Migrating to Oracle ADB: The Prequel


By Rakesh Nagdev posted 12 days ago


Moving database workloads to the cloud is an enticing thought, considering the myriad of benefits cloud computing claims to offer. However, many C-Suite residents still remain loyal to their on-premises Oracle Database; they haven't yet investigated the process of what a cloud migration process might entail, so they aren't prepared to make the jump. The reality is that even Oracle's on-premises database system can't compete with its Autonomous Database infrastructure (ADB), and leaders who recognize this can migrate their systems faster when they understand the preparations needed to get that process started. 

On-Premises Drawbacks 

A leader's loyalty to the on-premises database is reasonable: it represents a significant investment, it's a known entity within the company, and it retains the full value of the organization's data assets. 

However, there are also significant drawbacks to maintaining that system in-house: 

  • Its resources are ultimately limited to its size, which also limits the company's opportunity to scale. 
  • Maintaining its security is an ongoing battle for the IT team. Every breach anywhere in the world poses a threat to the business, and many in-house IT experts aren't equipped to immediately retool the company infrastructure in response.
  • Its maintenance costs can be prohibitive. On-premises systems require continual attention just to keep daily organizational activities running smoothly. Any issues or concerns that impede one system element can also impact the entire configuration and require expensive repairs and downtime. 

Further, most of today's legacy on-premises systems cannot run the sophisticated software and apps that are becoming ubiquitous in the constantly evolving global market.  

Preparing for Change

Instead of wasting time deciding whether to migrate, many leaders elect to accept the inevitable and begin strategizing the preparation for moving their existing Oracle Database to Oracle's cloud-based ADB. Fortunately, Oracle designed its Move to Autonomous Database (MV2ADB) tool to ease this process. In a nutshell, the process is encompassed within four major steps:

  1. Exporting data to an on-premises storage location that's the same size as the original database plus room for objects.
  2. Exporting the information from that storage location to Data Pump files in the regional Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Object Storage server.
  3. Importing the data from that server into an Oracle ADB.
  4. Verifying the transfer using SQL*Net.    

There are, of course, necessary sub-steps needed to ensure that the data moves appropriately and safely from one home to the other.

  • The MV2ADB tool requires users to have root system privileges for most of its activities. This requirement may present a security concern, especially if the database administration team is different from the system management team. A "super user do" - SUDO - command elevates the privilege level of a specified user or team, empowering them to perform the migration prep operations.      
  • Creating a bucket in the OCI Object Storage facility generates the site that will store the backup data for the migration. Buckets are typically generated regionally, although some customers prefer a dedicated region based on the location of their consumer base. 
  • Encrypting the passwords being used in the migration process is also critical to maintaining data integrity before, during, and after the project. Five specified passwords require encryption:
    • The OCI auth token password;
    • The 'sys' - source database system password;
    • Both the 'Expdp' and the 'Impdp' passwords for Oracle Data Pump access;
    • An 'admin' password for the target ADB resource, and
    • A proxy password, if that applies to the project. 
  • Configuring the migration process is also a critical step. It must define several parameters, including the source database, export and import, compression, the target database, the OCI Object Storage, authentication and client properties.
  • Verifying the configuration between the source and target databases must happen before the creation of the ADB link. The MV2ADB tool facilitates a five-step process to test and confirm the connections, create an on-premises directory to manage the transfer of the dump files, and ensure that all the dumped files are added to the appropriate parameters. 

Migration to the Oracle ADB promises significant advantages, especially in today's fraught global marketplace. It will maximize the performance of any enterprise system while providing state-of-the-art security and reducing costs besides. Preparing on-premises resources to make the move is the first step towards attaining those goals. Read my paper, Everything You Need to Know About Migrating Oracle Instances to Oracle Autonomous Database and get in touch with Datavail to see how we can assist.