“Cloud capital spending is expected to accelerate to nearly 30% in 2024, supported by the resumption of new workload migration and strong interest in AI offerings.”S&P Global

Overview: The growth of unstructured data migrations

Enterprise IT organizations are upgrading their data environments with more efficient storage solutions and are accelerating data migrations to the cloud and to new on-premises storage for cost-savings and AI.

Data migrations occur when IT is moving to a new storage system or datacenter, moving workloads to the cloud or a co-location center and as part of a modernization or upgrade strategy. Types of unstructured data migrations include network attached storage (NAS) to NAS, NAS to cloud and cloud to cloud. As unstructured data grows exponentially, IT leaders want to take advantage of the increasing array of storage options available to optimize data management for cost, performance, security, sustainability mandates and AI. Data is always in motion—and data migration is therefore a constant endeavor.

Yet because of the sheer size of unstructured data—which is most data created and stored today, consisting of documents, chats, email and text, video and audio, images, sensor data, research data and anything not stored in a database—these migrations are complex and sometimes risky.

Challenges of enterprise unstructured data migrations

As enterprises adopt faster, flash-based NAS and cloud storage, migrating unstructured data into these environments is not easy and can incur too much time and risk. Enterprise IT organizations migrating data to the cloud must move these large production data sets quickly, with data integrity intact, without errors, and without disruption to users. File data migrations are particularly complex.

Top challenges of data migrations include improper planning, technical feasibility, slow data transfer, rightsizing infrastructure and analyzing costs of using different options between on premises and the cloud.Flexera State of the Cloud 2024.

Enterprises pursuing on-premises and cloud file data migrations may experience the following barriers and issues:

  1. Unexpected Costs: While tools like robocopy and rsync are free, they are also error-prone, don’t handle failures well, and require significant human effort and babysitting. There are some point data migration solutions and cloud storage gateways, but these do not typically scale. Cloud gateways hold the data in the cloud, adhere to a proprietary format, and do not put you on the right path to cloud data management. When it’s all said and done, migrations may not result in predicted cost savings.
  2. Data Integrity: There are always source and storage incompatibilities and challenges keeping access controls, file attributes and metadata intact. Moving large volumes of unstructured data to the cloud can result in errors and data loss.
  3. Time Consuming: Common issues like WAN latencies, a mix of small and large files, or the fact that there are billions of files in a large data migration project can all result in a massive time commitment and delays if not properly managed.
  4. Downtime Impact: This is always a big one – the impact on users and application access to data. The length of the cutover is also always a roadblock as it can take months to complete.
  5. Complex Cloud Storage Factors: There’s a lot to consider, including file vs. object data migration, performance vs. pricing, and the need to ensure you choose the right option at the right time.
  6. Insufficient Planning: It’s shocking how often enterprise IT organizations are flying blind, trying to plan and manage file data migrations without data analytics and insight. This is why, at Komprise, we say Know First and Move Smart.
  7. Ad-Hoc Approach: No continuity, no learnings from each migration, no real program management, instead a one-and-done cloud data migration mindset.

Top Considerations and Tips for Migrations

Understanding your file and object data assets, discovering data across storage silos and segmenting or classifying data based on usage and other characteristics such as file type or sensitivity is an important first step. With this analysis, you can ensure that data is being moved to the optimal place for cost, performance and business requirements.

Watch the video

The following tips outlined in this blog help avoid migration problems:

1) Define Data Storage Sources and Targets

Develop a clear plan that reviews where you’ve come from and where you’re going. Understand point A and point B and don’t wait until the night before a migration to ensure this is clear.

  • Cloud-native apps often need object storage. Are you prepared for this?
  • Cloud NAS has matured. What is your plan?
  • Do you still have requirements to keep data stored on premises?
2) Unstructured Data Migration Rules & Regulations

Rules may cover areas such as retention policy, legal hold and disaster recovery. Regulations are typically set by a governing body and often involve fines if not followed, such as: HIPAA, SOX, GDPR.

  • Partner with your legal and compliance teams.
  • Get the data owners involved. Put it on the teams that care about the data so it’s not just on the shoulders of the storage team to establish the right data protection and unstructured data management strategy.
3) Know Your Unstructured Data

By doing proper data discovery, you’ll understand your workloads and speed bumps. Do you have large files or small files and hundreds or thousands of shares?

  • Dual vs. mixed protocols: What is your permission strategy and how will this affect your migration?
  • Simplify and standardize: Just because you’ve been doing things a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it’s the right way in the cloud or your destination.
  • Understand your data migration priorities: Analyzing your data helps you understand which shares should be migrated first, to which destinations, how to prioritize migrations, and what not to migrate.
4) Smart Data Migration. Know Your Topology

Define your path and understand what you have and will need for bandwidth, latency, firewalls, when it comes to your hybrid cloud migrations. A core objective is how to avoid bottlenecks ahead of time. Bring in security and network teams.

5) Before You Migrate Data: Test, Test, Test

Test sources and targets, topology and migrations. Consider whitelisting. Know the limitations of your current file storage systems and your future targets. The iPerf tool is helpful to measure storage performance and to understand how long it will take to move data across the wire.

Komprise Solutions for Enterprise Data Migrations

Komprise delivers an analytics-driven approach to cloud data migration and unstructured data management. This helps IT avoid the common data migration challenges while bringing additional benefits:

  • Know before you migrate: Analytics on file and object data drive the most cost-effective plans.
  • Preserve data integrity: Maintain metadata, run MD5 checksums.
  • Save time and costs: Multi-level parallelism provides elastic scaling for speed.
  • Be worry-free: Built for petabyte-scale that ensures reliability;
  • Migrate NFS and SMB data 25-27X faster than standard tools: No more slow, free tools that need babysitting!

Komprise Elastic Data Migration is a high-performance, highly-scalable migration technology included in the Komprise Intelligent Data Management platform for unstructured data management. Elastic Data Migration is also available standalone and includes Komprise Analysis. Designed for cloud migrations and NAS migrations, Komprise Elastic Data Migration allows you to run, monitor, and manage hundreds of data migrations rapidly and with an analytics-based approach for maximum cost savings and ROI.

Download Komprise Elastic Data Migration Overview for more detail.

Elastic Data Migration: Industry-Leading Performance

Komprise is a high-performing migration solution that boasts the fastest migration speeds for both NFS and SMB data sets. It is a highly parallelized, multi-processing, multi-threaded approach that works at three levels:

  • Multi-level Parallelism: Komprise maximizes the use of available resources by exploiting parallelism at multiple levels including shares and volumes, directories, files, and threads to maximize performance. Komprise Elastic Data Migration breaks up each migration task into smaller ones that execute across the Komprise Observers, which are a grid of one or more virtual appliances that run the Komprise Intelligent Data Management solution.
  • Protocol-level Optimizations: Komprise reduces the number of round-trips over the protocol during a migration to eliminate unnecessary chatter. Rather than relying on generic NFS and SMB clients provided by the underlying operating system, Komprise has fine-tuned the client protocols to minimize overhead.
  • Komprise Hypertransfer: This technology delivers groundbreaking performance by creating dedicated virtual channels across the WAN, which minimizes the WAN roundtrips. This in turn mitigates SMB protocol chattiness and dramatically improves data transfer rates. Tests done using a data set dominated by small files show how Komprise accelerates cloud data migration 25x faster than other alternatives.
Read the white paper to learn more about Hypertransfer and how it compares with other tools.

Elastic Data Migration: Maximize Cost Savings, Minimize Risk

Analyze and Plan

Komprise data analytics help you understand your key data characteristics such as its size and growth patterns, where data lives, usage trends, storage costs and access patterns. Komprise also assesses your environment and network so you can identify potential bottlenecks before starting a migration. These insights make it possible to properly plan and manage your migrations to maximize cost savings and lower risk.

Use the dashboard to see:

  • How much data you have on each volume (share);
  • The age of that data (whether by last modified time or last accessed time);
  • What types of files are present, a histogram of file sizes, and space consumed by files of different sizes at the share and directory level.
  • How you can save with migration and tiering to different storage.
Learn more about Komprise Analysis.

Komprise allows storage experts to execute a “smart data migration” strategy. This entails doing an assessment of both your data and your network topology so you can make the best decisions regarding what to migrate, to where, the costs, and potential bottlenecks before you migrate data. Smart data migration tiers cold data to low-cost archival storage before migrating the more active or hot data to the desired NAS or cloud storage.

Minimize Data Risks

Komprise delivers multiple features to ensure a successful transfer of data, including:

  • Auto retries if network or storage is unavailable;
  • Retains all file permissions, access control and data integrity from source to target;
  • Manages chain of custody reporting with checksums and integrity reporting per file;
  • Ransomware defense by not allowing network access to cloud storage during migration.
  • The Elastic Data Migration dashboard helps you monitor and manage hundreds of migrations in real time. You can also download reports, including details of all migrations in progress, details of every iteration in a migration and details of all errors in a migration iteration along with samples of these errors.

Elastic Data Migration: Data Lifecycle Management

After the migration, you can use the full Komprise unstructured data management platform to optimize the use of all NAS file servers and cloud storage. Komprise analyzes data growth and usage across your storage to find cold, inactive data, and projects the ROI of moving cold data to secondary storage such as object storage in the cloud or on-premises.

  • Komprise moves cold data transparently based on customer-defined policies, so users continue to access the moved data in the same location as before.
  • Komprise helps organizations reduce over 70% of storage costs while managing data growth.
  • As data ages or its requirements change, use Komprise to migrate or tier data again—without needing to rehydrate it to the original storage and without losing the core file attributes.
  • Beyond the migration, Komprise is a flexible platform to continually manage your data as business needs change so that you can meet cost, compliance and analytics needs.

Latest enhancements to Komprise Elastic Data Migration

Komprise now addresses specific use cases for large-scale file data migrations. These options go beyond traditional enterprise migrations:

  • Zero downtime or “warm cutover” migrations for real-time and IoT data;
  • Pre-loaded migrations supporting non-empty destinations;
  • Consolidation migrations for IT teams to combine multiple data storage shares in a single migration job.
Watch the demo

Komprise ACE: a tool to minimize migration risks

Migrations come with many risks, from slow or failed network connections, security issues, and lost data. Elastic Data Migration delivers extremely high performance, reliability and reduced risk for petabyte-scale migrations.

Before you move any data, Komprise customers benefit from Komprise ACE to analyze the expected performance of a customer migration. The ACE tool proactively identifies potential bottlenecks and other issues independent of Komprise running in the customer’s environment and takes an hour or less of the customer’s time.

Komprise Partners

At Komprise, we work closely with our partners to ensure our customers have the best cloud NAS data migration experience, while ensuring data is delivered in native format for cloud native data access, which means no lock-in and maximum enterprise data storage savings.

Komprise Elastic Data Migration: Minimize Migration Pains, Maximize Storage Efficiency

  • Industry-leading speed: Migrate more than 27 times faster than generic tools like rsync for NFS workloads and 25 times faster than generic tools like Robocopy for SMB workloads even over WAN.
  • Smart data migration:An analytics-first assessment your data and your network topology inform what to migrate, to where, the costs, and potential bottlenecks – before you migrate data. Smart data migration transparently tiers as it migrates to save 70%+ costs by right-placing data across file and object.
  • Built-in reliability: Auto retry if network or storage is unavailable and chain of custody reporting with checksums and integrity reporting per file.
  • Full file attributes: Migrate with all file permissions, access control and data integrity intact.
  • Secure transit: Thwart ransomware attacks by not using network access to cloud storage during migration.
  • Monitor at scale: Use the dashboard to monitor and manage hundreds of migrations. Get status updates with reports and dashboards.

The Komprise analytics-first approach to data management and mobility, along with our built-in tools for cost modeling and planning help customers navigate complex data migrations with lower costs and risks. Komprise delivers the fastest, most reliable technology for migrating both SMB and NFS data, which means faster time to value for your organization and the preservation of all your valuable data assets.

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