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Things to Consider Before Any Magento Big Data Migration

Aiesha Hasan May 05, 2017

Magento 2 is finally here, after such a long time. Though the wait was worth it because this latest Magento version is built on some different architecture and is more optimized, fast and user-friendly than Magento 1. So, if you are planning to build a new Magento store or thinking to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2, this blog is here to help you out.

So if you are currently using Magento 1, then the release of Magento 2 will put you in a bit of dilemma and confusion as to whether you should stick to Magento 1 or migrate to Magento 2. In this blog here, I’ll briefly discuss the big data migration process from Magento 1 to Magento 2, and all the key points you need to consider while migrating.

Important Aspects to Consider Before Migration

The very first thing you need to be cleared on right away is whether you want to stick with Magento 1 or wants to start the migration to Magento 2 now. Here are some important key things to consider while making your decision.

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  • Magento 2 is no doubt a better and faster option. So if your store is newly launched and has no traffic then it’s high time for you to migrate now.
  • If your Magento 1 performance is satisfactory and things are going fine with it then there is no such need to do the migration. Magento 2 has just launched and it doesn’t mean that Magento 1 has lost its worth already. Magento has made an announcement that it will support Magento 1, however, they won’t release any more Magento versions, themes or extensions. That means you can use Magento 1 for some more time instead of migrating too soon.
  • Avoid the upgrading process especially if there’s any important season coming up for the e-commerce store. In some popular shopping seasons like Christmas, Black Friday, New Year, it would be such a bad idea to change your website configuration because it will cause maintenance and downtime and you can never know when things go wrong. SO NO RISK
  • Another important point to note is that whichever theme and extension you are using should be available too for Magento 2. Magento 2 is newly born, although the Magento community is quickly upgrading its latest version’s extensions and themes as Magento 2 is not compatible enough with everything. So if you got any important Magento extension then make sure first that it is compatible with Magento 2.

The Migration Plan

Here is some brief overview of the steps involved in the big data migration and transferring of your site from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Review the Site

Take a good look for the availability of the deisred extensions and themes. Ensure that they are available in Magento 2. Also, do look for unrequired extensions you can drop, along with the database asset you need to migrate or any else asset to drop.

Planning for Infrastructure

Check out your hosting company whether they have the required capacity to host your Magento 2 site without causing trouble and also if they can sustain and support your Magento 2 site when the traffic scales up.

Create a Magento 2 store

Create the fresh installation of your Magento 2 and after the installation is done, back up or dump the Magento 2 database as soon as possible.

Now, start the installation of your required extensions on the fresh Magento 2 store.

Steps for Migration

Install Magento migration tool and ensures that it has the access for both the databases of Magento 1 and 2 to start the migration process.

Stop all the cron jobs and activity in Magento 1 admin panel. And don’t start or resume the activity unless the whole migration process is completed and your Magento 2 site goes live.

Transfer the media files from Magento 1 to Magento 2 manually and use Magento migration tool to migrate all the settings to Magento 2.

Use the migration tool for the complete transfer of Magento 1 database to Magento 2. Though both databases have different structures but the migration tool knows how to transfer properly, so your data remains accessible in the installation of Magento 2.

But if you are using any extension which uses its own data and has different database structure for Magento 2 then while transferring it to Magento 2, use the mapping files which comes with the data migration tool.

Once you are done with the complete database transfer, do reindex your Magento 2 site.

And lastly but not the least, do conduct a thorough testing of your new Magento 2 site.

Post Migration Steps

Now it’s time to migrate the data which uses incremental updates.

Once you are ensured that all the data has been completely transferred to Magento 2 and everything is working fine then it’s to make take your Magento 2 to live now. For this, put Magento 1 site first on maintenance mode, stop migration tool, start Magento 2 cron jobs and point the DNS load balancers to the new production hardware. And voila you are done!

The flowchart displayed down here explains the steps for migration.


This is just an example overview of the overall migration process to help you plan properly.

Best Practices to Consider

Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

  • Create a duplicate of Magento 1 database and connect Magento 2 to that duplicated database before migration. This is because if you by mistake or accidentally gets connected to the Magento 1 live database, you will lose your Magento 1 database too and it will be unrecoverable.
  • Once you are done with duplicating the Magento 1 database, keep only essential data and erase all the unnecessary. Like recently viewed, compared products report, old promotional rules, logs and order quotes are some unnecessary things.
  • Stop all the other irrelevant activity except order management activity in Magneto 1 admin panel before starting the migration process. If any change is made after creating a duplicate then those changes will not be transferred to the Magento 2.
  • Avoid any code change during migration process. Migration time is not the best time to fix things or make any changes. Hold all these things till the migration process is fully completed.
  • To boost up migration performance, set the <direct_document_copy>1</direct_document_copy> Option in the config.xml. But make sure that both the Magento, 1 and 2 databases are located in one MYSQL instance and the database account can access each database.

Now let’s give you an estimate of the professional Migration process time. Any Magento store hosted on VirtualBox VM, CentOS 6, 2.5Gb RAM, CPU 1 core 2.6GHz environment, with database of around 177k products, 355k orders, 214k customers can take around 10 minutes to migrate settings and 9 minutes to migrate the data, and the Magento site has to remain in maintenance mode for few minutes to reindex the Magento 2 site and to change the DNS settings.

Migration Tool v/s Manual Transfer

The migration tool can be very helpful for migrating the data and settings to Magento 2. But not all your data can be transferred with this tool. There are basically three types of data which need to be transferred manually.

  • Media
  • Store Front Design
  • Access Control List (ACL)

Installing the Magento Migration Tool

Before installing the migration tool, ensure you have covered all the above steps. Once you are done with all this, use below instructions to start the installation

Log in to the Magento site server as a user with the access to edit and create files

Go to Magento 2 root directory and enter the command (below) to update the composer.json file first

composer config repositories.magento composer https://repo.magento.com

Now enter the (below) command to access the current version of the package.

composer require magento/data-migration-tool:2.0.0

The command will install the version 2.0.0. Of the package. If you want to use any other package, you can set the version in the command.

Wait till the dependencies are installed. Once you are done, enter these below two commands to install the migration tool.

composer config repositories.data-migration-tool git


composer require Magento/data-migration-tool:dev-master

When these commands will be run, it will ask you for authentication keys. For the public key, enter the username and for the private key, enter the password.

This will install Magento migration tool on Magento 2.

In this blog, I tried to explain whether if it’s a good decision to migrate to Magento 2 or not. Also, an overview of the migration process is given in this blog with some tips and best practices for the migration process. Follow this blog to clear your mind for creating a migration plan of Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Aiesha Hasan

Aiesha Hasan

Digital Content Producer at Arpatech
Aiesha Hasan is a Web Developer and a Digital Content Creator. She likes to keep in touch with the latest technology in the world and educate people about it.
Aiesha Hasan

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