Cloud Infrastructure Migration Planning (CIMP) database workshop

The LITS Database Administration Team and members from the LITS Systems and Storage Teams engaged with Smartronix consultant John Griffin in a one-and-a-half-day workshop focused on database migrations to AWS. This workshop provided an opportunity to explore database migration strategies in depth, validate some of our findings, and receive guidance as we prepare to design and support databases in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

John is the cloud data services lead and senior data architect at Smartronix. Migrating databases can be a challenging task, often requiring application downtime while data is moved from the source database to the target database. Based on his expertise with cloud migrations, John shared his best practices and tips to minimize application downtime during migrations. During the workshop, there was a deep dive into the AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) along with the pros and cons of using it.

We learned that we can use the AWS DMS to easily migrate or replicate existing databases using the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The workshop also covered topics such as RDS design considerations and how to plan database migrations. Amazon RDS is available on several database instance types – optimized for memory, performance or I/O – and provides six familiar database engines to choose from, including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB.

RDS, also known as database-as-a-service, creates significant operational efficiencies and simplifies the management and administration of an enterprise database portfolio. The suitability of each database for migration to RDS is an important element of the migration assessment phase. The team discussed use cases where there are exceptions to using RDS and the available alternate approaches such as building databases on AWS-hosted virtual machines. John reminded us of the importance of considering using database-native tools when possible and to complement them with tools that AWS offers.

Participants during this Mar 11-12 workshop were Dhruv Gami (SMX) and John Griffin (SMX), Ramya Bommareddy, Sriram Chari, Andrew Chin, Jim Houghton, Ike Ikegwuonu, Sergey Kamenetskiy, Mike LewisNaiqi Li, Anand Mahajani, Mark Parten, Jocelyn Ramirez, Steve Siegelman, and Ramona Tucker.

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