5 Best Practices For Migrating to A Cloud-Based Data Warehouse
A data warehouse is a repository of integrated data that an enterprise accumulates from its main business systems. The purpose of designing a data warehouse is to derive meaningful insights from all the accumulated data and allow businesses to conduct analysis and reporting at different aggregate levels.
Traditionally, data warehouse systems were designed and built in an on-premise data center. The resources required for building an on-premise data warehouse, including staff and computing resources, mean that it is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor that few businesses can afford.
However, the cloud computing paradigm has made data warehousing much more affordable and accessible. Several cloud vendors now provide a data warehouse-as-a-service option wherein enterprises can access the necessary storage, processing power, and tools for a data warehouse over a network connection. Migrating to a cloud-based data warehouse isn’t completely straightforward, though. Read on for five best practices to help smooth your transition to a data warehouse in the cloud.
Become Familiar With The Architecture
There are a couple of important terms you’ll need to understand with regards to how cloud-based data warehouses are typically designed. Each service provider who offers a cloud-based data warehouse uses its own specific setup, however, some common trends include:
- Massively parallel processing (MPP), which refers to the ability to process large datasets in a coordinated manner using many processors simultaneously. Incorporating MPP into data warehouse design dramatically speeds up query times.
- Serverless computing, which is a concept used by some vendors that lets you use a cloud-based data warehouse service without worrying about provisioning, scaling, or managing resources.
- Columnar storage, which stores data tables by column as opposed to by row. The main benefit of a columnar design is better efficiency when querying data.
Perform Due Diligence
There are several popular options for cloud-based data warehouses, such as AWS Amazon Redshift, SAP Business Warehouse, and Google BigQuery, but it’s important not to choose based on popularity. Perform appropriate due diligence and assess whether any service you are considering provides certifications of compliance with important statutory laws that protect sensitive data.
Minimize Data Transfer Costs
When transferring data from your on-premise systems to a cloud-based data warehouse, you must bear in mind that there are limitations to the amount of data you can transfer over the internet due to high bandwidth costs and a lack of reliability. To minimize data transfer costs when migrating to the cloud, consider a dedicated private network connection or even a physical data transfer service.
Prioritize Security Concerns
One of the main issues with availing of a cloud-based data warehouse is that you are trusting a third-party with large stores of important business information.
While the systems used by cloud computing providers tend to be secure, you must approach the cloud in the most prudent manner possible. Make sure you prioritize key security concerns before migrating, such as securing data in transit, properly configuring user access,
Maintain Cost Visibility
The reason there is so much hype about cloud-based data warehouses is that they are much more affordable than on-premise deployments. However, it’s still critical to maintain visibility over every cost associated with your data warehouse operations in the cloud
Online calculators exist to help you plan for costs, but the ideal way to maintain cost visibility is to use a dedicated cloud optimization service. Additionally, data warehouse service providers often provide resources on their websites for maintaining visibility over costs.
Cloud-based data warehouses can provide an excellent return on investment but there is the potential for complications and problems. If you appropriately plan for your migration by following these best practices, you can limit problems when switching to a data warehouse service hosted in the cloud.