Database migration is the process of moving your data from one storage system to another storage system.
Database migration is performed by using database migration tools. You can move your data homogeneously, that is, moving from one database to another database of the same type. Or, you can move it heterogeneously, that is, moving from one type of database to a different type of database.
You can also move from one source to one target, one source to multiple targets, multiple sources to one target, or multiple sources to multiple targets. But why would you need to migrate your data in the first place?
Whether your business is big or small, the seamless transfer of data is pivotal to maintaining operational efficiency, scalability, and adaptability to changing business needs.
Here is a quick summary of the best database migration tools I’ll be discussing below.
300+ connectors, real-time data replication, automation
Database migration tools can speed up your migration process. We’ve listed the best database migration tools for your different needs.
What are Database Migration Tools?
Database migration tools are specialized software that is built for the purpose of moving data from one data source to another. By using database migration tools, you can easily move your data and automate the migration process.
There can be various scenarios where data migration becomes necessary. Let’s look at the most common ones:
Upgrading from legacy technology to newer technology
Changing the system platform – this includes moving from on-prem to cloud solutions or vice-versa
Consolidating system data from multiple sources to a single store for analytics
Take a backup of your current databases
Archiving old data from your databases to a different data store
Mergers between companies, where different data sources now have to be in sync
On top of that, you get additional benefits like reliability, analytics, and logging. Here are the benefits of using database migration tools for your data needs:
You get data integrity and don’t have to worry about incorrect data
The tools automate most of the processes, and you don’t have to manually create schemas and transformations
The database downtime is minimized, resulting in your business running as usual
They support different types of database systems and provide mappings between them
You get user-friendly graphical user interfaces with drag-and-drop features to create your migration pipeline
The database migration tools are designed for scale and can reduce your migration costs
Now, let’s take a look at the best database migration tools for you to have a smooth data transfer.
Fivetran Data Movement migration tool that’s trusted by many data-driven companies like Zoom, DocuSign, and The Guardian. With 300+ connectors, you get efficient data replication in real time.
Fivetran is easy to use, even for non-technical users. Having automation as an important part, you don’t have to worry about schema creation and mappings. You can automatically trigger your ELT pipeline (Extract Load Transform).
Adding data connectors for your database migrations is simplified. You can adjust your sync frequencies between 5 minutes and 24 hours using a simple slider in the Connector UI. When migrating your business data, it is important to ensure that there aren’t any duplicates.
Fivetran ensures that the next database write occurs only after the current one is successful. You can restart the pipeline in case of any issue.
Pros and Cons
Support for 300+ connectors and all types of CDC out of the box
May not have support for migrating based on views in relational databases
It has a lot of automation that reduces manual workloads
Lacks detailed control for masking and excluding sensitive data
Support for 300+ connectors and all types of CDC out-of-the-box
What else do you get? Fivetran’s data movement platform offers extensibility, enabling you to develop new use cases. You get end-to-end comprehensive data security. Additionally, there’s data governance for your in-flight data.
With more than two decades of experience in building enterprise database replication tools, Qlik offers Qlik Replicate for your database migration needs. Having an intuitive graphical user interface with drag-and-drop features, Qlik Replicate is an innovative data ingestion and replication platform.
Pros and Cons
Has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface
Lack or limited support for writing your own custom code
Provides high throughput and low latency even for massive scale
Works best if you have other Qlik products in your ecosystem
Supports data movement for cloud-native environments
Error codes might not be clear as documentation is not extensive
It has a 14-day free trial
Whether it’s major relational databases, data warehouses, or Hadoop systems, you can perform data migration with ease. Also, you don’t have to worry about homogenous or heterogenous data as it supports both. In case your source and destination databases are different, it will automatically convert your schema.
If you’re looking to bring digital transformation to your business and you’re looking for a database migration tool to transition from legacy on-prem systems to modern cloud-based architectures, then Arcion can be your answer.
Having the support of 20+ connectors, you get automatic schema conversions and schema evolution. Moreover, Arcion promises zero downtime when your data is being migrated. Additionally, you get the support of bi-directional data transfer.
With its highly parallel architecture, Arcion can perform your initial data load very quickly. You can cover all four of the database migration use cases – one source to one target, one source to many targets, many sources to one target, and many sources to many targets.
Arcion has partnerships with some of the leading industry players when it comes to large volumes of data – Databricks, Confluent, Snowflake, YugabyteDB, SingleStore, and Google Cloud.
Pros and Cons
It has bi-directional data replication
Limited number of supported connectors
It has partnerships with major industry leaders
Lack of online transparency in pricing
You get a 14-day free trial
Arcion offers two variations – Arcion Self-Hosted and Arcion Cloud. Currently, Arcion Cloud is available in four US AWS regions. You get five connectors, namely Oracle, MySQL, Databricks, Snowflake, and SingleStore. They provide a 14-day free trial.
Looking for a secure and flexible database migration tool for cloud migrations? Then Rivery can be the perfect choice for you. Whether you’re planning to move your on-premise relational databases to the cloud or cloud-to-cloud database replication, your use case is covered.
Rivery provides you with two options for extracting your data. You can choose between Change Data Capture (CDC) and writing standard SQL queries. While CDC offers you near real-time data replication and automatic identification and handling of schema changes, you don’t have full control.
One of the major plus points for Rivery is that you can fine-tune your database migration using custom queries. You can query and select individual rows and columns, and only those would be migrated.
Pros and Cons
It provides the choice between CDC and Standard SQL for data extraction
The pricing model can be confusing and expensive as it’s based on credits
It supports a wide range of connectors out of the box
The pricing model can be confusing and expensive as its based on credits
It has ready-to-use starter kits for common source-to-destination workflows
There are limited customization options
You get good documentation and support
You get a 14-day free trial with $1200 free credits.
Alibaba Cloud is the fourth largest cloud provider after Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. They offer a rich set of utility tools for database migration of your current database workloads to Alibaba Cloud.
You get the support of homogenous migrations, like migrating your on-prem MySQL to a managed MySQL on Alibaba Cloud. Alternatively, you also get heterogeneous migrations, such as moving from Oracle to PolarDB.
Alibaba Cloud offers a fully managed solution called Data Transmission Service (DTS) that helps with data migration. It’s highly performant, simple to use, and supports real-time data replication. With zero downtime and support for the most widely used databases, you get a reliable migration.
For most database migration use cases, Alibaba Cloud follows a four-step migration roadmap. First, you’ll purchase the DTS instance and your required cloud database instance.
Pros and Cons
It offers a fully managed service
You can only move to Alibaba Cloud
You get the support of both homogeneous and heterogeneous migrations
Every incremental database update induces cost
You have to raise a support ticket for the switchover
Next, the Full Data Migration of DTS takes care of the full structure and data migration for free. After that, the Incremental Data Migration of DTS will perform real-time updates. Finally, based on your requirements, you can switch over to your new database instance.
Ispirer Database Migration
Ispirer offers multiple custom-built database migration tools for supporting your different workloads. You start with the Ispirer Toolkit, a downloadable tool that offers comprehensive migration solutions to help you automate your migration process.
Not only do you get a tool for database migrations, but you also get a tool to convert your code so that it can support your new database.
SQLWays Wizard is the tool from Ispirer for database migrations. It offers automated heterogeneous migration – you can migrate from one database to a different type of database. You can migrate everything, including schema, data, tables, stored procedures, functions, views, and triggers.
Pros and Cons
It is comprehensive and provides out-of-the-box support for common use cases
You have to get a license for your workload
You can highly customize it based on your specific use case
The pricing is not transparent and depends on the migration scope
Ispirer provides excellent customer service and technical support
In order to complete your pre-migration database assessment, Ispirer offers a free Assessment Wizard. It analyzes and generates a report based on the source database. You can get expert advice and cost estimates based on this report.
In order to support database migration tools, IRI has the IRI Voracity platform and the IRI Data Manager Suite, along with their IRI NextForm software. NextForm is a data migration and reformatting software that’s perfect for small workloads and for migrating from legacy software.
Powered by the CoSort’s high-volume data transformation and data definition technologies, NextForm comes with the familiarity of Eclipse. It doesn’t require Hadoop, in-memory databases, or any expensive hardware to process data.
Pros and Cons
It’s built on Eclipse and offers a simple Graphical User Interface
It doesn’t support specific data types or formats that aren’t widely used
There are different pricing options available, including a free tier
You may have trouble handling complex data migration scenarios
It runs on Windows, Unix, and Linux command lines
There is some learning curve involved
Additionally, there are no limits on the number of data sources and targets you can connect or the size of the data.
ibi Data Migrator
The ibi Data Migrator is a database migration tool that can simplify and automate the extraction as well as the integration of data from various sources.
Additionally, you can apply your business logic at various stages in the data pipeline. If you need to move all your data to one location, such as a data warehouse, then ibi Data Migrator can do the job perfectly.
You get specialized high-volume data loaders designed for data warehouses. On top of that, you can schedule your data sync at your convenient time intervals. These can be triggered by events or conditional dependencies.
Pros and Cons
It has a Data Management Console as the graphical user interface
It majorly supports data warehouses
You get a separate Simple Server Web Console for administrative tasks
It does not have extensive documentation
You can access the Migration functions from any application via REST API
You may not find too many skilled people who know the tool
The creation and management of your data warehouses or data marts can be automated. Along with connecting multiple data sources to a single target or multiple data sources to multiple targets, you also have the flexibility to access your source data in various formats.
Choose the Best Database Migration Tool
Now that we’ve covered what database migration is and listed the best database migration tools available, you have a better understanding of what’s out there.
As a senior software engineer myself, I can understand that choosing the best database migration tool for your task can be a game-changer. Whether you prioritize minimum downtime, cost-effectiveness, or high scalability, there’s a tool for all of your needs.
In the end, it comes down to your migration requirements. Before choosing any database migration tool and starting the migration process, it’s important that you spend time analyzing your existing system.
Understanding your data migration needs will help you understand which tool from the list fits your specific requirements. From the choices provided by Rivery to custom-built solutions from Ispirer, you can find a solution that works perfectly for you.
Have you ever wondered how it is possible that every time your product owner brings in some new feature topic, the team response is they need to investigate technical possibilities and create some form of design before they can be sure how to develop that feature? Then that’s most likely because you have no Architecture Runway in place.
Power Your Business
Some of the tools and services to help your business grow.
The text-to-speech tool that uses AI to generate realistic human-like voices.