Embarking on a data migration project can be a daunting prospect for any size and type of business.
But knowing the basics when migrating file data is a good starting point. Once you know your options you can break it down into small steps and start planning.
Whether you’re looking to move email, archive, file or Sharepoint data, grasping the basics means knowing the all the options at the outset. So before engaging a partner to provide a migration service, here are five different business data migration options you should consider first…
This method may be suitable when migrating file data for home users or for small amounts of data as it is the most simple way for an individual to transfer files, for example from a desktop to the Cloud.
But installing the cloud provider’s desktop application then manually dragging and dropping files across is not a particularly efficient or safe way to migrate when it comes to multiple users or large amounts of data.
It comes with several drawbacks.
Firstly, there is the inconsistency that comes with each user independently migrating their own data; there is no structure or uniformity in the way each user transfers and saves files which can lead to problems and frustrations further down the line.
This ‘self-service’ method also leaves room for further complexities, including issues with shared documents, the creation of duplicates and accessing data on secure servers.
Many businesses choose to migrate data manually using File transfer Protocol (FTP) or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) as it provides the fastest transfer time at a reasonable initial price.
In this method, software packages are used to copy data for large-scale migrations to a new destination.
However, manual migrations of this type come with their pitfalls which can incur additional cost.
Capabilities of the software are often limited, and some cloud platforms do not support this type of migration at all.
The lack of automation and intelligence, along with security weaknesses and an inability to address errors, can lead to additional manual mapping and further investment of time and money in order to monitor the migration, manage security and correct errors.
Despite the advancements in technology, some companies still see transferring data via disk as a viable method of migration.
To a certain extent this still works, particularly when contending with limited bandwidth or when shipping archived data which is unlikely to change.
However, on top of the significant amount of time it can take to copy large amounts of data onto disk then to the cloud from disk, it can be underestimated how much more resource is needed in order to align groups, permissions and properties between source and destination, and also to correct errors and sync data to transfer and data that has been added since the disks were first shipped.
On both simplicity and labour costs, cloud-to-cloud migration platforms win hands down, but transfer times can be significant, particularly when transferring large files or high volume data from numerous users.
Easy to use, these solutions require a simple login and a few options selected to initiate the transfer.
However, as the name suggests, these tools cannot be used for migration of on-premise data, only data which is already stored in the cloud and which is being moved to another cloud provider.
This also can lead to long delays transferring data.
5. Desktop Synchronisation
Moving data to the cloud in theory can be as simple as activating the synchronisation feature of the destination cloud service, and for some applications this is all that’s needed.
Desktop synchronisation is perfect for individual users with small amounts of data who can keep data synchronised across several devices.
However, when it comes to large-scale migrations, this method is generally not appropriate, as it syncs data only on the desktop, not a server. As it syncs between devices with relatively small capacity, the data amount stored is limited to the capacity of the smallest device.
Only once you’ve considered all alternative migration options and assessed the pros and cons of each (time, cost, labour, simplicity volume, users and file size), it’s time to decide whether engaging a professional migration service provider is the best all-round option.