools to help resolve issues faster and avoid repeat problems
- Extensibility through scripts to expand the capabilities of the migration in an organized way
- Self-documenting capabilities