Alex Kirpichny

Alexandr Kirpichny

Chief Product Officer, Ispirer Systems

Data migration is important for businesses updating their systems, adopting new tech, or improving efficiency. However, navigating the data migration endeavor can be challenging without the right strategies in place. In the digital era where data is the lifeblood of businesses, selecting the right data migration tools is paramount to ensure a smooth data transition.

In this article, we'll explore the best data migration tools on the market, and discuss key factors for selecting the appropriate tool for your project. Moving data between systems, going to the cloud, or combining databases? The right tools can make your data migration a success.

What is data migration?

Data migration is the crucial process of transferring data between storage systems, formats, or computer systems. Implementing new systems and meeting organizational needs is essential. Data migration is a process that involves analyzing data, planning, designing, executing, and validating to ensure data integrity and functionality. It is often part of larger transformations like consolidation or system implementation.

Data migration also involves data type mapping, determining how fields are changed from the original to the new system. Migration difficulty varies based on source/target databases, data structure, and volume. The ultimate goal is to transfer data efficiently, accurately, and securely, enabling organizations to manage their data easily in the new environment.

Additionally, organizations often need to migrate data to merge data from multiple sources into a single, centralized repository. This often happens after companies merge or are acquired, when they need to combine systems. It also occurs in organizations with data stored in different places.

Whether moving data to a public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud setup, it’s important to use a secure, cost-efficient, and effective approach to ensure the data reaches its new destination successfully.

Types of data migration

There are six commonly recognized types of data migration, though these categories are flexible rather than rigid. A specific data transfer scenario might fall under multiple types simultaneously, such as a migration that is both database and cloud-based, or one that involves both application and database migration.

  • Storage migration. Storage migration involves moving data from one storage medium to another. Companies undertake storage migrations to upgrade to newer technology or infrastructure, which offers significantly faster performance and more cost-effective scalability. This process also enables essential data management features like cloning, snapshots, and backup and disaster recovery.
  • Database migration. Databases store data in a structured and organized manner, managed by database management systems. Database migration is moving data from one database to another or updating to a newer version of the same system.
    Transitioning between various Database Management Systems (DBMSs) can be quite intricate, particularly if the originating and receiving systems possess differing data frameworks. This process is even more complicated if we’re talking about heterogeneous migration, i.e between different RDBMS.
  • Application migration. Application migration happens when an organization transitions from one platform or vendor application to another. Each application has its own unique data model and is not inherently portable, meaning the operating systems, virtual machine configurations, and management tools can vary across different development and deployment environments. These differences add to the complexity of the migration process. The use of middleware products can simplify this process by bridging the technology gap, making the software migration more manageable.
  • Cloud migration. Cloud migration is moving data or applications from a physical location to the cloud or between different cloud services. Essentially, it is a specialized form of storage migration. IT experts are noticing a trend of companies transitioning to cloud services. They predict that by the late 2030s, the majority of large corporations will have adopted cloud technology.
  • Business process migration. Business process migration involves transferring business applications and data related to processes and metrics to a new environment. These metrics can encompass customer, product, and operational information. This type of migration is often driven by business optimization, reorganization, and mergers and acquisitions, which are essential for entering new markets and staying competitive.
  • Data center migration. Data center migration means moving a data center's infrastructure to a new place or upgrading equipment in the same place. A data center encompasses the storage infrastructure that supports an organization’s critical applications, including servers, network routers, switches, computers, storage devices, and related hardware.
Data Migration Types

What are data migration tools?

There are a plethora of data migration tools designed to streamline the transfer of data across various applications, databases, platforms, or data warehouses. These tools ensure the accuracy, efficiency, and overall success of migration projects.

The selection of the tools most suitable for your project will be influenced by your data migration strategy or the business results you aim to achieve. Whether your goal is to merge multiple data sources into a single one, replace, maintain, or upgrade server or storage hardware, move from one data center to another, or retrieve data from a damaged or compromised source, your organization will require a dependable data migration tool to accomplish this.

Typically, there are two options to consider when deciding on data migration tools, and these depend on the needs and situation of the data user:

  • On-premises data migration tools are used to move data between servers or databases located on-premises.
  • Cloud-based data migration tools help move data to big data lakes or warehouses in the cloud. This is useful when transferring old data to a system that can analyze it quickly.

Top 10 data migration tools

Here’s a comprehensive list of the top 10 data migration tools that you can choose to complete your migration process.

Ispirer Toolkit

Ispirer Toolkit is a tool for migrating database schema and data that is designed to facilitate seamless transfer of databases across different platforms. With its advanced features and comprehensive functionality, Ispirer Toolkit supports migration of more than 40 RDBMSs, including Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and more.

Ispirer Toolkit has a range of advantages:

  • High quality of data integrity during data transfer. Ensures that data remains accurate and consistent throughout the migration process, preventing data corruption or loss.
  • User-friendly and intuitive graphical user interface. Simplifies the migration process, making it accessible even to users with limited technical expertise.
  • Possibility to run migration in Command Line Mode. Provides flexibility for advanced users to automate and script migration tasks, enhancing efficiency.
  • Secure and reliable connection to databases using ODBC and native utilities. Users can utilize familiar tools which further adds on to the flexibility of migrating with Ispirer Toolkit.
  • Migration to cloud, including GCP, AWS, Azure. Ispirer Toolkit is a comprehensive tool in terms of migrating from on-premises to cloud, and from cloud to cloud. Versatile pool of features, settings and the customization option make it appropriate for almost any migration scenario.
  • Automation which shortens migration time significantly. Reduces manual effort and speeds up the migration process, allowing for quicker project completion.
  • Support of all data types.
  • Quick and easy data extraction from diverse sources without the need for complex coding. Streamlines the extraction process, saving time and reducing the need for specialized coding skills.
  • Migration speed up to 60 GB/h and more.
  • Possibility to transfer tables and data separately.
  • Possibility to run in parallel mode. Increases efficiency by performing multiple migration tasks simultaneously, further speeding up the process.
  • Migration of part of data from each table (using query). This feature allows selective data migration, enabling organizations to transfer only the necessary data.

Additionally, Ispirer data migration tool offers extensive customization options, allowing users to tailor the migration process to their specific requirements and ensuring compatibility with the target database platform. Try Ispirer Toolkit to automate data migration, speed up and simplify the entire process of transferring data to a new database. A trial is free for 30 days.

Whether you're migrating a small database or a large-scale enterprise system, Ispirer Toolkit provides the tools and capabilities needed to ensure a smooth and successful migration process, enabling organizations to leverage their data assets more effectively and efficiently.

Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate helps you transition to Azure by providing tools for various migration tasks, such as data transfer. It makes transferring data from on-premises, other clouds, or within Azure to Azure storage solutions easy and efficient. With Azure Migrate, organizations can easily move their data to the Azure cloud platform with minimal downtime and maximum efficiency.

AWS Database Migration

AWS Database Migration Service is a comprehensive solution tailored to simplify database migration tasks within the AWS ecosystem. This service helps move databases to and from AWS easily, allowing organizations to transition their data efficiently from different locations.

With AWS DMS, users can execute database migration projects while minimizing downtime and ensuring data integrity. AWS DMS makes it easier and faster to migrate to Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, and other AWS database services. This simplifies the process of adopting AWS cloud services.

Fivetran

Fivetran is a platform for data integration that handles data management and synchronization. It enables companies to link different data sources, including databases, applications, and cloud services, and consolidate their data in one unified place.

Fivetran offers numerous connectors that simplify the connection to more than 150 data sources, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB. It also integrates with cloud applications like Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Zendesk. This extensive connectivity enables businesses to swiftly and effortlessly pull data from a variety of sources, eliminating the need for intricate coding or manual setup.

AirByte

Airbyte is an open-source solution designed for seamless data integration and ETL operations. Offering unparalleled versatility, it empowers users to move and orchestrate data across diverse platforms. Supporting migration from over 350 sources to a multitude of destinations, AirByte ensures compatibility with databases, data warehouses, and beyond.

Among its standout features is support of incremental data synchronization. Users can transfer and update only the changed data since the last migration, which improves operational efficiency. Moreover, this intelligent approach reduces the volume of data transferred, resulting in a resource-efficient migration process.

Matillion

Matillion is a data integration platform built for the cloud, enabling you to extract, transform, and load data. It offers a user-friendly platform for creating and controlling data pipelines. This platform enables fast data transfer between various cloud data warehouses and databases. It works well with many different systems like BigQuery, AWS, Oracle, SAP, and Azure Cosmos.

Talend

Talend is an instrument that facilitates the transfer of data across diverse systems, streamlining the process for better efficiency. It helps companies in migrating data from a multitude of sources to their preferred destination. Talend offers an intuitive interface and a vast selection of connectors to simplify the process. This empowers businesses to handle and modify their data in a more efficient manner.

Talend is adaptable and scalable, allowing users to tailor data migration procedures to suit their requirements. Whether transferring vast amounts of data or executing incremental updates, Talend provides powerful features to maintain data accuracy and dependability during the entire migration process.

HevoData

Hevo Data is a platform that makes it simple for organizations to collect and merge data from various sources. This data can then be sent to their preferred destinations, such as data warehouses or cloud storage.

Hevo Data provides a reliable solution for your data integration needs. It works with live data, data in chunks, or a combination of both. The platform is dependable and expandable to meet your requirements.

Snaplogic

SnapLogic is a provider of Integration Platform as a Service, delivering data integration and workflow automation solutions. It enables businesses to transfer data among diverse systems, applications, and cloud platforms. SnapLogic simplifies the creation of integration pipelines for users through a straightforward drag-and-drop interface. Its intuitive design is suitable for individuals with different degrees of technical skills, promoting effective data integration procedures throughout the company.

CloudFuze

CloudFuze helps organizations move files and data between various cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox. This makes it simple for organizations to transfer their files and data seamlessly. It offers a solution for managing cloud storage accounts, transitioning to a new cloud platform, and sharing data for collaboration.

Integrate.io

Integrate.io, formerly known as Import.io, this platform makes it easy to move data between different systems and platforms. Integrate.io, with its user-friendly interface and robust automation capabilities, allows companies to effortlessly move data from various sources like databases, applications, and cloud services, to their preferred location.

A primary advantage of Integrate.io is its proficiency in managing intricate data migration operations effortlessly. Whether you're transferring data between on-site systems, transitioning to a cloud-based setup, or amalgamating data from various sources, Integrate.io provides a reliable solution to cater to your migration requirements.

Moreover, Integrate.io offers sophisticated data transformation features, enabling users to modify and purify data as it progresses through the migration procedure. This guarantees that data stays precise and uniform across various systems and platforms.

How to choose the right tool?

Choosing the appropriate data migration software involves assessing several critical factors:

  • Data complexity and volume. Evaluate the complexity and volume of your data to ensure the selected software can effectively handle the migration process.
  • Compatibility with source and destination systems. Confirm that the chosen software is compatible with both the source and destination systems involved in the data transfer.
  • Budget and timeline constraints. Consider your project's budget and timeline to align with the capabilities and deployment timelines of the migration software.

It's essential to analyze the intricacy and size of your data, along with its frequency of changes, to determine the most suitable tool. Additionally, ensure compatibility and scalability across systems, anticipating potential growth and expansion.

Lastly, factor in your team's expertise and availability. Opt for automation-driven solutions for tighter budgets or timelines, while customizable tools may be preferable for skilled teams seeking flexibility and customization options.

Conclusion

Data migration tools are important for successful data migration projects. They help simplify complex processes and automate them. Picking the best tool for your needs is important since data is getting ever more extensive and complex. By considering factors such as data complexity, compatibility with source and destination systems, budget, and timeline constraints, organizations can make informed decisions and choose the most suitable data migration tool for their project.

Moving to the cloud, updating systems, or combining databases can be made easier by using the right data migration tools. Such tools can also help reduce downtime and protect data accuracy. We strongly recommend to consider all the factors of your data migration initiative and choose the best fit for your project.