Want to Simplify Your Migrations and Upgrades? You Don't Need a Resolution; You Need a Strategy.

Welcome back and happy New Year! Are you thinking about your resolutions for this year? Or perhaps avoiding the task because you’re worried about whether you’ll be able to keep them?


We all know that too many of our resolutions come and go without making any meaningful difference in our lives. But most of the time, it’s because we lack a strategy. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery put it, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” If you’re ready to not only make a resolution but keep it, read on, because in this blog, I’m going to explore how you can turn one important wish into a viable strategy that will make your life easier and benefit your organization to boot.

The stress of Oracle upgrades and migrations

One of the most significant challenges DBAs and sys admins face year-round is Oracle upgrades and migrations. There are a lot of reasons for undertaking these projects. Your current version of Oracle might be reaching its end of support, for example. Or you might be changing the server operating system or moving to a different architecture, such as RAC or a cloud or virtualized environment. Or maybe you need to upgrade to Oracle Enterprise Edition because you need more features — or downgrade to Standard Edition because you don’t use all the features of the Enterprise Edition you’re paying for.

Necessary as they are, though, these frequent upgrade and migration projects may be one of the leading causes of stress in your life. You give up your evenings and weekends and work as hard as you can, but even so, downtime seems inevitable. You dread the fingers pointing at you as users get frustrated and executives watch revenue numbers start to sink.

An actionable strategy for simplifying your migrations and upgrades

This year can be different. But we all know that a resolution alone isn’t enough. You need an actionable strategy for achieving your goal. I can’t help with every resolution you might make, but here are the key steps to include in your strategy for simplifying your migrations and upgrades:

  1. Analyze and evaluate — Analyze all existing applications, processes and users that require access to the systems involved in the migration, so you can gauge the potential impact of the project on workflows, programs and infrastructure.
  2. Minimize user and business impact — There’s no way around it: migrations affect important systems. You need to find ways to complete the migration with as little impact as possible on the business.
  3. Plan for coexistence — Most migrations don’t happen overnight, so you need to ensure seamless coexistence between existing and new systems in order to avoid service disruptions, lost productivity and increased business costs.
  4. Plan for failure — Make sure you have a failback plan that enables you to restore data quickly if something goes awry during the migration process or serious problems come to light after it is complete.
  5. Test before deployment — After the migration, test your applications thoroughly before making them available to your user community.
  6. Focus on management — Robust scheduling, project management and real-time progress reporting are required to ensure the new system is compliant, available, secure and efficient. In addition, you need to be able to manage and optimize the new environment after the migration is complete.

Of course, to implement these steps, you need a solid methodology and toolset. In my next blog, I’ll explain why it’s critical to take a hard look at all the options available to you — not just the ones you’ve always used.

For the full scoop, be sure to check out our new e-book, “Simplify Your Migrations and Upgrades: Part 2: Choosing a fool-proof method and toolset.”