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Data Center Migration Tools for Parallel & Swing Migrations

By: Ernest Sampera on October 8, 2019

There are a number of factors IT leaders need to take into consideration when they begin to plan a data center migration. One of the most important is the question of how to minimize risk and downtime during the move. Organizations with low tolerance for both will likely choose a parallel or swing migration instead of a more straightforward “forklift” migration. In order to make their move a success, they’ll need to find the right data center migration tools.

Forklift Migration

When it comes time to migrate infrastructure to a data center environment, some organizations are able to simply pack everything up and move all at once. This kind of migration, often called a “forklift” migration, is usually fairly simple since it only involves relocating equipment, but it can become far more complicated if the destination facility doesn’t have the right power and connectivity requirements. Also, moving hardware isn’t quite as straightforward as unplugging the power cable and loading it into a truck. Static discharges and vibrations can cause severe damage to components if the proper precautions aren’t taken in advance. Finding a contractor specialized in data center migration services can help ensure that everything arrives in working order.

A forklift migration usually involves some period of downtime since network services will be unavailable while equipment is being transported and installed at the new site. Critically, there is very little margin for error if anything goes wrong, which could result in much higher data migration costs. Once equipment is deinstalled, it can be difficult to roll back the migration unless data has been backed up. The combination of downtime and data redundancy leads many companies to consider a different migration strategy that provides them with more security.

Parallel and Swing Migrations

For organizations that need to keep network services functioning during a migration, a parallel or swing migration makes for a more attractive solution. This type of migration sets up a temporary server, either on new or rented on-premises equipment or through cloud services, to ensure that critical applications and data are available while the primary servers are relocated. Once the physical aspect of the data center migration project plan is completed, the main network systems are brought back online.

By replicating data and applications in a parallel environment using server migration tools, companies can also carry out their migration in stages, migrating different aspects of their infrastructure and slowly rebuilding their systems in the new data center environment. This can be an expensive and time-consuming process, but it allows them to handle unexpected delays and roll back aspects of the migration to address problems.

Data Center ETL Migration Tools

When migrating data from one location to another, IT engineers typically turn to extract, transform, load (ETL) tools. These software migration tools are able to collect data from multiple sources and place it into another integrated database. During this move, the data is processed so that it will be usable in the new location regardless of where it came from.

IBM InfoSphere

Long used for on-premises migrations to transfer data from one server to another, InfoSphere provides parallel processing capabilities that allow organizations to cleanse and monitor data.

Microsoft SQL Server Integrated Services (SSIS)

Although it only supports Microsoft SQL Servers, the SSIS platform is ideal for extracting, transforming, and delivering data due to its automation features and drag and drop functionality.

Clover DX

Designed on a Java-based framework and able to support a number of operating systems, Clover DX is a highly customizable platform that can handle data integrations of all sizes and complexities.

Apache NiFi

A highly configurable open-source platform, Apache NiFi uses flow-based programming to send, receive, transfer, filter, and move data over a web-based user interface.


A code-free, open-open source tool that provides a turnkey solution for data migration, Myddleware uses a multi-step “differential migration” process to sync source and target applications more smoothly to limit errors.

Pentaho Data Integration (PDI)

Also known as “Kettle,” PDI is an open-source platform that uses a graphical drag and drop interface to migrate data between various sources and applications with minimal coding.


A platform-agnostic platform for enterprise cloud integration, SnapLogic cloud migration tools use pre-built, intelligent connectors called Snaps to transport different types of data between databases more easily.


Built with an emphasis on data analytics, the Fivetran platform replicates and integrates data for transfer into a cloud environment, offering an ideal solution for companies looking to shift to a cloud-oriented strategy.

Talend Open Studio

A unified suite of applications that integrates seamlessly with most existing environments, Talend Open Studio allows users to connect, access, and transform data across both cloud and on-premises environments.

Planning and executing a successful data center migration can be a massive challenge for any organization. Unexpected challenges can bring the entire process screeching to a halt, potentially resulting in extended downtime or even data loss. By conducting a thorough risk assessment and putting together a strong migration team to handle the transfer of data, applications, and equipment, organizations can protect their infrastructure and their customers from unforeseen problems and get back to focusing on how to make the most of their new data center’s capabilities. Selecting the right data center migration tools can help these teams carry out a relocation without sacrificing data or uptime.

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