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App Development
7 minutes read

AWS Data Migration Service Explained

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
7 minutes read

AWS Data Migration Service is the fastest, most cost-effective way to transfer data to or from the AWS platform. Every day, more businesses discover that the AWS platform is better suited to their needs than their current on-premise or cloud-based databases. In the past, data migration was often complicated, costly, and there was a good chance that you would lose new incoming data during the migration process. 

AWS Data Migration Service is a HiTech innovation from Amazon that drastically simplifies the entire data migration process, whether your organization requires a one-time migration or continuous data replication and syncing with an external data source. This post will explain AWS Data Migration Service, explore its capabilities, and share the benefits of using this tool. 

What is AWS Data Migration Service?

AWS Data Migration Service is a cloud service offered by Amazon that allows organizations to migrate data in several different ways. During the migration process, the source database continues to be completely operational, which means there is virtually no downtime for the applications that rely on the database being migrated. All of the most widely used commercial and open-source databases are supported by AWS Data Migration Service, including: 

  • Oracle 
  • MySQL
  • SAP
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Amazon Aurora 
  • And many more

Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing real-time data during the migration process. Many organizations use IoT technologies and edge computing to gather real-time information. They might be concerned that any data collected while data migration is ongoing would be lost. However, AWS Data Migration Service continues to sync the source database with the replication while the migration is ongoing. So, your business can rest assured that you won’t be missing any data when your new database is ready.  

What are the Capabilities of AWS Data Migration Service? 

Now that you know more about AWS Data Migration Service (AWS DMS), you are likely wondering what specific capabilities this data migration service has. Organizations have different needs and goals when it comes to database migration, but most needs can probably be met by one of the following capabilities possessed by AWS DMS:

  • Homogenous migrations 
  • Heterogeneous migrations 
  • Database consolidation 
  • Development and testing 
  • Continuous data replication 

Homogeneous Migrations 

Homogeneous database migration is a term that describes data migration between exact or similar database engines. For example, migrating from an Oracle source database to an Amazon RDS target database is considered a homogeneous migration because the database code, data types, and schema structure between both databases are the same. 

This is the simplest type of data migration, and it only involves a single step. You simply need to create the migration task with connections to the source and target database and click start. AWS DMS will handle the rest. 

Heterogeneous Migrations 

Heterogeneous database migration is a term that describes data migration between different database engines. For example, migrating from an Oracle source database to a PostgreSQL target database is considered heterogeneous because the database code, data types, and schema structure between both databases are different. 

Typically, the schema and code need to be transformed to match the target database before migration can start. This adds a step to the migration process. Once the database code and schema have been converted, migration can begin. AWS DMS automatically converts the data types to match the target database during migration. 

Database Consolidation 

Sometimes organizations will have multiple databases, but this can be hard to manage. AWS DMS can consolidate numerous source databases into a single target database. Database consolidation works for homogeneous and heterogeneous migrations. Plus, your source databases don’t have to be located in one place either. 

Development and Testing 

Web and mobile app development projects often require data migration into and out of the cloud during the development process. AWS DMS gives developers the ability to use copies of real production data and then copy updates back to the on-premise production environment. Developers can also migrate current AWS Cloud production database versions to their on-premise systems. 

These capabilities help development teams avoid disruptions to their DevOps processes. It also ensures that the production system being used is always the most recent version. 

Continuous Data Replication 

AWS Data Migration Service can also be utilized for continuous data replication. This capability has proven useful in several contexts, including disaster recovery and database synchronization. Additionally, AWS DMS data replication can be done with homogeneous and heterogeneous data sources. 

The Benefits of Choosing AWS Data Migration Service 

Now that you know what AWS DMS is and what it is capable of, you are likely wondering what other benefits your business might enjoy when you choose to use AWS Data Migration Service. The most significant benefits of AWS DMS are:

  • Cost 
  • Reliability 
  • Simplicity 
  • Little to no downtime 


AWS DMS is a cost-effective data migration option. In fact, if you are migrating your existing database to an Amazon Aurora, Redshift, DocumentDB, or DynamoDB database, your business can use AWS DMS for free for six months no matter how much data you need to migrate. 

Even if you are not choosing to migrate to another database, AWS DMS is affordable. Your business only has to pay for computing resources used during the migration and any additional log storage you need. In many instances, you can migrate a database the size of a terabyte for three dollars. 


AWS DMS is not only resilient, but it is also self-healing. Source and target databases, network connection, and replication instances are continuously monitored to ensure accuracy in migration. In addition, there are several other redundancy features built into AWS DMS to safeguard your organization’s data. 


AWS Data Migration is not only powerful but simple to use. Your organization can begin data migration in most instances without changing your source database or installing software. Most businesses can start migration with just a few clicks. Once migration begins, AWS DMS handles all of the complexities associated with the migration process. 

Little to No Downtime 

There is almost no downtime to your applications when you use AWS DMS. This is because AWS DMS uses continuous data replication to constantly update any changes to your source database in your target database. This allows your source database to remain fully operational during the migration process. You can even keep your target and source databases synced after the migration, so you can choose the perfect time for your business to switch databases with minimal downtime to your applications. 

Final Thoughts 

AWS is one of the leaders in web and development services. If your organization is ready to update to an AWS database, but you are not sure where to begin, reach out to an app development partner. A partner can help guide you through the entire migration process with their industry experience and technical expertise. AWS Data Migration Service is robust and easy to use, but it is always advisable to seek guidance from a development partner when you are unsure what options are best aligned with your organization’s goals.

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