Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Database – Benefits and Migration

Many mid and large-sized organizations in the current business environment depend on the Oracle database to run their IT ecosystem based on traditional on-premises systems. However, with data usage growing exponentially, the existing computing and storage infrastructure is often stretched to the limits. Businesses, therefore, have to look for alternate capabilities without spending a fortune on new hardware and software. Without doing so, companies often find it very difficult to operate databases and keep up with the complexities of current database management operations.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this issue and that is migrating on-premises databases to the cloud. But before that, a detailed evaluation is required as to which cloud-based platform is ideal for a specific business. Many factors like the cost structure, security, and speed of performance have to be taken into account. One of the most preferred and popular options is Oracle to SQL Server migration.

Benefits of Oracle to SQL Server migration

Several benefits accrue to businesses that opt for database Oracle to SQL Server migration.

  • SQL Server is a more affordable platform than Oracle database. Using Oracle Enterprise Manager or Oracle Data Guard is not cheap. On the other hand, Microsoft SQL Server offers advanced features in its database engine like Analysis Services or Reporting Services under one licensing cost. Further, costs are kept under control by SQL Server by allotting resources optimally, streamlining database management, merging of databases, visualizing servers, and compressing data.
  • SQL Server can handle massive volumes of data for processing workloads and intricate queries and running applications.
  • SQL Server allows customized reporting systems to be designed on the platform. This is done by using its automated business intelligence competencies, thereby doing away with the need for database administrators. This again is a cost-savings aspect and a critical reason for Oracle to SQL Server migration.
  • Organizations that use the Oracle database get locked to this vendor, paying high license fees. This is seen more when the need arises for upgrading and modernizing existing database infrastructure as the license fee escalates substantially. SQL Server, on the other hand, provides users with the required performance, security, and scale that is essential for running enterprise-level applications at reasonable costs.

All these aspects make Oracle to SQL Server migration a win-win situation for modern-day businesses.

Initial steps for Oracle to SQL Server migration.

Before enterprises can take up the proper migration process, there are a few preparatory steps that need to be initiated.

  • SQL Server is to be installed in the target database where the data will be migrated. Ensure that proper connection and accessibility between the source Oracle database and the Microsoft SQL Server database is established.
  • Oracle Client and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) is to be installed on the target server.
  • Check the connectivity to the port and any other issues with the firewall if any before launching SSMA and linking it to the source Oracle database.

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  • The Oracle schema has to be mapped to the location where migration to the SQL Server has to be done during the process of Oracle to SQL Server migration.
  • All Oracle database objects have to be converted and loaded to the SQL Server, either by saving a script and running it on the SQL Server or synchronizing the database objects.

These are the tasks that are necessary to prepare the stage for Oracle to SQL Server migration.The same process has to be followed for migrating an Oracle database to Azure SQL database and Azure Synapse Analytics.

Oracle to SQL Server migration

There are two methods of Oracle to SQL Server migration.

  • The one-shot method: It is called so because the entire migration is completed at one go. All systems have to be shut down while this process is on as otherwise, transactions that have taken place after the last backup will not show in the target database. Even though this method is easy and fast, the downside is the downtime involved. Mid and large-sized enterprises might find it inconvenient to stop their IT systems for any length of time. Again, before migration, it is essential to undertake test executions to make sure that no issues crop up during migration.
  • The phased migration method: There are two stages involved in the Oracle to SQL Server migration.The first is completing the migration between the source and the target databases without shutting down the systems. Next, incremental and changed data at source after the last run is continually loaded to the target database at preset intervals

Organizations can choose either method for Oracle to SQL Server migration depending on their convenience.

Even though the entire process is automated, there are certain challenges to be overcome. The database performance post-migration has to be verified, especially in the areas of key performance metrics and workload frequencies. This can be done through a mechanism that replays the workload, namely the SQL Server Distributed Replay feature on the load harness to monitor the load on the CPU, IO operations, Memory, and network traffic. Further, the QA team should check and verify the code conversions from Oracle to SQL Server to make sure that the data in the format meets the needs of the organization.

Once the Oracle to SQL Server migration is completed, ensure that there are no data type differences and mismatches.

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