Database Migration Comparison: AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, IBM, Alibaba Cloud

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If you are looking to migrate your database to the cloud, it is very crucial that you use the right database migration service for it. With numerous advanced database migration service providers available in the market today, you don’t have to compromise with the traditional tools and outdated offerings.

What is database migration?

Database migration is simply the migration of your apps, data, and other workloads from one platform/location to another. In this article, we will be discussing the database migration to the cloud.

Database Migration Comparison

Why migrate your database to cloud?

There are several benefits of database migration in which enterprises choose to move all their workloads and applications to the cloud. The main benefits include:

  • Comprehensive data integrity
  • Cost optimization
  • Reduced manual efforts
  • Improved efficiency and effectiveness
  • Scalability
  • Data availability
Related reading: Multi-database, multi-locations, and multi-platforms is the new norm: Survey

Cloud database migration tools comparison: Finding the best database migration assistant

1. AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS)

AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS) is one of the best tools for database migration. It can be used for migration of relational databases, data warehouses, NoSQL databases, as well as data stores of other types.

AWS Database Migration Service

Image source: AWS

Using the AWS DMS, you can perform data migration to AWS, between on-premises instances, or between a combined setup of cloud and on-premises setups. To reduce the downtime of applications running on the database that are being migrated, AWS DMS keeps the source database in operational phase during the migration.

The service provides support for both homogeneous and heterogeneous migrations. This enables the consumers to migrate the database between platforms of the same vendors, as well as to the platforms of other vendors.

For instance, if an Oracle consumer is looking to migrate its database to Oracle Cloud, he can do so using the AWS DMS. Now, if the same Oracle consumer wants to migrate to Microsoft SQL Server or Amazon Aurora, this too can be done using the AWS DMS.


Amazon provides Free DMS for six months to the users migrating the database to Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift or Amazon DynamoDB.

For other migrations, the cost depends on the compute resources consumed during the migration, with a charge for longer-term storage of logs. Detailed pricing for Amazon Database Migration Service is available here.

2. Cloud Data Transfer: Google Cloud

Google Cloud provides a family of database migration services meant for specific requirements. These services include:

  • Online Transfer
  • Cloud Storage Transfer Service
  • Transfer Appliance
  • BigQuery Data Transfer Service
cloud data transfer google

Image source: Google

The Online Transfer service can be used to migrate the data to Google Cloud Storage using a network.

Whereas, the Transfer Alliance comes with 100 TB and 480 TB models for shipping and uploading the data to Google Cloud Storage.

BigQuery Data Transfer Service is good for scheduling and automating data transfers from the SaaS (Software as a Service) applications to Google BigQuery.

Cloud Storage Transfer Service is meant for moving the data from one cloud to another. It enables the faster import of online data into cloud storage, data center migration to cloud, as well as migration of data within the Google Cloud Storage, from one bucket to another.

Cloud Storage Transfer can also perform migration of database from other cloud storage providers to the Google Cloud Storage.

Summing up, Google’s Cloud Data Transfer is a scalable and secure database migration service, with a simple drag and drop functionality, and JSON API to allow consumers migrate data using preferred method and language.


Google Cloud charges for cloud storage on the basis of data storage, network usage, operations usage, retrieval and early deletion fees.

Detailed pricing is available here.

Suggested reading: CDN comparison: AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, IBM, Alibaba Cloud

3. Azure Database Migration Service (DMS)

Azure Database Migration Service is a comprehensive and fully managed solution to migrate database from multiple sources to the cloud. It provides support for various database engines, allowing users to migrate database from on-premises, virtual machines (VMs), and other public clouds to Microsoft Azure.

Azure DMS

Image source: Azure

Supported source database engines include:

  • SQL Server
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • MongoDB

Supported target database engines include:

  • Azure SQL Database
  • Azure SQL Database managed instance
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL
  • Azure Database for MySQL
  • Azure Cosmos DB’s API for MongoDB

To guide the users throughout the migration process, Azure uses Data Migration Assistant which generates the assessment reports of all the changes, and provide suggestions to the users.

Azure Database Migration Service supports both offline and online migrations. Offline migrations face downtime right from the beginning of migration. For critical workloads that can’t afford downtime or limited downtime, Microsoft recommends the use of online migration.


Standard tier: This tier supports offline migrations and is available for free. Standard tier offers 1,2, and 4-vCore options.

Premium tier: The Premium tier of Azure DMS is billed on the basis of a predictable, hourly rate on provisioned compute in vCore. Microsoft offers 4 vCore Premium DMS for free for 6 months.

Suggested reading: Top public cloud storage providers in 2019

4. IBM Lift

IBM Lift enables the database migration from on-premises datacenters to IBM Cloud in a faster and secure manner.

Being a pioneer in cloud services, IBM’s cloud database migration solution allows you to control all the steps of migration— extracting data from source, transporting over the wire, and loading into the target.

IBM Lift

Image source: IBM

To minimize the downtime during migration, IBM Lift keeps the source database uninterrupted by capturing the changes to the source database and replaying them to the target database.

For secure database migration to cloud, IBM Lift uses end-to-end 256-bit encrypted connection. This helps in protecting the confidential data while it moves over the internet.


IBM Lift is available for free.

5. Alibaba Cloud Data Transmission Service (DTS)

Alibaba Cloud’s Data Transmission Service (DTS) is an easy-to-use cloud database migration tool that enables migration of database between multiple data storage types, including NoSQL, OLAP, and relational database.

Alibaba Cloud Database Migration Service

Image Source: Alibaba Cloud

Cloud database migration with Alibaba Cloud can be done for both homogeneous and heterogenous platforms. For instance, consumers can migrate data from MySQL to MySQL, as well as from Oracle to MySQL.

Alibaba Cloud DTS allows migration of data from on-premises databases to RDS or ECS, databases running on ECS to RDS, vice versa, along with migration from one RDS database to another RDS database.

For high availability, the solution continuously replicates all the changes at the source database to the target database. This helps in keeping the source database in operational mode at the time of migration.


For data migration, Alibaba Cloud Data Transmission Service is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, starting with the configuration fee of $0.158 for small instances.

Find detailed pricing for specific regions here.

Database Migration Comparison

Image source: Alibaba Cloud

Wrapping up:

To find the best cloud database migration solution, you need to perform a well-thought-out database comparison. Generally, the best solution is the one that fits your use case, budget, region, and other such components.

Which database migration platform are you looking to use for your project?

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purpose only. Price, product and feature information are subject to change. This information has been sourced from the websites and relevant resources available in the public domain of the named vendors on 28 November 2019. Daily Host News makes best endeavors to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date, however, it does not warrant or guarantee that anything written here is 100% accurate, timely, or relevant to the website visitors.

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