What are the stages of a data migration project?

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How to make your data migration project a success? What are the steps that need to be diligently followed so that the migration of your files goes smoothly and avoids unpleasant surprises? The issue of data migration can often be neglected, or even dealt with as the last component of a project. The most seasoned and experienced developers will make it clear that file migration is a topic to anticipate from the start of a project and that pushing the migration question to the end of the project is something to avoid.

Several challenges need to be overcome during a migration. As users become more and more picky, it has become absolutely necessary to avoid losses in productivity: a company cannot afford to put its operations on standby for too long because of a migration. A project’s budget can also quickly explode when the migration component is not anticipated or properly addressed by professionals. The best option in such a situation is that your team or your IT provider puts in place a migration plan – in other words a real migration strategy.

At Bocasay, our teams are highly accustomed to working on migration strategies. Many of our clients have data migration needs in their project. We support them closely and are able to migrate large volumes of data. Throughout the years of our operation, we have acquired a solid experience in this field and we know full-well that migration is an issue and step that is essential to anticipate from the start of an IT project. By doing so, we can avoid the highly undesirable situation of a team finding that they have a volume of files that is too large – with data that is too complex – to migrate.

Let’s walk through the steps to follow when deploying a good data migration strategy.

Step 1: Prepare a specification document outlining the technical and business needs of the migration

Ask your team to write a document listing the technical and functional specifications of the migration. This document will allow the teams that work on the project to have a detailed and global view of the objectives the data migration needs to meet.

What needs will the migration meet? What will end users expect from the migration?

When an effort is made to write a specification document, it also makes it possible to list all the good practices relevant to migration and storage that should be implemented in the process.

This initial stage of the project will involve translating business needs into technical needs. The specification document should also describe the type of storage or NAS (Network Attached Storage) migration expected:

  • Large import migration all at once.
  • Consolidation of data from several different storage sources.
  • Long-term synchronization migration.

Several alternatives exist.

Finally, the technical and business specifications document will serve as a reference during the migration acceptance test.

Step 2: Create a document listing migration risks

Risk-based project management is very effective – especially in the context of a migration. After preparing the document that lists the technical and functional specifications, we strongly recommend getting your project team to create a document that will map the project.

The purpose of this document is to assess and have a solid grasp of the risks of the project – as well as the requirements of the migration.

Risk-based migration management
Risk-based migration management

Information to include in the document:

  • Is the IT environment complex? What are the network formats and protocols? How is the data stored? In silos?
  • Describe the nature of the data in question. Different questions arise depending on the nature of the data that will be migrated.
  • Is the data structured or unstructured?
  • Structured data is stored in a predetermined format. Conversely, unstructured data is a cluster of different data types and is most often stored by humans in their native format: text files, multimedia files, etc.
  • Evaluate the volume of data to migrate. Are you dealing with a large amount of data? The data’s extent and size will certainly influence decisions.

Step 3: Prepare and clean data for migration

One of the prerequisites for a successful migration is proper preparation of the data that will be migrated. Preparation is essential regardless of the type of migration that will be undertaken.

Here’s what needs to be done, in detail:

  • Study the source data storage architecture: how many directories are there? What is the data size per directory? How are the files related to each other?
  • Apply corrective actions at the level of the architectural structure when the need arises.
  • Identify and delete duplicate data as well as defective data. There is no point in migrating damaged data.
  • Set up naming rules for formats and files.
  • Prioritize and rank the data that will be migrated.
  • Think about data protection actions that will be implemented *during* the transfer.

As much as possible: automate all actions that you can. This will save you valuable time and greatly reduce the risk of human error creeping into the process.

Step 4: Pilot test first

The pilot test can help avoid unpleasant surprises that arise during a migration
The pilot test can help avoid unpleasant surprises that arise during a migration

The pilot test is often underestimated. The purpose of a pilot test is to collect important information about how the transfer will go. Test your migration on a sample before deploying it on the entire project.

This preliminary step will make your job easier and can ensure the success of your project. It can also help you select the right tool(s) for performing the migration.

Step 5: Check the result

Using test scenarios (a recipe book) that you’ve defined in advance, test how handling the data you have migrated works, and if it is presenting any problems.

Finally, don’t forget to investigate how satisfied end users are with the results of the migration. End users who possess business knowledge will be able to explicitly tell you whether the migration worked well – or not.

Do you want to launch a web or software project that involves a migration phase? You’ve come to the right place – send us a message; we’ll be happy to discuss your project and see how we can support you in your migration. We can propose you to build tech team in vietnam to launch your migration project.

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