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Data Migration Tools: Types of Migration Tools, Popular Tools in 2024

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10th Jan, 2021
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Data Migration Tools: Types of Migration Tools, Popular Tools in 2024

As we all know, the most constant thing in this world is change. So, just like people evolve, organizations also grow and expand. When a company acquires another firm or plans to upgrade its technical infrastructure, data transfer occurs. It might need to move data from its data warehouse to the new cloud storage. Or, it might require to shift the acquired firm’s data to its current storage.

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This process of transferring data is called data migration. In this post, we will learn about data migration tools that simplify the process.

But first, let us know a little more about data migration.

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What is Data Migration?

Data migration is the process of transferring data from a source system to the target storage. Files and folders having different formats are shifted. This process involves selecting, extracting, preparing, and then converting the data so that it is compatible with the target storage location. Data verification is done to confirm its authenticity.

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Situations where data migration is required:

  • Data migration is important when a company’s systems are being updated or a new server is installed
  • Moving data from one data center to another
  • Consolidating data from different storage sources
  • Recovering data from a damaged source

This process aims to shift data properly without any data loss, manipulation, or recreation. But, it is a tedious task to transfer all the data manually. Data migration tools are used to automate the process and speed it up. If you are a beginner and interested to learn more about data science, check out our data science course from top universities.

Read more: What Are The Skills to Become a Cloud Engineer ??

Data Migration Tools

Data migration tools are used for extracting data from the source, load it to the new system, and verify its contents. There are three types of data migration tools that depend upon the requirements of the user:

1. On-premise data migration tools

These tools are used to transfer data between two or more databases/servers without moving them to the cloud. In a small or medium company, these tools are useful while changing data warehouses or the location of your data store.

Examples of on-premise data migration tools are IBM Infosphere, Oracle Data Service Integrator, and Informatica PowerCenter.

2. Cloud-based data migration tools

Cloud-based data migration tools are used for shifting data from an on-premise data store, data lake, application, or another cloud data store. These are great for moving data to the cloud or if your data is already stored in a cloud store. Companies choose this tool as it is cost-efficient and highly secure.

Examples of cloud-based data migration tools are Alooma, Snaplogic, Stitch Data, AWS Migration Services, and Micro Focus PlateSpin Migration Factory.

3. Open-source data migration tools

These are open-source tools used for transferring data between cloud or land-based storage systems. Usually, these tools are used by small, medium, and startup firms that want to make the data migration process more cost-efficient. Being open-source, these tools are free or cheaper than the popular software products.

However, you may need to know some coding to work with these tools. Popular examples of open-source data migration tools are Talend Open Studio, Apache NiFi, and Myddleware.

Popular Data Migration Tools

Below is a list of the most popular data migration tools in the market:

1. IBM Informix

Informix is a tool used for transferring data from one IBM database to another. For importing data from other sources, it has tools, such as IBM Informix Enterprise Gateway products, External tables, and High-Performance Loader (HPL). It is a licensed product.

It can easily transfer data from one server to another. You can comfortably move your data between operating systems, such as Linux and Unix. If you are migrating data within the same operating system, you do not have to load and unload data. Informix moves data using tools like dbexport, dbimport, dbload, onunload & onload, Nonlogging raw tables and UNLOAD/ LOAD statements.

2. AWS Data Migration

This is a popular tool used for moving data to the cloud easily and securely. It is very flexible and can transfer data from commercial and open-source database systems. It’s the plus point is that the source database stays fully functional during the data migration process. So, you can work on the source database while data is being moved.

Both homogeneous and heterogeneous data migrations are supported by the AWS Data Migration tool. Its high-speed reduces the application downtime significantly. It has various tools for in and out of AWS online. They are:

  • AWS DataSync
  • Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration
  • AWS Transfer Family
  • Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose
  • APN Partner Products

3. EMC Rainfinity File Management Appliance

This is a data migration tool developed by Dell that allows companies to move their data cost-efficiently. It is user friendly, simple, and lightweight that can be used to move files from NAS (network-attached storage) to CAS (content-addressed storage).

The software uses data archiving algorithms to shift data from servers to NAS environments.

4. Apex Data Loader

This is an open-source data migration tool launched by Salesforce. Coded entirely in Java, you can use queries to extract data from a data source using Apex Web Services API. This easy-to-use software lets you move your data into Salesforce objects.


  • A built-in command-line interface and great user interface
  • It can transfer huge data files having millions of rows
  • Compatible with older versions of Windows, such as Windows Vista, XP and Windows 2000
  • A built-in CSV file viewer and drag and drop field mapping
  • A batch mode interface having database connectivity

5. IRI NextForm

This data migration and re-formatting software are used for moving data from modern databases, index/sequential files, and unstructured documents. NextForm does not need Hadoop or any in-memory databases to work on big data.


  • More than 200 modern data sources and targets supported
  • Supports local, HDFS, and cloud file systems. It uses standard rivers, such as Kafka and ODBC for movement of data
  • You can view your files in tables, custom reports, and virtualized views. Business intelligence tools can also be used on them
  • File formats, such as CSV, LDIF, XLS, Variable Blocked, Micro Focus Variable Length, Micro Focus ISAM¹, XML³, Fixed-position Text, and Delimited Text are supported

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Selecting the right data migration tools will depend upon the goals and requirements of your company. Factors, such as location (cloud or on-premise), budget, amount of data, and the security features you need, come into play during the selection. 

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Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What exactly is meant by the term data migration?

In simple words, the transfer or shift of data from one location, application, or format to another is known as data migration. Data migration is done when you are changing the platform where you used to work, which means the data is getting migrated permanently. Data migration occurs for a couple of reasons. Storage device replacement or upgrade, server maintenance, website merging, crisis recovery, and data center migration are just a few of them.

2How is data migration different from data integration?

Data migration and data integration are dissimilar in a number of ways. While data migration supports the permanent transfer of data from one platform to another, data integration brings together data from many sources to give the user a complete picture. Data integration is useful for updating or replacing existing systems, whereas data migration is useful for combining applications from two firms or consolidating applications within the same organization. Data migration entails choosing, preparing, extracting, and converting data from numerous distinct sources that are stored using various technologies, whereas data integration entails merging data from several dissimilar sources that are stored using various technologies.

3Are there any risks involved in migrating the data?

While data transfer is quite handy in the event that you wish to leave a work platform permanently, there are certain risks associated with the procedure. Data loss might occur during the data migrating procedure. Some data from the source system may not migrate to the new system or target system, and in the worst-case scenario, you may lose all of your data if the procedure is not done correctly. Companies must have suitable planning and validation methods in place to mitigate the impact of data transmission on compatibility and performance problems.

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