The Questions to Ask Before Migrating a Cloud Database

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Cloud Computing, Data | 2 comments

From going it alone to ensuring your data is safe and secure, the list is endless when it comes to next steps on a Cloud database migration. Here is Crystal Delta’s list of questions you should ask yourself (and a cloud service provider) before taking the big leap!

Here is a short summary of the questions for an easy copy & paste:

  1. What to choose when deciding on supporting your own database on your cloud infrastructure OR use a Database as a Service (DBaasS)?
  2. Relational database VS non-relational database (and what’s the difference?)
  3. Data security; how are you ensuring this is safe?
  4. What’s the plan when backing up your data?
  5. How are you planning to monitor your data?
  6. What databases are out there and which should you use?
  7. What are the costs involved with databases?


1. What to choose when deciding on supporting your own database on your cloud infrastructure OR use a Database as a Service (DBaasS)?

Option A: Supporting your own database requires installing and managing the database software on cloud instances just as if you were supporting the database in your own data center. You will need to make sure your database is continually updated and secure.

Option B: With DBaaS, all administrative and management requirements are supported by the cloud provider. A few long-term perks include; rapid provisioning, enhanced security, tracking, scalability, and additional server space.


2. Relational database VS non-relational database (and what’s the difference?)

Relational databases store data in tables. The relationship between each data point is clear and concise, searching through these relationships is quite simple. For relational databases the schema (the relationship between tables and field types) must be clearly defined.

Non-relational databases come in all shapes and sizes and do not use tabular schema of rows and columns like relational databases. It’s storage model is optimised for the type of data it’s storing.


3. Data security; how are you ensuring this is safe?

Your security is everything when it comes to cloud database management. Ensuring you have the right team and processes before migrating is vital. Follow this quick checklist to start your data security journey:

  • Make sure you know where your data is stored and how you use it
  • Training is everything; ensure your team have the experience and know-how
  • Keep a list of employees and third-party members that have access to your data
  • Carry out a data risk assessment
  • Ensure you have security software and run regular scans


4. What’s the plan when backing up your data?

DBaaS includes backups, but the default frequency and retention settings may not match your corporate policies. Make sure you have defined times to backup your organisational data. Some organisations do this daily, whereas most will backup data on a weekly basis.


5. How are you planning to monitor your data?

Monitor database health, status, and security, is a core IT function for any business. All DBaaS have a variety of monitoring options available, you can also consider additional monitoring tools incase those available do not meet your expectations or requirements.


6. Which database should you use?

There are many options when deciding what Cloud database to use if you’re going down the DBaaS path. Here are seven of the top Cloud databases of 2020:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon has become the market leader in the DBaaS space. It offers supplementary data-management services such as Redshift, a data warehouse and Data Pipeline, which is a data integrating service for easier data management.

Oracle Databases – Oracle database products offer customers cost-optimized and high-performance versions of Oracle Database, the world’s leading converged, multi-model database management system, as well as in-memory, NoSQL and MySQL databases.

Microsoft Azure – Microsoft Azure, commonly referred to as Azure, is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.

Google Cloud Platform – Google Cloud Platform, offered by Google, is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search, Gmail, file storage, and YouTube.

MongoDB Atlas – The most innovative cloud database service on the market, with unmatched data distribution and mobility across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, built-in automation for resource and workload optimization, and so much more.

OpenStack – OpenStack is a free open standard cloud computing platform, mostly deployed as infrastructure-as-a-service in both public and private clouds where virtual servers and other resources are made available to users.


7. What are the costs involved with databases?

The costs involved with Cloud databases vary for every organisation, but it’s still important to be aware of where these costs come from. We can help you identify and optimise your costs effectively. We’ve split these into two categories; direct costs and indirect costs:

Direct Costs: These are costs you can directly calculate based on ongoing estimates. Some overhead costs which can be directly attributed to a project may also be classified as a direct cost.

  • Cost of labor for maintenance of your servers, databases and other technology
  • Cost to maintain the facilities that house IT hardware, such as real estate, staffing, and other facilities-related costs
  • Cost of connectivity to the internet
  • Any other costs that can be attributed to the care of your IT

Indirect Costs: One of the largest indirect costs is the loss of productivity suffered by your employees and customers if your IT infrastructure goes down. The easiest way to calculate these costs is server outage time multiplied by the average hourly rate of your IT team. You can review log files to identify the down times and for how long.

Another, more difficult, indirect cost is the revenue lost due to outage time. These estimates are hard to calculate, but are still an important variable to your overall IT costs.


We hope you found this blog useful. To learn more about Cloud computing have a read of Cloud Computing in 2021. Crystal Delta is a global software engineering practice specialising in banking & finance, manufacturing, and education. Contact us today for more information on how we can support your Cloud computing journey.