Microsoft greases skids for data migration to Azure • The Register

Jean J. Sanders

Microsoft is introducing a new tool intended to help make migrating files and folders from on-premises systems to the Azure cloud that much easier.

The new Azure Storage Mover, a managed cloud storage migration service that is now in public preview, lets IT admins plan, launch, and track the migration through the Azure portal, PowerShell, or CLI, allowing for a one-time move or a repeatable function.

In the preview release, Microsoft is targeting the migration of an on-premises network file system (NFS) share to an Azure blob container, with support for more combinations of data sources and migration targets coming in the future, according to Jurgen Willis, vice president of Azure optimized workloads and storage.

“Managing copy jobs at scale without a coordinating service can be time consuming and error-prone,” Willis writes in a blog post. “Individual jobs have to be monitored and any errors resolved. It’s hard to maintain comprehensive oversight to ensure a complete and successful migration of your data.”

Azure Storage Mover uses virtual machines as migration agents that run in the network. The agent includes information about the job migration run as well as metrics and copy logs that are accessed through the Azure Monitor service.

The VM agents are deployed close to the storage source of the information and managed in a single place in Azure, regardless of whether they are deployed around the world. The data is moved through the Azure Storage REST protocol, with each agent sending the files and folders directly to the target storage housed in Azure.

“Directly sending the data to the target optimizes the performance of your migration because the data doesn’t need to be processed through a cloud service or through a different Azure region from where the target storage is deployed in,” Willis writes. “This optimization is key for migrations that happen across geographically diverse branch offices that will likely target Azure Storage in their region.”

More features will be added to Azure Storage Mover, including options for customizing the migration, automatic loading of possible sources into the service and provisioning of target storage based on the migration plan, and insights about selected sources.

Microsoft also will include such post-migration tasks as data validation, data protection, and migrating the remaining workloads.

The tool is part of a larger push by Microsoft to make moving data into the cloud that much easier, although this new tool will compete with existing tools made by its storage partners.

In February, the company launched a program it called Azure File Migration, giving users and partners free access to file migration offerings from Komprise (its Elastic Data Migration tool) and Data Dynamics (Data Mobility and Migration).

The program, which complements the Azure Migrate service, includes free software licensing, an onboarding session, and access to Kompromise or Data Dynamics support. ®

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