Fix your databases now as you migrate to the cloud

Fear shouldn’t define your IT strategy. Fixing your databases when you migrate to the cloud is cheaper than doing it later—or not at all

Fix your databases now as you migrate to the cloud
Blue Diamond Photography (CC BY 2.0)

If you have lame databases in your on-premises systems, don’t move them to the cloud. They’ll still be lame databases.

As thousands of enterprises move their application workloads and data to the cloud, too many move whatever they have, include their lame databases. It’s easy to just lift and shift them you’ll find the popular on-premises databases also available in the cloud. So you end up with the same limitations, just running somewhere new.

Don’t do that. Instead, reevaluate the type, and the brand of databases you’re using as part of your cloud migration.

Use the cloud migration effort to vastly improve your data management and data use capabilities. For example, consider moving from SQL or relational databases to NoSQL or object-based databases, which maybe a better fit for your patterns of data use.

Yes, that means the database must be redesigned, reformatted, and transformed.     Fortunately, there are many tools for the job, and most can make short work of it.

Too many enterprises treat their data like a graveyard, sacred and never to be disturbed.   I’ve found that trying to get the people charged with the data to think about changing anything is an all but impossible task. I get it: The public cloud is scary enough. Changing the database engine too is unthinkable. 

But, let me make my case. If you’re moving the data anyway, it’s much cheaper to make the changes now, including changes to the applications that produce and consume the data, than it is to put the data on the cloud and change it later.

Remember: You only need to go though a single test and acceptance process, versus two, if you do it as part of your cloud migration effort. And did I mention that there are already best practices and tools to make the transformation easy? 

I understand that it takes money, time, risk, and all that translates into fear. I’ve been told that smart enterprise IT employees learn to keep their heads down for survival. But that’s not smart.

Data is still king. Limitations that many enterprises have accepted over the years have lead to limitations in the business itself. Why limit your business when you can fix it now?

So, fix your databases now as you migrate them to the cloud.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.