Database migrations can be highly complex and challenging, involving expensive upgrades and the risk of prolonged downtime while code is converted to a new database engine and switchover applications. Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of data and database migration services. Google Database Migration Services makes it easy to migrate databases and datasets to Google Cloud and offers guidance on every step of the process.

Google Database Migration Service is a cloud-based data migration tool for migrating and replicating databases and other resources to the Google Cloud Platform from on-premises systems, physical services, cloud platforms and virtual machines. The tool is used to simplify data migration through an integrated migration experience. In this guide, learn more about Google DMS’s key features and alternatives for database migration.

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Google DMS pricing

Google’s Database Migration Service is priced depending on the data migration type the buyer chooses.

DMS is offered for free for homogeneous use cases, where the data’s source and destination exist within the same database engine. This would include native migrations to Cloud SQL or AlloyDB for PostgreSQL.

For heterogeneous use cases, where the source and destination database engines differ, DMS is charged based on the number of gigabytes processed. Customers are billed per migration job, with their usage measured per byte of raw data.

DMS can migrate data through the change data capture or backfill methods. The costs for Google DMS usage depend on the migration method (CDC or backfill) and the region. Each month, the first 50GB of data migrated through the backfill method is free. For usage above 50GB, each area where DMS is available has a flat price per gigabyte to migrate data through the backfill method.

On the other hand, costs are tiered for customers performing data migration through CDC. As customer’s usage increases, the price per gigabyte of use within the tier is reduced.

See the following example of Database Migration Service pricing in Los Angeles:

  • CDC migration 0-2.5 TB per month: $2.404 per GB.
  • CDC migration 2.5–5 TB per month: $1.803 per GB.
  • CDC migration 5–10 TB per month: $1.442 per GB.
  • CDC migration 10+ TB per month: $0.962 per GB.
  • Backfill migration (for usage above 50 GB): $0.481 per GB.

Key features of Google DMS

Secure by design

Google DMS offers private and secure connectivity methods to protect data during migration. In addition, all data is encrypted by default, which makes the data unreadable during transit.

Google DMS provides multiple layers of security, so users can have peace of mind that their data is secure during the data migration process. When the data reaches the endpoint, it is decrypted and verified.


The serverless features of Google DMS eliminate several hurdles of data migration, including the need to provision hardware such as migration servers, that are often required for data migration processes.

Google DMS also has auto-scaling features to ensure uninterrupted data replication and high-performance data transfer. The serverless design eliminates the need to hire or allocate extra resources for the data migration project. This tool also reduces the risk of going over budget or hitting unexpected delays during the data migration process.

Easy to use

First-time users can enjoy a guided experience through migration (Figure A). Users can also set up multiple networking connectivity, customized source configuration, and built-in scripts for quick and simple execution. The data migration setup, configuration and flow are validated to ensure the data migration process is set up to succeed.

Figure A

Users can create a migration job using Google Cloud Database Migration Services.
Users can create a migration job using Google Cloud Database Migration Services. Image: Google Cloud

The dashboard of Google DMS can be used to monitor migration job lists and track any migration delays (Figure B). The data transfer migrations can be observed through its API and UI. The connection to databases is specified separately, so users can quickly re-enter configuration values through different phases of data migration, such as testing and execution.

Figure B

The data transfer migration jobs are displayed on the system's dashboard.
The data transfer migration jobs are displayed on the system’s dashboard. Image: Google Cloud

Support from Google Professional Services

Experts from Google Professional Services can facilitate successful database migrations for DMS users. This includes everything from guidance on migration planning to setting up turnkey solutions for data migration.

The combination of Google DMS and partner services ensures the entire data migration process is smooth.

Google DMS pros

  • The Google DMS service is serverless, so there is no need to access migration-specific hardware resources or monitor instances.
  • The database has native replication to maximize reliability and fidelity during data migration.
  • Google DMS offers continuous data replication from the source to the target destination.
  • There is no charge for lift and shift migrations.

Google DMS cons

  • There may be networking charges for data migration.
  • Google DMS’s availability zone is limited to certain regions.
  • Prices for CDC migration can vary significantly by region.

If Google DMS isn’t ideal for you, check out these alternatives

SoftwareGoogle DMSAWS Database Migration ServiceOracle GoldenGate
Multiple data source connection.YesYesYes
Data quality assurance.YesYesYes
Prebuilt connectors.YesYesYes
Starting price$0.481 per GB for DMS backfill migration. Prices vary by location.Free tier option with up to 750 hours of Single-AZ dms.t2.micro instance usage each month for one year.Free version with limited functionality. License price for an Oracle GoldenGate processor is $17,500.

AWS Database Migration Service

The AWS Database Migration Service logo.
Image: AWS

AWS Database Migration Service is a managed data migration service that supports migration between 20+ database engines for the AWS cloud, including Microsoft SQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and Amazon Aurora.

This service supports homogenous migrations — such as Microsoft to Microsoft — and heterogeneous migrations — such as data migration between Amazon Aurora to Oracle. With AWS DMS, the source database remains fully functional to minimize downtime. However, some users have reported issues with cross-cloud support and documentation.

Oracle GoldenGate

The Oracle logo.
Image: Oracle

The rich functionality and flexibility offered by Oracle GoldenGate make it one of the leading database migration/replication tools and a significant competitor to Google DMS. The top features of Oracle GoldenGate include zero downtime migration, application upgrades and extensive cross-platform support.

Organizations can use Oracle GoldenGate to improve business insights through real-time data warehousing and report offloading. All major heterogeneous data migrations are supported by GoldenGate, including MySQL. The active-active data replication of GoldenGate ensures source and destination systems can be used simultaneously.

Review methodology

This is a technical review using compiled literature researched from relevant databases. The information provided in this article is gathered from vendor websites or based on an aggregate of user feedback to ensure a high-quality review.

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