Migrating SQL Server Databases to Amazon RDS: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Malaika Kumar
Migrating SQL Server Databases to Amazon RDS: A Step-by-Step Guide 


Migrating your SQL Server databases to Amazon RDS involves careful planning and execution. This guide outlines the essential steps for SQL Server Database Administrators (DBAs) to ensure a smooth migration to Amazon RDS, from initial assessment to the final switch. 

Step 1: Assessment and Planning 

Before anything else, assess your current environment to understand the scope and requirements of the migration. 

Inventory Your Databases 

  • Catalog your databases, noting sizes, used features, and any third-party dependencies. 

Determine Compatibility 

  • Identify features and stored procedures used in your current setup that may not be fully supported by Amazon RDS. 

Select the Appropriate RDS SQL Server Edition 

  • Choose an RDS edition that matches your current SQL Server features and workload requirements. 

Step 2: Preparation 

Preparation is key to minimizing downtime and ensuring a successful migration. 

Set Up the Target RDS Instance 

  • Create your RDS instance, configuring it according to your performance and storage needs. 

Address Compatibility Issues 

  • Modify your database schema or application code to resolve compatibility issues identified during the assessment phase. 

Step 3: Data Migration 

With your environment prepped, you’re ready to move your data. 

Choose Your Migration Strategy 

  • Decide between using AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) for ongoing replication with minimal downtime or a more traditional backup and restore approach for simpler migrations. 

Backup Your SQL Server Database 

  • If opting for backup and restore, generate a full backup of your SQL Server database. 

Use AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) 

  • For minimal downtime, set up AWS DMS to replicate your data to the RDS instance. Configure the source and target endpoints in DMS, and start the replication task. 

Step 4: Testing 

Thorough testing ensures that your database operates as expected in the new environment. 

Validate the Migration 

  • Perform comprehensive testing to verify data integrity and application functionality within the RDS environment. 

Test Performance and Scalability 

  • Benchmark the performance of your RDS instance, adjusting configurations as necessary to meet your requirements. 

Step 5: Cutover 

Once you’re confident in the migration’s success, it’s time to make the final switch. 

Switch Application Connections 

  • Update your applications to connect to the new RDS instance instead of the old SQL Server database. 

Monitor the System 

  • Closely monitor the RDS instance for any issues and address them promptly to ensure stability. 


Migrating to Amazon RDS from SQL Server can significantly streamline database management and scalability. By following these detailed steps, SQL Server DBAs can ensure a smooth transition, leveraging RDS to enhance their database infrastructure. 

If you’re planning to migrate your SQL Server databases to Amazon RDS, SQLOPS offers expert migration services to support you through every step of the process. Our team ensures a seamless transition with minimal downtime, allowing you to make the most of Amazon RDS’s benefits. Contact us today to get started. 

Explore our range of trailblazer services

Risk and Health Audit

Get 360 degree view in to the health of your production Databases with actionable intelligence and readiness for government compliance including HIPAA, SOX, GDPR, PCI, ETC. with 100% money-back guarantee.

DBA Services

The MOST ADVANCED database management service that help manage, maintain & support your production database 24×7 with highest ROI so you can focus on more important things for your business

Cloud Migration

With more than 20 Petabytes of data migration experience to both AWS and Azure cloud, we help migrate your databases to various databases in the cloud including RDS, Aurora, Snowflake, Azure SQL, Etc.

Data Integration

Whether you have unstructured, semi-structured or structured data, we help build pipelines that extract, transform, clean, validate and load it into data warehouse or data lakes or in any databases.

Data Analytics

We help transform your organizations data into powerful,  stunning, light-weight  and meaningful reports using PowerBI or Tableau to help you with making fast and accurate business decisions.

Govt Compliance

Does your business use PII information? We provide detailed and the most advanced risk assessment for your business data related to HIPAA, SOX, PCI, GDPR and several other Govt. compliance regulations.

You May Also Like…