File Migration Strategies

Jayden Bartram
Nov 10, 2021 · 4 min read

When migrating files and data from one platform, whether it is cloud or on-premises, to a cloud platform such as Google Drive, SharePoint, Egnyte or even block storage, there are a few ways to approach this project. Much of the strategy depends purely on the size of the migration and timeframes.

The size of the migration could be the amount of data, 1TB versus 100TB, or the number of users, this also falls into where the data is coming from and potential technical challenges with the likes of on-premises resources and uplink capacity.

Where timeframes comes into the picture depends purely on when you want the organisation, or teams adopting the new platform and ensuring you only migrate what is important, you may also have a contract ending and have the need to get important data off quickly and archive the remainder to another platform. Contrary, you may also have a month or two to complete the project which again would change how you approach the project.

The four most common strategies:

  • The lift and shift
  • Phased approach
  • Active first
  • Split platform

The lift and shift

  • Configure migration and have all mappings configured appropriately.
  • Select all mappings and start the migration.
  • Once finished, run a delta sync before cutover to pull across any updated files and folders.

Phased approach

Either way the workflow for a phased approach is based around:

  • Pilot migration — using a sample of users, or data, migrate a small batch of data from your source platform to destination, ensure the configuration is correct and the outcome is expected.
  • Phases 1-n — when comfortable with the outcome of the above, begin migrating larger batches, potentially batches of 100 users, or entire departments, or as small as teams of 15. As each phase finishes move onto migrating the next batch and so on.
  • Delta sync— Once the above has completed it is now time to run a continuous delta sync, this ensures while your users are working on the source platform the destination is kept up to date and maintained. It is recommended to do this multiple times leading up to the cutover date to ensure the final delta is as small as possible.
  • Permission phase — This is dependant on the migration and the strategy, this can be the last thing to be run, or be a part of one of the earlier delta syncs. At this stage the permissions and sharing will be applied to the destination platform ensuring those who should have access, do to their respective files and folders.

Active first

  • Selectively only migrate files that are newer than the last 3 months, year, two years across all users and drives
  • On completion of the above, then either run a full delta sync to update migrated files, but also to bring across all of the other older files over time.

Split platform

As all information environments are different and all organisations needs and requirements differ, these approaches are not a one size fits all. At times all of these strategies may be encompassed within a single project.

Regardless of your approach a pre-migration assessment and simulation scan should be run. This helps you understand your data and permission structure and where the data currently sits. Most platforms don’t provide the granularity you require to truly plan out a migration, and this is such a crucial part to any project.

This post is written with Movebot in mind. Movebot has the functionality and scalability to migrate large amounts of data quickly across cloud platforms or into cloud platforms from on-premises infrastructure while ensuring you have the granularity and visibility required throughout. To learn more or to get started, head to movebot.io

Couchdrop

Couchdrop is your cloud SFTP / MFT platform

Couchdrop

Couchdrop is the secure file gateway and cloud SFTP / MFT platform. Couchdrop acts as your secure access method between systems or for clients to send you files to your cloud storage backend, that can be completely automated.

Jayden Bartram

Written by

CEO of Couchdrop and Movebot

Couchdrop

Couchdrop is the secure file gateway and cloud SFTP / MFT platform. Couchdrop acts as your secure access method between systems or for clients to send you files to your cloud storage backend, that can be completely automated.