Cloud Migration: It’s Not Drag and Drop

We’ve all started putting our files in the cloud. Maybe you have your personal docs in DropBox or GDrive. Your work might have you storing and sharing files in Box or Microsoft OneDrive. And getting files from your My Documents folder into the Cloud is a breeze. Just drag and drop and over they go. Magic. Easy. Done.

But what’s a piece of cake to you is a horror show for companies with tons of users and terabytes or petabytes of data.

Those companies may try FTP of free tools. That is a big mistake. In these five examples we’ll see why.

Stuff Gets Lost

FTP and free tools have low limits on how much content they can move. A large migration is going to be broken up into dozens of small jobs, which itself spells disaster. The more jobs that you have to manually configure, the more likely it is that you lose or forget some content and that something gets left behind.

And that’s just the human error.

FTP and free tools generally don’t tell you what has been migrated. You know when you find out something didn’t get transferred over? That would be weeks later when users frantically tell you that some essential folder or file didn’t make it into your new storage environment messing up a time critical project.

That’s the big problem with migrating using FTP and free tools: when it fails, it doesn’t fail small. It fails big.  Not only is it difficult to actually diagnose the cause of the failure, or figure out what was affected, but resuming that transfer from the moment where it broke down is impossible. While Cloud FastPath immediately reports what hasn’t migrated–allowing you to keep going while rescheduling those items, or trying again—FTP simply crumbles, and your migration with it.

Permissions and Sharing Get Screwed Up

You don’t want everyone in the company having access to the HR folder after a migration.

Because different storage solutions—be they physical or cloud-based—have different permissions types and structures, it’s crucial that whatever tool you’re using to migrate make sure those permissions remain intact throughout migration.

Don’t count on that from FTP and free tools.

With FTP, manually mapping permissions is your only real choice. But for a massive migration, this could take a massive amount of time—and this is only complicated by the insane amount of jobs these tools force you to run.

Cloud FastPath automates permissions mapping so that organizations don’t need to run the risk of deploying their new cloud environment, only to find that carefully built and maintained permission structures have been absolutely shredded during migration.

Metadata Goes Poof

While metadata can serve numerous purposes, the best way to understand it is data that gives you information about a given piece of content. In some cases, metadata can be extremely simple, like saying who created a document or who accessed it last and when. It could be a tag noting that a document relates to a certain topic or project. Other times, it can convey complex facets such as how long a document is meant to be retained for, retrieval and dissemination protocols, or ownership rights. In these scenarios metadata serves the essential purpose of categorizing and describing content, much of which is extremely valuable.

As with permissions and sharing protocols, FTP and free tools have little functionality when it comes to metadata, and run the risk of evaporating all of it by the time you reach the cloud. In these scenarios, businesses that have taken years to carefully tag and organize their content find themselves forced to recreate all of their metadata in a new environment with which they’re only recently familiar.

Long story short: is a free tool or FTP really worth having to re-tag thousands of pieces of content? Is it worth digging through years of files and folders to recreate the structure that you spent so long cultivating?

It is Slooowww

Migration is a long and complex process. Businesses that are moving petabytes of data are inevitably going to have a migration that lasts days, weeks, maybe months.

And that’s with a powerful tool.

FTP and free tools take even longer, and they don’t provide any of the security or organization that Cloud FastPath does. This means that not only are you waiting months upon months to finally complete that migration project, but you also have no guarantee when different pieces of content will get where, and when users will have access to their files again. If that sounds like a productivity nightmare, it’s because it is.

With Cloud FastPath, organizations can carefully structure their migrations and design their jobs and waves in such a way that all users have access to what they need, when they need it. Cloud migration should be empowering your users, not holding them hostage for the better part of a year.

Ya Get One Shot

Using FTP or free tools for cloud migration is like playing freeze tag. You have to tell everyone to stop what they are doing while you do a painfully slow migration that will blow up your metadata and mess up all your permissions. So much better to have analytics to sort important from less important data; know who your power users are, and work with them; do a test run to make sure everything will migrate as you planned; and be able to do a synchronized migration so folks can use either their original source or your destination and have access to the same docs. They won’t even know it’s going on. And you’ll never have to say “freeze.”

The benefits of cloud migration are many, but they only resolve themselves when migration is done correctly. There are no good shortcuts, and those who attempt to find one find themselves in chaos. With the diversity of cloud platforms, and the complexity of deployments, making sure that you’ve migrated securely and successfully is paramount: to you, to your content, to your users.

Data migrations affect all of your employees. You probably don’t know all of your company’s employees’ names. Messing up a migration is not how you want them to learn yours.

Seamless migration is in reach with the right tools. It’s not as easy as drag and drop. But you can make it look like it is.