Learning Guide

Data migration process best practices

The data migration process can be challenging and complicated for any organization, whether that organization is a large enterprise or small- to medium-sized business (SMB). Before you can even undergo

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a data migration process, you must first understand the proper tools and strategies of data migration in order to avoid errors or corruption in the migrated data.

Besides that, IT storage managers need to watch out for things they might be unaware of with their data. "Most often, I see IT shops fall short of fully understanding the dependencies surrounding their data, especially if they are in a mixed file and block environment," said Jeff Boles, senior analyst and director of validation services at the Taneja Group. "I hear constant stories of administrators running into 'we didn't know that was stored here' syndrome when migrating filers. Not only can this cause disruption, but it can create a chain of ensuring problems and break applications after the fact," he added.

Furthermore, besides not fully understanding the data migration process, Boles said that "we seldom understand our data as well as we need to in order to pull off good, clean, disruption and incident-free migrations." Boles noted that many IT shops focus on the mechanics of a data migration, such as automation, but he stated that "all the automation in the world won't do a bit of good if all it automates is a disaster, or if it automates a migration into compliance or regulation breaking storage, inoperative applications, or unprotected data."

gro To help you avoid common complications and challenges with your data migration process, we've compiled our top six articles and tips on data migration. Learn about the best data migration strategies for your company, how data migration fits into storage tiering, how to avoid data migration failures and errors, and what steps to take to migrate a data center. Use these tips and articles as reference before you begin a data migration process in your SMB.

DATA MIGRATION PROCESS BEST PRACTICES: TABLE OF CONTENTS 
 Data migration strategies and best practices
 Data migration tools take SMBs to the next tier: Data migration and tiered storage tutorial 
 Data center migration tips for SMBs
 What are some good data migration strategies for small businesses?
 Avoid data migration project failure: Five best practices 
 Data migration projects: Avoid data migration errors with automation, orphaned storage remediation 

   Data migration strategies and best practices

In order to properly migrate your data from one system to another, you should carefully go through the proper steps of data migration and what you need to do in order to avoid unnecessary errors. This tip describes eight steps you should remember during your data migration process. They include understanding your mapping, gathering metrics, utilizing downtime, watching for security leaks and more. Read the full tip on data migration strategies and best practices.

   Data migration tools take SMBs to the next tier: Data migration and tiered storage tutorial

SMBs can use a number of data migration tools to organize data into storage tiers. This tutorial on data migration tools and storage tiering for SMBs covers how to get started with tiered data storage, what host-based data migration entails and what virtualization technologies can assist with data migration. Read the full tutorial on data migration tools and storage tiering for SMBs.

   Data center migration tips for SMBs

Data center migration is often more difficult for SMBs because they don't have as many resources as large enterprises. Because of that, SMBs must make the best use of the resources they do have. This tip emphasizes the importance of proper planning when SMBs anticipate migrating their data center, provides a data center migration checklist, as well as strategies for moving toward a greener data center. Read the full tip on data center migration for small businesses.

   What are some good data migration strategies for small businesses?

In this expert response, Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at the StorageIO Group, explains that during the data migration process, SMBs should consider several steps and strategies before they even go through with data migration. Some of these steps include making sure all data is de-staged to disk before migration, and making sure that the copy has a verification step to make sure the migrated data is intact at the other destination. Read the full expert answer on data migration strategies.

   Avoid data migration project failure: Five best practices

Many data migration projects end up failing within organizations. Sometimes these failures are due to common mistakes, but other mistakes are more serious, such as migrating duplicate or corrupt data. Read the full tip on SearchStorage, which explores the five best practices you should take into consideration to avoid data migration project failures.

   Data migration projects: Avoid data migration errors with automation, orphaned storage remediation

This Q&A explores all aspects of a data migration project. Bob Laliberte, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), answers questions about planning a data migration project, what data migration tools a company should consider using, common data migration errors that occur during the data migration process and various storage environment challenges for data migration. Listen to the full Q&A on data migration projects at SearchStorage.com.

This was first published in August 2010

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