Differentiating Microsoft’s Database Migration Tools and Services


Microsoft provides a suite of tools and services designed to assist users with migrating various types of source databases to a variety of target environments. A description of these tools and services is provided in the following sections.

Azure Database Migration Service (DMS)

DMS is an Azure-based service that is now available in limited preview. DMS currently:

  • Supports migration of SQL Server or Oracle on-premises databases to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, or SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines.
  • Represents a fully managed database migration service for both operational databases and data warehouses.
  • Provides a resilient and reliable migration pipeline that requires minimal user involvement during the overall migration process.
  • Is recommended for large (in terms of number and size of databases) migrations – DMS can migrate databases at scale.

During Public Preview, we will continue to add functionality and source database types in anticipation of the General Availability release of the service.

Data Migration Assistant (DMA)

DMA is a tool that:

  • Supports upgrade of SQL Server 2005 and later versions to SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016, and SQL Server 2017 on Windows and Linux, and Azure SQL Database.
  • Detects compatibility issues that can impact database functionality on a newer target version of SQL Server.
  • Generates assessment reports that identify exactly what is required prior to performing a migration.
  • Recommends performance and reliability improvements for the target environment.
  • Allows for moving the schema, data, and uncontained objects from a source server to a target server.

SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA)

SSMA is a tool that:

  • Supports compete migration from Oracle, MySQL, SAP ASE, DB2, and Access to SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2017, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse (supported only by SSMA for Oracle).
  • Allows users to convert a database schema to a Microsoft SQL Server schema, upload the schema, and then migrate data to the target SQL Server.

Summary

In summary, consider the following:

  • DMS supports migration of SQL Server or Oracle on-premises databases to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, or SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. In the future, we will include additional sources, such as Sybase, DB2, Teradata, etc. As we extend the scope of DMS, functionality in DMA and SSMA will be integrated into the service.
  • DMA supports upgrade of on-premises instances of SQL Server 2005+ to SQL Server 2012 and later versions and to Azure SQL Database.
  • SSMA supports compete migration from Oracle, MySQL, SAP ASE, DB2, and Access to SQL Server 2008 and later versions, to Azure SQL Database, or to Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SSMA for Oracle only).

Note: In addition to the tools and services listed below, Microsoft provides the Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA), which is an A/B testing solution for SQL Server upgrades that assists users with evaluating a targeted version of SQL for a given workload. Customers upgrading from earlier versions of SQL Server (SQL Server 2005+) to any later version of SQL Server can use the provided analysis metrics, such as queries with compatibility errors, degraded queries, query plans, and other workload comparison data, to help increase confidence in having a successful upgrade experience.

Resources

For additional information, see the following resources.


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