It’s Time to Migrate Your Legacy Databases to the Cloud

September 23 2021
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At ClearScale, clients often ask us questions like:

  • What additional value does the cloud offer when it comes to database management?

  • What are the benefits of transitioning databases away from commercial providers?

  • How do I ensure a successful database migration?

Organizations are increasingly migrating their legacy databases to the cloud. According to Gartner, by 2022, three-fourths of all databases will be in the cloud.

We’re now generating more data than ever before. And legacy IT is falling short. Commercial databases struggle to fulfill the needs of organizations that want to take advantage of new technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics.

However, for many people, migrating databases to the cloud may not seem worth the risk or effort. Indeed, moving and modernizing mission-critical IT assets can be intimidating if you don’t have the right tools, expertise, resources - or vision.

The reality is that organizations that hesitate to migrate their databases to the cloud have good reasons for their reluctance. There is a risk of disrupting operations or losing sensitive data during the process of modernizing. At the same time, these businesses can’t afford to maintain the status quo, especially given the growing need for sophisticated data management capabilities.

Limitations of Commercial Databases

Legacy databases are simply too limited in what they can accomplish for modern businesses. Some, though not all, of the challenges of commercial databases are:

  • Monolithic architecture - in monolithic designs, services are tightly coupled together. This goes against the agile nature of the cloud.

  • Proprietary features - customers become locked into arrangements that may not be in their best interests.

  • Inefficient pricing - commercial databases are usually more expensive than open-source platforms.

  • Punitive licensing - commercial databases sometimes have hidden fees for unintentionally using unlicensed features.

These challenges can make it difficult for database managers to optimize cost structures, try different technologies, and design agile data management architecture.

The Cloud-Based Database Benefit

However, all of these challenges of commercial databases can be overcome with cloud-based databases. Here are just a handful of teh benefits that can be achieved by migrating databases to the cloud:

  • Increased performance - cloud-based databases are fast, offering microsecond to sub-millisecond latency at any scale.

  • Cost-effective - only pay for resources used. That means costs scale directly with processing power.

  • Unlimited scalability - cloud-based databases scale up and down much more easily than commercial databases.

  • High availability - distribute databases via multi-master replication across many regions to guard against catastrophic downtime events.

With the benefits of cloud-based databases compared to commercial databases so clear, the next issue to resolve is which cloud provider should you use for your database.

Choosing the Best Cloud Provider

Selecting the right public cloud provider is crucial when migrating databases away from commercial vendors. ClearScale believes there is one cloud provider that stands out from the rest - Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS shines when it comes to fully managed database services, which take on much of the burden of database management. AWS’s two primary database services include Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and Amazon Aurora.

  • Amazon RDS enables users to quickly set up and manage relational databases in the AWS cloud in just a few steps. It’s highly scalable and cost-efficient, allowing organizations to expand compute and storage according to their needs.

  • Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database managed by Amazon RDS. That means organizations can easily migrate from commercial engines to Aurora using standard MySQL or PostgreSQL import and expert tools.

Even though Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora are the premier cloud database services, it can still be difficult to migrate all workloads and data successfully without disrupting existing services. That’s when a proven cloud consulting expert can be invaluable.

Help for Migrating and Modernizing Databases on AWS

ClearScale is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner that has helped hundreds of organizations migrate, modernize, and optimize IT infrastructure on the cloud. We’ve earned the AWS Migration Competency, which means we know exactly how to guide our clients through large-scale migrations.

We have many customer success stories, but we’ll highlight one here in particular. Spark Networks, a global dating site company, needed to integrate a newly acquired dating platform, Zoosk, into its existing AWS environment without affecting users. Spark already used AWS, but Zoosk still ran many systems and applications in on-premises infrastructure, including a Microsoft SQL Server data warehouse. Using an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) approach, we migrated Zoosk’s databases to AWS. We then implemented several AWS services - Amazon RDS for Microsoft SQL, EC2, S3, and CloudWatch - to migrate databases from multiple database servers to AWS without disrupting services. Details are available in the case study.

If you’re looking for similar results, contact us today to get a consultation with a cloud database expert.

You can also get more details about the information contained in this short blog post by downloading our eBook, A Guide to Migrating Legacy Databases to AWS.

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