Data Migration

Data migration means many different things and there are many types of data migrations in the enterprise world. At it’s core, it is the process of selecting and moving data from one location to another. For this Glossary, we’re focused on Unstructured Data Migration, specifically file and object data. IT organizations use data migration tools to move data across different data storage systems and across different formats and protocols (SMB, NFS, S3, etc.).

Data migrations often occur in the context of retiring a system and moving to a new system, or in the context of a cloud migration, or in the context of a modernization or upgrade strategy.

When it comes to unstructured data migrations and migrating enterprise file data workloads to the cloud, data migrations can be laborious, error prone, manual, and time consuming. Migrating data may involve finding and moving billions of files (large and small), which can succumb to storage and network slowdowns or outages. Also, different file systems do not often preserve metadata in exactly the same way, so migrating data to a cloud environment without loss of fidelity and integrity can be a challenge.

Two Data Migration Approaches


Many organizations start here, thinking they’ll just migrate entire file shares and directories to the cloud. If this is your data migration plan, it’s important to use analytics to plan and migrate to reduce errors, ensure alignment and multi-storage visibility while minimizing cutover. With Komprise Elastic Data Migration, you can readily migrate from one primary vendor to another without rehydrating all the archived data, so migrations are cheaper and faster.

Smart-Data-Migration-series-THUMBCloud Data Tiering as a First Step: Smart Data Migration

Since a large percentage of file data is cold and has not been used in a year or more, tiering and archiving cold data is a smart first step – especially if you use Transparent Move Technology so users can access the files exactly as before. You can follow this up by migrating the remaining hot data to a performance cloud tier.

Data Migration Questions

Here are some questions that will help you determine the best file and object data migration strategy:

  • What data storage do we have and where?​ (primary storage, secondary storage)
  • What data sets are accessed most frequently (hot) and less frequently (cold)?​
  • What types of data and files do we have and which are taking up the most storage (image files, video, audio files, sensor data, etc.)?​
  • What is the cost of storing these different file types today? How does this align with the budget and projected growth?​
  • Which types of files should be stored at a higher security level? (PII or IP data? Mission-critical projects?)​
  • Are we complying with regulations and internal policies with our unstructured data management practices?
  • What constraints do my network and environment pose and how do I avoid surprises during migrations?
  • Do we have the best possible strategy in place for WAN acceleration, such as Komprise Hypertransfer for Elastic Data Migration.


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