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Oracle Migration: How To Prepare for a Successful Migration

Migrating your Oracle database can be a complicated process and one that many business owners would rather put off for as long as possible.  

However, improving the quality of customer experience or driving down costs to gain profitability often depends on the quality and functionality of your system. Upgrading and migrating your Oracle database might just be essential to meet those goals as part of your company’s business process optimization.

Still, the goal should be to minimize your system’s downtime and, of course, mitigate any loss of critical data.

In the following article, we offer some expert tips to prepare for a stress-free and successful Oracle migration.

Create a Data Migration Plan

The procedures and processes for migrating Oracle allow you to update the existing version of your databases and related applications to new, more advanced releases.

The good news is that Oracle7 Server releases are upward compatible with any previous versions of Oracle. So, the process of preparing for a successful Oracle migration, as described below, will be the same process regardless of which earlier release you’re migrating from.

The first step in the migration process is to create a data migration plan to help you clarify and streamline the process. This is true for any migration, whether you’re migrating Oracle Essbase instances from Oracle Analytics Cloud, migrating Oracle Transportation Management from on-premise to the cloud, upgrading or replacing your servers, or even just performing scheduled maintenance.

Without a migration plan, you face a considerable risk of losing, corrupting, or misplacing files. You may also encounter serious compatibility issues while transferring data from one system or format to another. 

This, in turn, can lead to excessive (and expensive) downtime. 

Planning Your Migration Steps

There are a number of steps involved in preparation for a successful Oracle migration, starting well before you actually begin moving data from your current database.  

The following steps are strongly recommended to help ensure that your migration goes smoothly. Although they’re not absolutely required in all circumstances, these steps help you get back up and running as quickly and painlessly as possible. 

Study Your Database Performance

One of the chief complaints among database clients is that their current system slows down noticeably, especially during peak load times.

Understanding the frequency and duration of those peak hours, as well as how (and why) they affect the speed and execution of your system, is a key metric in understanding and improving your migrated database’s performance. 

You can study these effects by simulating your workload using the RWP*Load Simulator

Here, you can monitor essential functions including:

  • CPU Performance
  • Memory Allocation & Usage
  • Network Traffic
  • Input and Output Operations

Seeing how your system performs under the pressure of its heaviest usage periods can help you determine any inadequacies or issues in your current system and deal with them before going live with your updates.  

Choose the Most Appropriate License

Another important factor to consider when migrating your data is which licensing (standard or enterprise) best serves your needs.

Smaller or single location businesses often find the standard license to be sufficient, while larger companies with multiple locations or heavy network traffic may opt for the enterprise edition. The enterprise license offers improved data security and server availability. It’s also typically easier to scale with business growth.

Backup All Data 

Before backing up your data, ensure that no open transactions or outstanding redo information are pending in the redo logs. Then, shut down your source database using the standard shut down procedures. 

Next, make a complete backup of the source database. Make sure the backup includes all:

  • Data files
  • Control files
  • Initialization (INIT.ORA) files
  • Any scripts used to create objects in the source database

SQL files that you use to create clusters or tables will need to be updated as well.

Oracle Migration
Execution of the Data Migration Plan
  1. Double-check that the correct system permissions have been applied for successful data migration. Extract all data that are being migrated from the source system. 
  2. To protect your target system, confirm that all migrating data has been cleaned. Once confirmed, convert it into the correct format for transfer. 
  3. Upload this data into your target system using your data migration rules and map.
  4. Monitor the entire migration progress; keep an eye out for any issues that may arise during the process and resolve them.
  5. Move your source database to your target database using your preferred migration method (Export/Import, Migration Utility, etc.).

Note: Using either the Migration Utility or the Export/Import function will require the installation of the target database during this step.

Migration Follow-Up Plan

Once you’ve completed a successful Oracle migration, you need to ensure that there aren’t any issues with connectivity between the source system and your updated system. 

To do this, conduct a full audit of your system and data, performing tests of the unit, volume, system, and batch applications.

The goal of these tests is to verify that all of your data has been migrated correctly, securely, and now resides in its predetermined location and that no errors occurred during migration. 

If you do notice any missing data, corrupt files, or errors, replace them individually with the original data or files from your backup. 

This is why making a complete backup before migration is so important, as it is likely the only way to restore this data and undo any damage that may occur in the migration process.

Following the steps listed above will help you prepare and execute a successful Oracle migration from your source to your target system. Migrating to the latest release means you can leverage the most advanced functionality, helping your business achieve its sales and growth potential.