6 Rules For a Smooth Data Migration

Data migration is not a piece of cake these days. Since the volume of data that an individual owns is growing every day, the amount of data an organization needs to conduct its day-to-day operations is rather bulky.

The trade, you are risking to irreversibly lose some valuable data along the way. At the very least, you can perform the data migration incorrectly, which will cause lots of confusion and can lead to downtime.

To take these scenarios out of the equation, you need to follow the rules for the smooth migration rules. These rules can be applied to whatever suites and tools you use. Whether you migrate from Office 365, G Suite, cloud, or on-premises, these rules will help you to systemize the process and make it as secure and smooth as possible.

For those who are migrating data in G Suite, there are some particular tips from a backup provider that you can find in Spinbackup’s G Suite migration guide.

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Access and organize all the exciting data

Before you start doing anything with your data, you need to conduct a full revision of it. Is it messy and requires reordering? Is it cluttered with unnecessary and outdated files? What it should look like after you migrate it? Do you need to take with you all data? The answers to these questions need to be given to understand whether your data is well organized and, if not, how to organize it for the future.

While may not seem an important task, data assessment will help you understand whether you store unnecessary data that takes up extra space, which spills into extra spendings. Also, your data should be prioritized before you transfer them.

If you have your retention policies in place, it would obviously take lots of load off your shoulders.

Backup data before you start the migration

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The first and foremost action to take is to prevent the risk of data loss. No matter how careful your actins will be in the process, data migration is a tricky procedure with high risk of data loss.

Backup is the only bullet-proof strategy that can secure your data from loss, so be sure to implement it as soon as possible. We certainly don’t advise you to backup your files manually if you have lots of data on your hands and opt for a professional backup solution. It is relatively inexpensive, especially if you will backup only the key members of your organization. It will also serve you as a cheaper version of an archive in case you need to keep data for legal purposes.

There are many different backup solutions out there, both on-premise and cloud-to-cloud. In case you need a cloud-to-cloud solution for your G Suite data, check out Spinbackup G Suite solution (they have an option for Office 365 as well).

Determine the timeframe

Defining the time frame is, probably, is one of the most crucial tasks and one of the determiners of the project’s success. When you have a distinct perception of what amount of time is required for a given process, many other things (like the cost or resources needed for the execution) fall into their place organically.

But remember: your time frames must be not optimistic but realistic. It is not only about the time the migration takes itself. Consider all the risks, bottlenecks, the amount of data to transfer – then your timing will be close to the realistic scenario.

Find out what data can’t be migrated

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Not all data can be migrated. For example, you can’t transfer:

  • automatically generated links to Hangouts Meetings in Google Calendars, unless you transfer files within G Suite ecosystem;
  • calendar colors and “muted” Gmail conversations, unless, again, you transfer files within the G Suite ecosystem;
  • all the applications and third-party services (like Google Analytics) connected to the accounts of your employees.

By determining all this you will avoid getting into trouble after you’ve finished the migration process.  This knowledge will help you to figure out what you should do with each data set that cannot be transferred. Usually, you will have such options as manually transfer data, modify it, or simply abandon it.

Decide who is responsible for what

This part is often not mentioned at all, which is strange. But we insist that establishing responsibility is really important and helps to keep your data integrity.

What does it mean, establishing credibility? In practice, it means assigning a person or a team of specialists to perform some particular tasks in the migration process. You obviously can choose one person to do all the migration process, which is popular among small companies that have only one IT person. But we wouldn’t recommend you to do this, since the quality of such data migration can suffer, especially if you have high volumes of data to transfer.

A much better option would be assigning a few experts that will supervise and be responsible for different stages of the migration. This approach allows you to be sure that nothing will be overlooked, and everything is done as qualitatively as possible.

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Validation, validation, validation!

The last but not least in this process is a validation of the migration. Basically, it means that before you start actually migrating your data, you need to first test the plan you have elaborated on. For example, you can take a small part of the less valuable data you have and move it. This approach will help you to see if there are some omissions in the plan, or, if everything works out just fine, to ensure that the plan is working as it should. This way or another, you won’t lose all data at once in case your plan won’t work.

Have a safe migration!

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