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Interact Database Migration

Database migration to Aurora - Oracle to Amazon PostgreSQL-Aurora in the life sciences

Interact is a healthcare software company that has dedicated itself to using technology and behavioural science to bring the wide and effective use of digital technology into helping patients within specialist medicine. Interact is a born-in-the-Cloud provider and understands the ease-of-use and security that AWS Cloud services provide.


Interact provides a single platform for healthcare professionals and patients to become aware of and easily access consolidated, relevant and valued information. As such, Interact requires a fast, scalable and reliable database solution that is fault tolerant, highly available, performant, also and automates and standardises database clustering and replication. As their current Oracle database was approaching end of life, it provided the opportunity to work with PolarSeven to determine a superior database solution to meet their requirements.

The Amazon PostgreSQL-Aurora database was selected and implemented on the basis that it has high availability and scalability, whilst at the same time it reduces the cost of the underlying infrastructure and management effort.

The Challenge

Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Database Management Systems (DBMS) like Oracle present numerous challenges in administration, including licensing and complex versioning and support for the different Oracle packages. With their current Oracle version approaching end of life, Interact took the opportunity to unburden themselves of the administrative challenges, and migrate to PostgreSQL-Aurora.

PolarSeven Solution

PostgreSQL-Aurora, a AWS managed database, was selected as it provides a highly efficient, distributed, fault-tolerant, self-healing storage system and automates administration tasks like hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups.

To ensure a smooth and efficient migration, PolarSeven utilised the AWS native tool AWS Database Migration Service (DMS). AWS DMS delivered the benefits of reducing downtime to an absolute minimum, drastically reducing the time taken for the migration, and hence reducing the cost. To minimise risk, a staged approach was taken: first migrating the Non Production environments, and then proceeding with Production data migration.

Configuration changes were required in the data structure to accommodate the new database type, and extensive testing both during and post implementation was carried out to ensure there was no interruption or degradation of the service.

Results and Benefits

The benefits of moving from Oracle to Amazon PostgreSQL-Aurora included:

  • Lower Cost: 2 Aurora instances are a lower cost than 1 Oracle database of similar capacity.

  • Licensing: Pay as you go and fully managed by AWS

  • Highly Available and Fault tolerant: Aurora stores copies of the data in a DB cluster across multiple Availability Zones in a single AWS Region. Aurora stores these copies regardless of whether the instances in the DB cluster span multiple Availability Zones.

PolarSeven continues to be engaged with Interact as a Managed Service Provider, and has been providing post implementation support, including right sizing.

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