Migrating from MSSQL Express to MySQL

I’ve been busy this last 2 weeks working on a big enough migration from MSSQL Express to MySQL. It’s been long and somewhat complicated process if you consider the pitfalls.

Here is part 1 on the migration process. Part 2 will be on the reasons you should think it through before actually doing it.

Just to be clear, it’s not a rant about MSSQL, I love how MSSQL works but it doesn’t prevent me for enjoying MySQL.

Why would you migrate from MSSQL Express to MySQL/MariaDB ?

As the business grows, your needs too. There are questions you don’t necessarily care about at the beginning but they end up catching up to you.

Replication, Replication, Replication
Hardware failure, fire, water leaks. Wait! What ?!? Are you suggesting any of these will happen to me? Yes it will, at least one of them, most probably the hardware failure.

It might seems stupid but how long can your business afford to be down ? 5 minutes, 8 hours, 2 days. If your answer is in the minutes, backups are just not enough anymore.

MSSQL Express edition doesn’t have it.

More storage
At the beginning, 10 GB seemed like a lot but now not so much. As an IT person, you might know what the next technology is but at the business level, you never know when a huge customer will come in. That new customer might be the reason why you need more space.

You don’t see it as a problem when 2-3 users are using your app or website. Make that number, 200-300. The query is now taking longer to run. Being limited to 1 GB of RAM and 1 CPU when dealing with a growing database is calling for problems. Yes tuning might often be the answer but it goes only a certain distance.

Money, money, money?
In most small to medium businesses, resources are limited and should be used only on improving the business itself.

Unless you are working for a software company, the software you use is just a tool and not your core business. The decision making should be about getting the best tool you can at the price you’re ready to pay. If you need to get a regular hammer, will you chose the one you need or the shiniest one? At the end of the day, you just need to hit the nail, up to you to decide how much money you want to have left in your pocket.







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