Migrating digital commerce workloads to the AWS Cloud with AWS Database Migration Service and AWS Schema Conversion Tool

Author: Daniel Carraro, Solutions Architect at Ultra Commerce

As an organization focused on delivering digital commerce outcomes for our customers on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ultra Commerce is often tasked with helping organizations to migrate their existing on-premises hosting deployments to the cloud on AWS.

For many organizations, the migration to AWS presents an opportunity to both modernize architecture and reduce licensing costs. With this in mind, the database technology underpinning digital commerce platforms is often a key area for consideration.

While maintaining support for numerous database technologies, Ultra Commerce leverage Amazon Aurora as the standard database of choice. Amazon Aurora, one of AWS’s fastest growing services, provides enterprises high performance and availability with the simplicity and cost-efficiency of an open source database.

Amazon Aurora is the clear choice for delivering digital commerce on AWS however migrating data between cloud providers or from on-premise databases can be complex, costly, and time-consuming.

AWS realized this and created two tools to make the migration process as seamless as possible, with AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS) and AWS Schema Conversion Tool (AWS SCT).

Today, AWS DMS and AWS SCT have become indispensable tools used in many digital commerce platforms, including Ultra Commerce when migrating customers from on-premise environments (and other cloud providers) to AWS cloud.

Even complex migrations are covered

In true AWS fashion, they’ve already thought about complex migration use-cases catering to customers who require more advanced migrations. For example, when data needs to reside in a different environment (e.g. from on-premises to AWS) and/or data needs to be stored using a different database engine (e.g. from Oracle to Amazon Aurora MySQL-compatible) due to licensing or business or technical requirements.

AWS SCT is crucial in this situation, supporting common conversions such as Oracle to Amazon Aurora, MSSQL to MySQL, MySQL or MariaDB to PostgreSQL and even Apache Cassandra to Amazon DynamoDB amongst others.

How the tools are used

When utilized correctly by AWS partners, AWS SCT and AWS DMS are straightforward and highly effective, especially for digital commerce organizations.

After organizations provide a source database endpoint and engine (e.g. an Oracle database hosted on-premises) and a destination database endpoint and engine (e.g. an Aurora MySQL-compatible database hosted on AWS), AWS SCT will analyze both databases and perform both the schema conversions.

AWS DMS is used in a similar fashion, with the exception that a DMS replication instance must be created, which will act as a middleman between the source and destination databases. This DMS replication instance is an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon) EC2 instance with DMS-specific software that acts as a black box.

Customizable to fit every business case

Both AWS DMS and AWS SCT can be customized to include specific schemas to convert or migrate; in the case of AWS DMS, specific tables can be included or ignored. AWS DMS also features a transformational layer that allows operations such as the ability to add/replace/remove a prefix or suffix to a schema, table, or column (or rename it entirely); remove a column from a table, or convert to lowercase or uppercase.

AWS DMS can be configured to drop and recreate, or truncate tables before loading data if required, and also to load tables in parallel, supporting up to 49 tables to be loaded and migrated at once. However, any tuning will be dependent on the DMS Replication Instance selected to perform the job.

Ultra Commerce and AWS

Ultra Commerce has used AWS DMS for many migrations ranging from on-premise and other cloud providers to different AWS regions and in some cases, between two databases in the same virtual private cloud (VPC). Additionally, Ultra Commerce has leveraged AWS SCT to perform conversions between MSSQL and Amazon Aurora (MySQL-compatible) databases for clients moving off on-premise infrastructure into AWS cloud.

By taking advantage of AWS DMS and AWS SCT, Ultra Commerce are able to perform complex database migrations for clients at a fraction of the cost compared to other database migration tools and services. When migrating to Amazon Aurora specifically, Ultra Commerce clients have not only experienced performance gains within their digital commerce applications but have also managed to save on day-to-day infrastructure costs, and in some cases, on licenses.

Contact Ultra Commerce today for help on your migration to AWS.