Data Migration - Apr 12 2021

How to Migrate From Oracle On-Premise to AWS Cloud

Organizations are migrating legacy Oracle data centers, on-premise applications, and databases to the AWS cloud on a global scale. The Amazon Web Services cloud offers several important benefits that can lead to enhanced workflow in many data-rich environments. Here’s a quick guide.

Why are customers moving to AWS?

In order to understand the appeal of AWS in the context of legacy Oracle databases, turn to Amazon’s own experience on the matter. At Amazon, over 7,500 Oracle databases, with a total size of over 75 petabytes, were migrated to AWS services such as RDS, RedShift, Aurora, and DynamoDB. These migrations included full coverage of completely proprietary systems and were accomplished with virtually no downtime. Among the processes covered were catalog management, accounting, order fulfilment, purchasing, and video streaming workloads.

Amazon reported a cost reduction of over 60% through this migration for database costs alone. They also reported that most customers report savings of up to 90% when migrating from Oracle to AWS cloud. The migration also brought about a reduction in latency for their customer-facing applications measuring 40%, and the switch to managed services was enough to reduce database overhead by 70%.

With results like these, there is no doubt why customers are rapidly moving to AWS.

How do I migrate an Oracle on-premise to AWS?

Migrating from Oracle on-premise to AWS can be accomplished in a number of ways, depending on the complexity of the task at hand and the functionality and features you want along the way. Since AWS cloud can give organizations the ability to use Oracle databases more efficiently, it’s vital to know how to handle the migration and which AWS services to use to accomplish the migration.

There are three main routes you can take while migrating on-premise Oracle databases to AWS. These include EC2, RDS, and Aurora.

EC2 compute instances and EBS or Elastic Block Storage can be used to run Oracle databases in a self-managed format. Based on this, on-premise storage and servers can be partially or fully replaced with AWS cloud infrastructure. This is arguably the easiest path to migrate from on-premise Oracle to AWS cloud. Using EC2 can give you superior control over configuration and optimization, help avoid vendor lock-in, facilitate the creation of cross-region duplicates, and make for a scalable infrastructure. However, this can introduce more points of failure and requires specialized skills to accomplish.

Alternatively, RDS opens the door for a managed solution. This takes several management tasks off the table for users. It is scalable, has cross-regional support, and is remarkably easy-to-use. However, there are version limitations, a cloud lock-in, compromises in configuration and flexibility, and additional costs due to managed service charges.

Finally, you can choose to use Amazon Aurora, an optimized database platform within AWS. This is actually a part of RDS but uses a custom relational database engine that is ACID compliant and has compatibility with PostgreSQL and MySQL. While not a drop-in replacement, it includes most of the key features of Oracle and Amazon itself is migrating to this platform. Also, this is the most involved method of migrating from on-premise Oracle to AWS cloud.

Depending on your situation and requirements, you would choose one of these three approaches after understanding the pros and cons involved.

How do I transfer data to AWS cloud?

For EC2, any edition of Oracle can be supported and you can choose between Enterprise, Standard, and Express. There is a lot of detailed documentation available that outlines several possible design structures that deal with important steps of the process like selecting the right size of instance for the application, attaching the appropriate EBS volumes, and the deployment process into Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

When it comes time to migrate the data, you can use one of two approaches. You can use a one-step process that can involve large periods of downtime, or adopt a more complex dual-step process that can help minimize downtime. Both approaches work irrespective of whether you choose EC2 or RDS as your integration of choice.

In the first approach, you essentially stop running your Oracle databases, close the data to AWS, validate the data, and restart the database on AWS. Depending on how much data you have and how long it takes to copy the data, the process can take either a little or a lot of time. In the second approach, you wait for a period of light usage for your database and copy it to AWS while it is running. When it is entirely copied, you can validate and run the database on AWS and make any changes that have taken place since the original copy.

After you have moved your data to EC2 or RDS, you can then consider a move to Aurora. You can use the AWS Schema Conversion Tool to convert the database schema and then use a tool like AWS Database Migration Service to finalize the migration.

Along the way, you can take advantage of quite a few specialized tools to facilitate the migration process. The most important among these is AWS Database Migration Service or DMS, a managed solution that can facilitate migrations between either homogenous or heterogeneous database engines. While this is sufficient for a lot of use cases, you might want to explore other solutions if you have highly complex and heavily customized on-premise environments. In such cases, it can be a salient idea to look into solutions like Oracle Recovery Manager, Oracle GoldenGate, and Oracle Data Pump Export.

Can Oracle database run on AWS?

Oracle databases can definitely run on AWS, using either the EC2 service or the RDS service. Organizations can use their existing Oracle licenses with AWS with the help of EC2 without any additional costs for licensing fees. Or, they can license Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Database to run in AWS.

Do I need an AWS service provider near me?

Since there are so many variables involved in the migration of on-premise Oracle database systems to AWS cloud, expert assistance can go a long way in making things easier and more convenient. Getting help from a solid and admirable AWS service provider near you, like, can help you identify the right AWS database platforms you can use, the right migration strategy, and the specific features and functionality built into AWS that can really make your task easier and more intuitive.

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