Contrary to popular opinion, migrating your SQL Server data to the cloud does not begin when the weather turns colder and your servers take off and fly south for the winter. (Apologies – that will be the first and hopefully last lame joke in this blog!) This migration journey truly starts when the decision is made to migrate your data. As data professionals, we should be a part of that decision but, if we’re not, it is incumbent on us to understand the factors that went into that decision so we best position the migration project for success.
My intention is for this blog series to walk you through every step of the migration process, from the initial decision all the way to validating the success of the migration. I’m also hoping that by publishing the first one I’m publicly committing myself to the entire series – check back in a few months to see if that turned out to be correct or not!
Given my experience as a consultant, there seem to be three main motivating factors for executives/managers to commit to migrating SQL Server data to the cloud: 1) Perceived cost savings, 2) reducing CapEx by shutting datacenters, and 3) wanting to hop on a current trend. It is critical for the data professionals who will be involved in the move to understand which of those factors drove the decision because it may change our goals for the migration and the design decisions that drive us towards those goals. Before we get into the tech and the tools of the migration process, we need to understand the politics that brought us to this point.
We will examine each of these three motivating factors in depth in future blogs, but for the today’s initial installment of this series I’ll leave you with straightforward (and hopefully simple) advice. Resist the urge to dive directly into the tech and tools of the migration at the very start. Start slowly (it’s counter-intuitive, I know). Ask questions about the decision-making process, listen to the answers thoughtfully, and record some goals for the project. Review those goals throughout the project to ensure that the technical decisions you are making are driving you towards those goals.