UPDATED 12:00 EDT / MARCH 31 2021

CLOUD

Google launches its serverless Database Migration Service into general availability

Google LLC today launched its Database Migration Service into general availability, four months after introducing the serverless tool in preview to help companies move business applications to its public cloud.

The offering will enable the search giant to provide more effective support to organizations modernizing on-premises workloads. It should make switching to the Google Cloud Platform from competing clouds easier as well in some cases. 

One of the most complex aspects of moving an application to the cloud is bringing over the database in which it stores information. Administrators have to make extensive configuration changes to the original database environment and set up a secure connection to transfer the information. Yet more time is spent on the migration itself, which can take days depending on how many records a company is moving.

Google says the Database Migration Service makes the process considerably faster. The tool has pre-packaged scripts that partially automate tasks such as setting up the connection over which information will be sent. Information transmission is performed using a database’s native data replication features and not an external mechanism. This approach, which Google describes as unique, simplifies some of the setting configurations involved in the task. 

Besides speeding up the initial setup, Database Migration Service also promises to reduce the amount of time it takes for data to be transferred from the source database to Google Cloud Platform. The tool saves time using a technique known as continuous replication. 

The traditional way of performing database migrations is to create a onetime copy of all the information in a database and send it over the network. That method requires disabling data writes while the copy is being prepared because otherwise, users might make changes to the information that could mix up the dataset. The requirement to disable writes creates downtime for the applications that depend on the database. 

With continuous replication, in contrast, it’s possible to migrate records even if users actively make changes to the information during the process. That significantly reduces the amount of application downtime the migration incurs. 

The end result, Google says, is simpler cloud migrations for customers. One customer, a provider of consumer debt reduction tools called Freedom Financial Network LLC, used Database Migration Service to migrate a collection of MySQL databases to Google Cloud SQL. The firm had expected two to three hours of downtime per each application that depended on the databases but saw less than 10 minutes in practice.

Google says Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Accenture Plc are also among the other customers that have adopted the service so far. 

Database Migration Service supports two databases on launch: MySQL and PostgreSQL. Support for a third, Microsoft SQL Server, is currently in preview, with Google planning to make the integration generally available sometime later this year.

Competing cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services Inc. also offer solutions designed to make migrating workloads to their platforms easier. And just this morning, Oracle Corp. announced a new cloud migration service called Cloud Lift Services.

Image: Google

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