Product updates

Migrate your database to DigitalOcean Managed Databases with minimal downtime

Posted: February 7, 20223 min read

For most developers, startups, and SMBs, database management is not an area where they want to build their expertise. Instead, they want to spend their time innovating, creating more apps, and building differentiated features for their customers. This is where fully managed databases can help. With DigitalOcean Managed Databases, the mundane but essential tasks for databases such as patching, upgrades, backup, and recovery are all taken care of. You can focus on your app without worrying about the administrative overhead.

While many companies, big and small, recognize the benefits of moving to a managed database, they often find the idea of migrating their database to be daunting - especially if the database is powering their online business. Any downtime during the process means lost business and dissatisfied customers. Oftentimes, the migration process also requires professional help that comes with additional costs. This may throw a smaller company’s budget off. We’re excited to share that you now have the ability to migrate your MySQL, Redis, and PostgreSQL databases from virtually any source to our Managed Databases with minimal downtime and no additional costs.

How online migration works

Online migration allows you to transfer data from a database that’s either hosted on DigitalOcean (e.g. database running on a Droplet) or someplace else (e.g. an on-premises database or database in other cloud providers). Migrating a database establishes a connection with an existing database and replicates its contents to the new database cluster. If the existing database is continuously being written to, the migration process will continue until there is no more data to replicate or you manually stop the migration. For continuous migration, we recommend setting up your source database with additional steps to ensure minimal downtime and data loss. Here’s a video that shows how you can start the migration process.

Supported sources and destinations

Online migration is supported for any MySQL, Redis, and PostgreSQL databases that are publicly accessible. Users performing migration should also have the right level of permissions on these databases to start a migration. We do not currently support Redis migrations from AWS ElasticCache because it requires private connections using VPC peering. If you created your own Redis database on AWS using EC2, online migration would work just fine. Migrating from one Managed Database cluster to another using the online migration feature is also not supported.

Best practices for migration

Depending on how your database is being used, you may want to adopt a migration strategy that works best for your scenario. For example, if your database’s workload is read-heavy, the transition may be simple with minor downtime. But if your database’s workload is write-intensive, you may want to perform some additional steps to minimize downtime.

We will also be discussing the below topics in an upcoming tech talk with our database experts. Stay tuned!

  • • Considerations for read/write intensive databases
  • • Cutover strategies
  • • Configuration changes
  • • Addressing potential compatibility issues
  • • Architectural changes for minimal downtime
  • • Handling traffic during migration

The online migration feature is free, so there is no charge associated with migrating data into Managed Databases. You will be charged once you create clusters for Managed Databases (the pricing starts at $15/month). We currently support online migration for PostgreSQL, Redis, and MySQL. If you are using these databases, then give the online migration feature a try. Check out the docs (MySQL, Redis, and PostgreSQL) and click here to get started.

We hope that you are excited about this release and will give Managed Databases a try. If you’d like to have a conversation about using DigitalOcean and Managed Databases in your business, please contact our sales team. You can also visit our migration page and leverage the resources available to help you in your migration journey.

Happy coding!

Managed Databases team at DigitalOcean


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