Best Practices for Migrating Your Database to Google Cloud Platform

The key to an effective cloud migration approach is to make sure that you are moving your data and applications securely and economically without any interruption to the end user.

Although there are native services provided by the cloud providers for migrating data, these solutions might require significant restructuring of the application during a “lift-and-shift” operation or they might take days or months to move the data.In this article, we’ll look at the best practices to seamlessly migrate your database to the Google Cloud Platform.

A Recommended Migration Plan

A common delusion regarding cloud migration is that it will be a single trip without any downtime. However, the truth is that the method of data migration to the cloud must happen step by step. An effective migration must feel as seamless as possible to the enterprise so that the normal workflow isn’t interrupted and downtime is minimized.

Step 1 – Migrate Prevailing Data

The first step is to generate an initial copy of your current data in the Google Cloud Storage. This could be a big challenge as there might be hundreds of terabytes of data, a magnitude that is not very easily moved over the internet. But Google has provided various means to overcome this challenge. If your data exceeds 20 TB or might take more than a week to upload, you can use Transfer Appliance that lets you transfer huge amounts of data to Google Cloud Platform, quickly and safely via a high capacity storage server. If your data is less than 20 TB, you can use storage transfer service by Google.

But copying the raw data is just a part of this initial migration. Finally, to carry on to the next step, the point in time of the exported snapshot should be marked, and it should be used when setting up a continuing replication mechanism.

Step 2 – Set up Real-time Replication

After the first snapshot of your on-premises database is exported and copied to your GCP storage, the next stage would be to set up a real-time replication process. Every operation needs to capture changes to the data and its schema, and then those changes should be applied to the GCP database Application.

A lot of developers use the master-slave replication process, which reflects the real-time Master value, and as a part of a bigger solution to minimize system failures.

In this process, the data from one database server (the master) should be replicated to one or more database servers (the slaves). It starts with the master logging the updates that flow through to the slaves, following which, the slave outputs a message affirming that the update has been successfully received, hence allowing the master to send subsequent updates.


As soon as the foundation level is secured, you could proceed with migrating the rest of your set-up components one after another.

Step 3 – Migrate Your Legacy Data Applications

Migrating your legacy data application might bring more technical challenges as you might notice that certain queries need to be modified or rewritten or the data model might need a change in order to fully use the performance benefits of your GCP migration. In a few instances, it might need a Lift-shift or even a Re-platform approach.

Now, you can gradually move to production roll-out using strategies like Blue-Green strategy or the Canary deployment strategy to ensure that if there is any problem, you can easily rollback.

Advantages of Migrating to Google Cloud Platform:
  • Save time & Resources: The lift-and-shift approach allowed by GCP helps a lot in case of minimal architecture changes.
  • Flexibility to Change: The extended support that GCP brings from Google and its network of partners, can help you modernize any traditional, on-premises applications. It becomes really easy to rearrange, rearchitect, or re-platform such applications in the form of a group of microservices running on the Google Cloud.
  • Hybrid-friendly: GCP brings in hybrid-friendly design. It helps you to take advantage of the scalability and security of the cloud and at the same time, it takes care of the infrastructure on-premises.
  • Higher Productivity: GCP can help your application to roll out updates competently and deliver functionality on a weekly basis or even quicker.
  • Flexibility to Work From Anywhere: Employees can get full access to information across their devices from anywhere through web-based apps powered by Google cloud.
  • High Security: Google ensures that all your data are highly secured by putting in the best efforts in terms of security.
  • Higher Uptime and Reliability: GCP ensures that if a data center is not available for any reason, the system will immediately fall back on the secondary center to make sure that there is no interruption in service, provided you’ve configured a fail-over approach.

If you’re planning to migrate your database to Google Cloud Platform, Niveus Solutions can help you out with the best services. Being a partner of Google, our architects can recommend the best migration approach that will fit the needs of your organization and can help you to migrate from any environment to Google Cloud Platform.

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