Community Blog Database Migration with Alibaba Cloud – Part 1

Database Migration with Alibaba Cloud – Part 1

This article talks about the overall process of migrating databases to Alibaba Cloud and provides suggestions on planning your migration.

By Shantanu Kaushik

Cloud migration is like sipping a hot drink; it's more enjoyable if you take your time with it, and it's not advisable to rush through it. Cloud migration is best done in stages, and every stage should be treated as a case-study that you can learn from. Being patient and working through the process in an incremental manner will help to achieve a successful migration while ensuring business continuity. In this article, I'll talk about the overall process of migrating databases to Alibaba Cloud and provides suggestions on planning your migration.

Alibaba Cloud Database Migration Solution

Alibaba Cloud offers a self-service database migration solution, which supports MySQL-to-MySQL migration, MySQL-to-PolarDB migration, and more. Alibaba Cloud migration service ensures minimal impact on your business and offers unlimited storage space. If you have custom migration scenarios, you can also reach out to Alibaba Cloud for customized solutions and migration preparation guidance. They can provide you with a migration strategy depending on your organizational goals and current setup.

When it comes to security, Alibaba Cloud has worked tirelessly to provide an end-to-end security practice with their solution. With access control, end-to-end encryption, and authorization policy management, Alibaba Cloud covers all of the bases for a successful database migration practice.

I am using Alibaba Cloud services to expand into the depths of database migration and all the products and services referenced in this article will be from Alibaba Cloud.



Testing the Waters

The first step in the migration process is to test the waters by getting yourself acquainted with the complete migration process, and start by copying an already existing (smaller) database to the cloud. This could work as a proof-of-concept.

Thereafter, you can start to manipulate the database by creating trusted user groups within your current team to gather feedback and alternatively train multiple users to handle database services on the cloud.

First Service

After you have evaluated the service, you can start by cloning some small service or services application data to begin with. This could be any non-critical service that may provide you with additional experience on how your applications will behave post-migration.

This is an easy one to do, as you can change the configuration of your application to point to the cloud database. This application could be hosted anywhere, and can already be on the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid cloud setup.

Benefits from the Move

Using conventional practices with databases has worked for years. However, with a changing world, one should start to leverage new technologies developed in recent years. Moving your database on the cloud offers significant boost in every aspect, be it security, performance, maintenance, or accessibility.

Another aspect that has revolutionized the service industry is DBaaS; Alibaba Cloud provides database solution as DBaaS (Database as a Service). This ensures an enterprise-level managed solution, without the hassle of maintaining backend resources like operating systems, RDBMS products, or any virtual servers.

Alibaba Cloud also provides cloud-native database solution such as PolarDB. This ensures that you don't need to worry about overheads in database storage, or provisioning more storage resources if in case you run out.

Alibaba Cloud offers virtually unlimited storage with their database solution. Based on the pay-as-you-go model, the storage automatically expands to accommodate any change in usage.

Object Storage Service (OSS) has revolutionized how storage works on the cloud. It presents you with a solution that is way cheaper than using anything on an on-premises setup. This fully managed service takes over any hardware provisioning or maintenance issues, making it a more cost-effective solution.


One of the most important benefits of migrating your database to the cloud is the number of product options that you can choose from. It is the first step towards the evolution from traditional practices and solutions to a new architectural design. Cloud-native solutions can help a business to reach new horizons and expand rapidly.

Another key consideration is to minimize any sort of downtime while migrating. Ensuring that both your on-premises and cloud databases are fully functional should be the core practice for any business to follow.

Lastly, you can choose to migrate just by copying your database to the cloud, but it is always advised to look for upgrade your architecture. A well desgined and up-to-datechance to redefine the architecture and solution, provides a great opportunity while you are planning to move. This offers better business continuity and expansion scenarios.

The Solution | Alibaba Cloud


Alibaba Cloud has a feature-rich collection of tools that make it easier to manage the total migration process and the aftermath.

Data Transmission Service (DTS)

I am going to cover Data Transmission Service (DTS) what and how to in the next article. Here is a brief introduction:

Data Transmission Service (DTS) offers incremental or phased database migration solution. It supports multiple sources for database migration needs and is known for its proven reliability. This feature rich tool supports non-stop data flow and high-peak usage scenarios.

Data Management Service (DMS)

Data Management Service (DMS) provides a centralized control panel for you to manage authorization policies across databases. It enables the configuration of resources and services that protect sensitive information against unauthorized access. It also provides functionality to audit all operations and to manage the full lifecycle of your databases.

Database Backup Service (DBS)

Database Backup Service (DBS) is a solution that offers real time, continuous backup of databases. It supports multiple environments like hybrid cloud, public cloud and other enterprise data center. Database Backup Service (DBS) is a cost-effective solution that supports incremental backup and offers industry leading practices in security and encryption.

Full-Stack Control panel

An on-premises database solution comes with a lot of backend configuration and maintenance requirements. Multiple teams need to work on managing this solution as there are authorization challenges and numerous security threats and issues to sort through. Security, performance, and management concerns have had their time with administrators sorting through issues for days and weeks at a time.

With a fully managed Database Management Service (DMS), you can manage your user base easily. Not only that, almost everything happens over the ease of a click. The full-stack access control-based panel allows you to achieve every control task with ease and without any hassle.


Continued in Part 2

  • Industry specific solutions and success stories
  • Database solutions by Alibaba Cloud


Migrating existing databases to the cloud offers many benefits like cost saving, operations & maintenance (O&M), better scalability, and an overall more agile practice. Cloud migration provides a performance centric and cost-effective solution to achieve business excellence and expansion.

To ensure that your migration goes as smoothly as possible, and to leverage all the features associated with the migration solution, you must plan your migration and do it in stages.

Alibaba Cloud backs the solution with unlimited storage to further reduce the strorage based over-provisioning. The industry-leading range of cloud database technologies and tools further strengthens the system's ability to cope with demand at peak times.

Lastly, the most important advice I can pass across is that you consult Alibaba Cloud's migration team to get your current setup evaluated before planning a migration. This will ensure a smoother and more reliable practice, with selection of correct tools and resources.

Next In Line

  1. Database Migration with Alibaba Cloud – Part 2
  2. Data Transmission Service – What and How

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

0 0 0
Share on

Alibaba Clouder

2,600 posts | 750 followers

You may also like


Alibaba Clouder

2,600 posts | 750 followers

Related Products