Oracle On-prem Database to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Migration – Top Strategies and Benefits

The database market is currently in the throes as enterprises that earlier relied on traditional on-premises databases are now rapidly migrating to cloud databases as their preferred data-management platforms. According to Gartner, a whopping 75% of all databases will be deployed or migrated to a cloud platform touting the cloud as the future of the database market. 

The cloud wars are now getting fierce. 

Oracle has recently released Oracle Database 21c, its latest cloud database version that boasts of over 200 new features and improvements in response to the ongoing trend of specialty databases that just adds to the workload of developers and analysts. It is a converged, multi-model, multi-workload database that works incredibly well for diverse use cases. 

As Oracle makes a solid case in point, Andrew Mendelsohn, Oracle’s executive VP of database server technologies asks, “If you’re a developer, why would you want to use five different databases to build your applications when you can use just one?” 

Researchers at Wikibon point out, “The more databases and data types that exist, the more specialized transfer systems are required. Sixteen databases would require 120 different transformation transport systems. Fifty databases would require 1,225.” 

Those who have been using Oracle cloud have experienced a world of benefits and are happy with the power it gives them. Easy to build and deploy, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) ensures enhanced capabilities, platform adaptability, innovation, security, and impressive business value. 

As Pete Buijs, CFO, CARE USA elaborates, “On Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we have reduced our global finance function costs by 35%. Over the last 5 years, our audit fees have gone down 65%. As we’re making financial commitments, we don’t have to wait for 24 hours for processes to run, they run every 30 minutes.”

Top benefits of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure include:

  • High-performance compute options 
  • Easy to scale for business demands
  • Most cost-effective cloud for Oracle workloads
  • ‘Only pay for what you use’ model

If you too are considering migrating your on-premises Oracle databases to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, here’s how you can proceed.

The groundwork

As with everything else, migrating to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure also requires planning based on a thorough analysis of your business environment. Only then would you be able to choose a suitable migration method.

Things to factor in before migration include:

  • On-premise database version and Oracle cloud database version 
  • On-premises host operating system and database character set
  • Quantity of data and data types
  • Storage requirements
  • Acceptable system outage time
  • Network bandwidth
  • Oracle software requirements

Migration strategies

Once you have the necessary details, it is easier to choose the strategy for migration while ensuring minimal alteration of the code, architecture, and functionality of your applications. Whether you are aiming for quick migration to shift from CAPEX to OPEX and enjoy Cloud IaaS benefits or are willing to make changes to your databases and tech stack through a PaaS layer will influence your choice of the migrating strategy.

The most popular migration strategies are explained below.


Commonly referred to as the ‘lift and shift’ approach to migration, it involves taking a snapshot of the application server VM’s on the source environment, converting it into a compatible OCI format (qcow2, vmdk), importing it onto OCI as a custom image, and finally re-instantiating it. 

What’s noteworthy is that rehosting also works well for non-Oracle applications running on a VM or Oracle Infrastructure Compute Classic.


Often referred to as the ‘Lift, Tinker, and Shift’ approach, re-platforming involves rebuilding or redeploying the application on an upgraded operating system with just a few tweaks to the code without altering the code structure or the functions it offers.


The refactoring strategy involves improving existing code to strengthen non-functional attributes and the structure of the component while making changes to the technology stack. While doing so, care is taken to ensure that the code is not altered drastically. This allows you to shift it to an altogether new application (as in the case of rearchitecting). What you essentially do is redesign and rewrite the application to use the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure constructs and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure PaaS services extensively to get the full benefits of the migration. This option works exceedingly well in the case of complex network configurations.

Migrating with zero downtime migration (ZDM) service

Highly popular, this method presents a simple, easy way to move on-premises Oracle databases to OCI. Using the zero downtime migration service, you can successfully migrate to Exadata, Exadata Cloud@Customer, bare metal, and virtual machine with minimal or no downtime using the Oracle MAA recommended approach. Those who have used this migration solution love the simple, automated, one-button approach that it offers to move databases to OCI, ExaCC platform. 

ZDM supports Oracle Enterprise & Standard Editions with version 11g ( or higher running on Linux platforms provided that the databases in the source and the target are of the same DB version and patch levels. ZDM supports Stand-alone, RAC, and Oracle RAC one-node database and completes the database migration process in 8 simple steps. 

These include:

  1. Download and install ZDM on a Linux 7 or higher platform.
  2. Fill the template file, use the zdmcli migrate database command to prepare for database migration.
  3. Connect the source database to Oracle object storage to initiate database migration.
  4. Move backup files from source to object storage.
  5. Use the backup files to create a standby database.
  6. Synchronize primary and standby databases, and ensure that the source and target databases are in full sync.
  7. Use switch over and swap database options so that the standby becomes primary and vice versa.
  8. Terminate the source and target database connection to conclude the migration process followed by a quick clean-up in the source and target environments.

Oracle ZDM typically uses the RMAN backup and recovery concepts and comes with the following capabilities:

  • Workflow customization
  • Auditing
  • Job scheduling
  • Pause and restart options
  • Pre-check and rerun

Of course, ZDM does come with certain prerequisites without which it cannot be deployed.. So to migrate with ZDM, you need to ensure that the source database is configured in archive log mode, TDE wallets of databases with 12c or higher are configured with open status and have autologin type, and SCAN listener & port 22 connections are enabled between the source and the target. 

In the case of RAC DB, SNAPSHOT CONTROLFILE needs to be pointed towards a shared location across nodes to ensure that the environment is conducive for migration using the Oracle ZDM solution. All in all, Oracle ZDM offers a simple, automated solution at literally zero additional cost or downtime.

Migrate with MiCORE

With cloud platforms gaining traction in the market at a rapid pace, MiCORE leverages its core competency around Oracle databases and cloud expertise to help clients make seamless Oracle workload transitions to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

MiCORE, as a partner, helps you Understand, Architect, Migrate, and Manage your Oracle workload in Oracle Cloud. We help our clients maximize their investments in Oracle technology.

MiCORE Service Offerings include:

  • Cloud Architecture and Planning
  • Cloud Migration and Implementation Services
  • Oracle Managed Cloud Services
  • Oracle License Management

Talk to our Oracle experts today to chart your journey from on-premise to the cloud and maximize both performance and profits.

Contact Us:

(888) 753-6737

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