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Benefits of Oracle to SQL Server Migration – Variances and Processes

There are several reasons why businesses today prefer Oracle to SQL Server migration even though the efficiency and performance of the Oracle database are never in question. One is that the operating and licensing costs are much higher in Oracle than Microsoft SQL Server and in today’s cut-throat business environment, every dollar saved counts. The costs increase manifold when existing systems and IT infrastructure are expanded and modernized. 

Next, and this is crucial, there are operating efficiencies to be taken into account as a motive for Oracle to SQL Server migration. Most enterprises in the present scenario still use on-premises databases that are short on storage capabilities and computing powers. Hence, with exponential increases in data usage across sectors and industries, costs of running the systems increase manifold. It is more cost-effective to migrate databases either to on-premises Microsoft SQL Server from Oracle or migrate to the cloud such as Microsoft Azure to optimize costs and operating efficiencies.  

Differences between Oracle and SQL Server databases

Before diving into the benefits and process of Oracle to SQL Server migration, it is necessary to understand the key differences between the two.

  • SQL Server can be installed exclusively on the Microsoft Windows Server only while Oracle works on several platforms.
  • Values change before commit in SQL Server while it does not in Oracle.
  • SQL offers schemas in each database while multiple schemas are supported by Oracle with the instance. 
  • SQL Server supports full, incremental, and partial backups only while in Oracle, it is full, incremental, and differential database backups.
  • SQL Server does not offer Star Query optimization but the same is supported by the Oracle database. 

Based on these critical variances, what are the benefits of Oracle to SQL Server migration?

Benefits of Oracle to SQL Server migration

Several benefits make Oracle to SQL Server migration a very viable option for organizations. 

  • SQL Server has more affordable license costs than Oracle. It is also very user-friendly and unlike Oracle, does not need the supervision of DBAs, another area of cost savings. Costs are kept under control in SQL Server through compression of data, virtualizing servers, and database consolidation.
  • SQL Server can be easily installed through the Setup Wizard and does not need a command-line configuration for installation, unlike other databases.
  • Sensitive data is protected with control of user access and tools for permission management. Further, data compression in SQL Server ensures high performance.
  • Various user profiles can make use of the several editions available in SQL Server and save on costs by working on the most suitable of them. Large organizations can use the Enterprise SQL Server edition while for small to mid-sized businesses, the Standard SQL Server edition is the most suitable. Users can also work on the Express SQL Server version which is free but with fewer features than the others. Finally, there is the Developer SQL edition that developers primarily work with to design test applications on the SQL Server. 
  • A very critical factor for Oracle to SQL Server migration is the data recovery and restoration feature. SQL Server recovers and restores damaged or lost data with advanced tools, even entire databases if required. This is done through the core module of the database engine that optimizes and allows running queries and data storage of files, indexes, and transactions of users. Log records are entered in the disk even before a transaction commit. When there is a failure of the operating system, server hardware, or even the database engine instance, the transaction logs are used by the instance after the restart to take the incomplete transactions to the point of the crash and start fresh again. 
  • Data security is another very important reason for Oracle to SQL Server migration. SQL Server has various complex encryption algorithms and safety mechanisms that provide increased security layers. All these together neutralize any attack on the system. 

These are some of the many reasons that make Oracle to SQL Server migration a viable proposition for organizations. 

Oracle to SQL Server Migration Process

There are two methods of Oracle to SQL Server migration and organizations can opt for any of them depending upon their specific needs.

  • Single-step migration: The full migration is completed in a single step without a break. The source database is shut down as otherwise, all transactions that have taken place after the last backup or last run will not move to the new target database. This is an easy and seamless process but has its downside too. Large and mid-sized businesses will find it very difficult and inconvenient to have their databases shut down for any length of time. Also, test executions have to be carried out before migration to ensure that there are no problems later.
  • Two-step migration: Oracle to SQL Server migration involves two steps here. First, only the static and rarely used data is migrated to the target database. Once completed, the incremental data and changes occurring after the last run data are continually migrated at pre-set intervals. 

The process of Oracle to SQL Server migration is mainly automated and does not require human intervention at any stage apart from testing and initiating the process. Optimized tools take care of all the aspects required for migration.

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