Data migration: Maximizing value with SQL, Trino, and Starburst

Last Updated: June 17, 2024

Data migration, pivotal in the big data digital transformation era, involves the strategic transfer of data across systems. It’s not just about moving data; it’s about transforming how businesses manage and leverage the volume of data and their data assets. 

Gartner reports 70% of companies had public cloud workloads, while Accenture estimates 86% of enterprises are expanding their cloud operations. Yet, companies face considerable challenges in becoming cloud-native.

We start this post by exploring the detailed planning and execution phases of a data migration project, emphasizing tools such as SQL, Trino, and Starburst’s roles in achieving efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced productivity.

Data migration plans and considerations

The migration of data to the cloud (e.g. cloud providers: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud) is a paramount consideration for businesses seeking efficiency, scalability, and innovation. 

This narrative aims not to present a detailed, step-by-step manual for executing a cloud-based data migration, but rather to serve as a compass, directing readers towards a comprehensive understanding of the diverse approaches available. 

However, before delving into the intricacies of relocating a data warehouse workload, it is essential to grasp the fundamental stages of migration, the key stakeholders involved, and the underlying mechanics that drive this transformative process.

At the heart of this endeavor lies a mission to enhance operational efficiency, fortify system reliability, and foster technological modernization. 

The following sections lay the foundation for articulating the overarching prerequisites and objectives driving a successful cloud data migration project:

Business requirements

The propulsion behind a cloud data migration solution is rooted in the aspiration to attain key objectives: elevating system reliability, optimizing costs (in select cases), and cultivating agility through the embracement of contemporary architectural paradigms.

Goals and use cases

Cloud migrations(hybrid cloud or multi-cloud?) involve orchestrating several interdependent tasks and workflows, each contributing to the seamless transition of an organization’s digital infrastructure:

Migrating data smoothly, limiting duplications and downtime

The core essence of any data migration initiative is the safe and fluid transfer of information from on-premises systems to the cloud. This foundational step requires meticulous planning and execution to ensure that data integrity remains unblemished, and no fragment of information is left behind.

Transferring ETL pipelines

Beyond mere data migration, the conduits responsible for data flow must also be efficiently transitioned. Data pipelines, the lifelines of modern data-driven enterprises, must be realigned to ensure a continuous stream of information that fuels critical business processes and applications.

Relocating reports, dashboards, and downstream workloads

For a data migration to yield its full potential, it must encompass not only the raw data but also the tools that interpret and visualize this information. Reports, dashboards, and other client-facing tools must be migrated harmoniously to guarantee uninterrupted access to vital insights.

Data governance: Safeguarding data quality, accuracy, and timeliness

As data embarks on its journey from legacy systems to a cloud environment, maintaining its fidelity is paramount. Data quality checks, limiting duplications, and preservation of timeliness must be integrated seamlessly into the migration process to avert any discrepancies that might undermine decision-making down the line.

Data migration process and lifecycle

  1. Initial assessment and strategy planning: This phase is more than an audit; it’s the foundation upon which the migration’s success is built. SQL is indispensable here, not just for querying databases but for uncovering the intricate stories data tells about business operations, system health, and potential migration pitfalls. 
  2. Data migration tool selection: Trino and Starburst: Selecting tools isn’t just about technical compatibility; it’s about aligning technological capabilities with business requirements and goals. Trino offers the adaptability and scalability needed for complex migrations. Starburst enhances this with enterprise-grade connectivity, addressing security, governance, and performance — key factors impacting the migration’s ROI.
  3. Data preparation: This stage, powered by SQL, is where data is transformed from its current state to one that aligns with the future state’s new system requirements. This transformation is not just a technical consolidation, but also aligns data with evolving business processes and intelligence needs.
  4. Execution of migration with Trino: Trino’s role is transformative. It’s not just a query engine but a bridge connecting the old and new data worlds. Its distributed architecture doesn’t just move data; it orchestrates a complex ballet of bytes and bits across systems, minimizing downtime and maintaining data integrity.
  5. Data loss prevention, validation and testing: Leveraging SQL for post-migration validation isn’t a mere formality; it’s a critical process to ensure data fidelity. It’s about confirming that the data’s story hasn’t changed in transition, guaranteeing business continuity.
  6. Post-migration optimization with Starburst: The journey doesn’t end with data transfer. Starburst’s optimization capabilities are about fine-tuning performance, ensuring that the new data environment isn’t just a replica of the old but an enhanced, more efficient version. 

Cost and productivity perspectives

  • Migrating with Trino and Starburst means reduced time and resources, translating directly into cost savings.
  • Improved data processing capabilities minimize operational disruptions, preserving productivity.
  • Enhanced data quality leads to reliable business insights, fostering informed decision-making.

The initial phase of migration sets the tone for the entire project. It’s where complexities are unraveled, strategies are formed, and the foundation for a successful migration is laid. 

Next, let’s explore the nuances of data decoupling and movement, focusing on their roles in optimizing the data migration process.

Decoupling and movement: A detailed approach

Now, let’s address the critical yet often underestimated aspects of data migration – decoupling and movement. It’s a phase that’s both an art and a science, requiring meticulous planning, deep understanding of data relationships, and strategic use of technology to ensure a smooth transition.

  1. Strategic decoupling with SQL: Decoupling in data migration is like untangling a complex web. SQL queries are used not just to map data relationships but to understand how these relationships impact business processes, user experience, and data integrity. 
  2. Data movement orchestrated by Trino: Moving data is more than a simple transfer; it’s ensuring that the data remains coherent, complete, and accessible throughout the process. Trino’s role is pivotal here, offering a robust platform for managing large-scale data migrations with minimal impact on business operations.
  3. Real-time synchronization with Starburst: In scenarios where data must be kept in sync in real-time, Starburst’s capabilities shine. It’s not just about keeping data up-to-date; it’s about ensuring that businesses can continue to operate seamlessly, without missing a beat.

Unpacking cost and productivity benefits

  • Strategic decoupling and efficient data movement mean reduced operational costs and resource allocation.
  • Minimizing business disruptions ensures continuity and productivity, avoiding indirect costs associated with downtime.
  • Accurate and efficient data transfer minimizes post-migration corrections, saving time and resources.

Data decoupling and movement are more than just technical steps; they’re crucial processes that ensure the migration’s success while optimizing costs and maintaining productivity. 

Next, we will delve deeper into the specificities of migrating from Hadoop to Cloud Data Lakes, highlighting the strategic advantages and cost benefits of this critical move.

Data migration strategy: Navigating the shift from Hadoop to cloud data lakes

Now, let’s explore the migration from Hadoop to modern Cloud Data Lakes. This transition is not just a technical upgrade but a strategic shift towards more agile, efficient, and cost-effective data management.

Types of data migration

1. Migration to Apache Iceberg

Iceberg is not just a data format; it’s a paradigm shift in data lake management. Its ability to handle massive datasets with complex schemas makes it an ideal choice for organizations looking to streamline their data operations.

The strategic edge: Iceberg offers unparalleled manageability and scalability, which translates into significant long-term savings in data maintenance and infrastructure costs.

2. Migration to Delta Lake

Delta Lake stands out for its transactional rigor. In environments where data accuracy is paramount, Delta Lake ensures consistency and integrity, crucial for maintaining trust in data-driven decisions.

Why Delta Lake? Its robustness reduces the need for additional data quality checks, streamlining operations and reducing costs associated with data errors.

3. Migration to Apache Hudi

Hudi revolutionizes the way businesses handle data updates and deletions. Its real-time processing capabilities make it ideal for dynamic, fast-paced business environments.

Advantages of Hudi: Its efficiency in managing frequent data updates minimizes the need for extensive data maintenance, translating into cost savings and enhanced data availability.

Cost and productivity insights

  • Migrating with SQL, Trino, and Starburst significantly reduces migration costs by optimizing data processing and minimizing hardware and cloud resource needs.
  • Enhanced data management capabilities in Cloud Data Lakes lead to savings in data operations and ongoing maintenance.
  • Improved data accessibility and management boost productivity, allowing businesses to leverage their data assets more effectively.

Migrating from Hadoop to Cloud Data Lakes with SQL, Trino, and Starburst isn’t just a technical decision; it’s a strategic move towards a more efficient, scalable, and cost-effective data ecosystem. 

This approach not only streamlines current data management practices but also paves the way for future innovations and deeper data-driven insights in a cost-efficient manner.

What are some next steps you can take?

Below are three ways you can continue your journey to accelerate data access at your company

  1. 1

    Schedule a demo with us to see Starburst Galaxy in action.

  2. 2

    Automate the Icehouse: Our fully-managed open lakehouse platform

  3. 3

    Follow us on YouTube, LinkedIn, and X(Twitter).

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