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50 Million Migrations Webinar Series:
Migration Deep Dive

Migration Deepdive: Edge case lessons from our 50 Million Migrations - Blog

In the final installment of our 50 million migrations webinar series, Business Development Manager Steve Hannon and Technical Product Specialist Michael Keighery examine some of the edge case lessons we’ve learned from performing over 50 million successful migrations. Michael has been with CloudM for 10 years and was heavily involved in performing our very first migration. This was back in 2009 when a British Magazine needed help migrating from Novell GroupWise to what was then known as Google Apps for Work. Since then we’ve added over 30 source platforms and support migrating to Google, Microsoft and Dropbox. Steve and Michael discuss the more niche lessons learnt from all our experience and cover these in depth in our webinar which you can watch on-demand here.

Drive-to-Drive Migration

CloudM was one of the first migration tools globally to support cloud-to-cloud migration. We started with Google to Google and quickly realised that cloud-to-cloud migrations are more often than not more complicated than on-premise to cloud migrations.

When specifically looking at Drive-to-Drive migrations in the Google space, what makes them so complicated is its unique structure of sharing, accessing and organizing files. You can have a mixture of files that you own and don't own in a variety of different folder structures within your own My Drive area. While other migration tools are capable of performing basic Drive-to-Drive migrations, they don’t keep the fidelity and permissions structure the way that CloudM does, which is why the migrations can be so challenging. This has resulted in a high amount of our 50 million migrations being Drive-to-Drive.

Michael and Steve discuss some unorthodox considerations when performing Drive-to-Drive migrations in the on-demand webinar here.

How long will your migration take?

This question has stood the test of time and is asked to both Sales teams and Technical teams with almost always the same answer; “It depends.” Factors such as: Upstream bandwidth, workstation speed, disk speed, available memory, account size and item count all contribute to how quickly we can perform a migration. However the most important factor is the number of threads running. This means that the best way to improve performance is to migrate as many users as possible simultaneously. Quite often migrating one user can take as long as migrating 20 users. Request limits are all set by the platforms at an account level, not a domain level, therefore the more accounts you can migrate at once the sooner you’ll complete your migration.

For an insight into how CloudM uses exponential backoff to handle errors that might delay the migration watch the on-demand webinar here.

Pre-migration Prep

Actions taken before a migration are just as important in helping the migration process run quickly and smoothly. In most cases data being migrated is not evenly spread and some accounts will have much more data than others. Therefore, in order to best utilize the time you have available to perform your migration, adding users to the queue in the most efficient order is an important factor of migration speed.

In order to recognize and overcome this obstacle, CloudM introduced the Environment Scan. The Environment Scan can run for both Files and Emails and allows you to extrapolate the data to see the volume, files size and permissions of the data within each account. Understanding the data structure and layout is key before beginning a migration in order to see the order in which accounts should be migrated.

For an example of how CloudM uses tools such as BigQuery and Data Studio to visualize the raw data check out the on-demand webinar here.

Multi-Server Architecture

The multi-server architecture that has been built into the CloudM tool has been a game changer for performing large migrations. The ability to have one primary instance which hosts the UI and multiple node instances which perform the migration means you don’t have to manage multiple instances and there’s no complicated installation. We first used this in a migration to G Suite for over 60,000 users. By running over 40 servers it allowed us to maximise the time available and push the throughput to its maximum.

For full details of our exact multi-server migration process watch our on-demand webinar here.

For smaller migrations and to avoid the complication of server configuration you can also use CloudM’s Hosted migration tool which runs in both GCP and Azure depending on your destination platform. More details about CloudM Migrate (Hosted) can be found here.

Committed to Continuous Improvement

Despite our years of experience, every migration is different and we’re still faced with new scenarios on a regular basis. As the cloud space evolves we continue to adapt both our product and our approach to ensure we supply our users with the very best migration software that enables businesses to make the cloud work for them.

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