Migration migraines: the top seven DBA data headaches

Once or twice a year I get to work with an excellent DBA pal from Illinois called Jason Froebe who describes himself as a, “Perlmonger capable of speaking fluent munchkin.” His personal blog is called Ramblings of a Geek, but I keep telling him he should rename it “Froebe’s Frontal Lobe”.

Once or twice a year I get to work with an excellent DBA pal from Illinois called Jason Froebe who describes himself as a, “Perlmonger capable of speaking fluent munchkin.” His personal blog is called Ramblings of a Geek, but I keep telling him he should rename it “Froebe’s Frontal Lobe”.

Anyway, this weekend I got to work on a project with Jason where together we tried to summarise the top migration headaches faced by DBAs like him in the workplace. Most of what we came up with was related to shoddy management (both business and technical) – and shoddy management with a poor appreciation for real-world data use case scenarios.

So please, grab two aspirin (or your preferred painkiller of choice) and see if you think we hit some of the top pressure points:

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Free image source: Morguefile.com

1. Migration has come about due to some corporate edict that is politically-driven from a business perspective and not necessarily rational from a technology perspective. It will therefore, by its very nature, never be truly efficient at its core.

2. The current staff base are not well trained on the new migration platform and the necessary skills planning has clearly not been put in place or thought through at this stage.

3. A large-scale merger is being pushed through and your IT stack is being forcibly pulled towards (or away from) your new parent company and migration is happening because it ‘must happen’ rather than because it ‘should happen’.

4. Re-platforming of applications is being done in order to decrease costs and increase efficiency, but a thorough cost-benefit analysis to quantify this procedure has not been carried out.

5. Migration is being undertaken with a view to it being an opportunity to improve the quality, quantity and storage of data. But storage issues are not the most relevant focal point of the IT system in question – more pertinent issues should be addressed first.

6. While every development environment is unique, it is sometimes suggested that only about 20% of it is actually different – meaning that 80% of the issues are common to all environments. That commonality points to an opportunity for automation in a migration situation – but it is an opportunity that has been overlooked.

7. Migration is being carried out as a result of the your CTO’s misguided and poorly researched decision to try and keep ahead of the next technology wave. Has he or she forgotten the old truism that states: “there is no such thing as legacy systems, this is just technology that works.”

If you withstood the pain threshold required in order to glance over this then thank you – and further thanks if you feel you can comment to steer us towards areas that we did not cover or pay enough lip service to.

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“Data stack lock down: when you REALLY don’t want that migration to happen!”

Approved image use courtesy of Luica Mak, independent freelance photographer.

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