For over ten years, Alma Talent’s applications were run on different versions of Oracle Databases by using On-Premise infrastructure. Since Alma Talent had already migrated some of their applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and was planning to move all their applications and databases there, a need for centralized cloud environment monitoring and support for Oracle databases was realized.
Cybercom was chosen to be the one to migrate Oracle 11gR2 On-Premise databases (DEV and PROD) to AWS RDS Oracle 12cR1 databases due to the extensive experience on AWS environments and the advanced AWS Partner Company qualification.
Why Amazon Web Services
Alma Talent already had their own AWS accounts and VPCs for the databases (DEV and PROD). Also, Direct Connect -connections between On-Premise and Alma Talent AWS VPCs were already in place, but still new openings were needed for the database migrations.
Before the migration, Cybercom created requisite subnets, ACLs, RouteTables, RDS Instances (and set all options for these), HA, OptionGroups, ParameterGroups, DBsubnetGroups and SecurityGroups, as well as opened necessary accesses in databases. The template for these components and their installation was created by using AWS CloudFormation: since the management with the CloudFormation is fast and easy, it is a perfect tool for rapid recreations or creating new database environments.
Cybercom also scheduled backups and tested that they were working as expected. Test database environment was created, and migration tests were carried out by testing against it. Cybercom conducted connection tests in these new AWS RDS databases also via SSH connections.
Migrating the database
The application data was migrated from On-Premise Oracle 11gR2 database to 12cR1 AWS database by transferring one application’s data at a time. After the successful transfer, Alma Talent tested each application with the new Oracle version which was now running in the cloud. In addition to cloud-run applications, there were still some services left that run outside of AWS.
The production database migration was carried out after all application tests had shown that the new cloud environment and RDS worked as expected. The migration schedule was agreed with Alma Talent, after which Cybercom carried out the final production migration during evenings and weekends. The data transfer was done using Oracle impdp/expdp tools.
When it comes to application data point of view, there is no difference whether the new Oracle version is run in the cloud or On-Premise - the database runs and works exactly the same way. Any possible errors the upgrade might have caused, should have been fixed on traditionally hosted database as well.
On the other hand, moving data to the cloud can cause some unpredictable issues as the cloud environment is different compared to On-Premise: for example, the migration may take more time than expected or some disk space issues might occur. The better the database product and the cloud are known, the easier it is to tackle some of the problems that might occur during the migration.
In order for the database migration to be successful, the one responsible for the process must be familiar with the cloud and the database product in question. Testing different cloud and database issues in advance as much as possible will help the migration process as well.
In this case, Cybercom managed to migrate Alma Talent production from On-Premise to Amazon AWS without any bigger issues. All tasks and steps were completed on agreed schedule.
After the completed migration, it is important to know how to administrate the database in AWS in order to resolve possible problems. Cybercom has the competence for monitoring and administrating the AWS RDS databases as they were in On-Premise. Comprehensive database management services can be obtained as part of Passionate Support for AWS service concept.
Figure 1: Alma Talent Architecture Diagram
High availability was easily achieved by using AWS Multi-AZ. AWS setup changes and new resources can now be harnessed quickly if needed. Since there was no need to make any bigger changes in the applications themselves, the migration process from On-Premise to AWS cloud run smoothly. Overall cost savings were and will be significant.
Alma Talent publishes 22 trade and financial magazines and newspapers, as well as a variety of books. The business unit will also offer skills development and growth services to professionals and businesses in different fields, from events and training to information services. Alma Talent operates in Finland, Sweden and the Baltics.