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Google catches up to AWS and Azure with new database migration service

Google has officially debuted its new database migration service (DMS) today, designed to make it easier for Google Cloud customers to transfer their MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server databases to Google’s fully-managed Cloud SQL database service.

This has been a long time coming, given that Amazon’s AWS launched its database migration service more than five years ago, while Microsoft launched its incarnation for Azure two years later. Google has offered various database migration services previously via partnerships with companies such as Striim, but by removing the number of steps, this simplifies the process, and reduces the time it takes and the chances of something going awry during the transfer.

One of the main reasons why Google is launching its DMS now is to encourage companies to migrate their databases from on-premises datacenters to a scalable, serverless incarnation on Google’s cloud, with the promise of minimal downtime during the transfer. According to Gartner, 75% of databases will be stored in the cloud by 2023, and providing the tools to make this transition could encourage more businesses to embrace Google Cloud in the long run over its rivals. However, companies can also use the migration service to transfer databases from other cloud providers, including AWS and Azure, so today’s news effectively puts Google on an equal footing with Amazon and Microsoft in terms of providing native tools to switch between cloud services providers.

Google has generally languished behind both AWS and Azure in the public cloud infrastructure sphere, with the duo claiming around 45% and 18% market share respectively in 2019 — Google, for its part, held around 5%. Earlier this year, Alphabet started breaking out Google Cloud revenue for the first time, and while its growth is currently exceeding that of AWS, it’s difficult to make firm comparisons given that Google bundles in G Suite alongside the Google Cloud Platform when reporting its financials.

DMS is available in preview from today for MySQL databases, while PostgreSQL support is available only for “limited customers” in preview, and SQL Server is “coming soon.”

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