Planning a migration to Dropbox Business? Here are some options:

Free Tools:
There are a variety of free options for migrating data to Dropbox. The three primary methods are:

  • Dropbox migration tool
  • Manual upload
  • Custom scripts

In order to decide which tools they want to use, organizations need to have a clear idea of the job that needs to be done. The appropriateness of each and every migration solution is based on a number of things, including the size and duration of the migration, along with what kind of information is being migrated. Here is a brief overview of how the three aforementioned solutions stack up for enterprise migration.

Dropbox migration tool (DMT) might initially seem like the perfect solution because it’s designed by Dropbox. And yes, if you have a small amount of data (less than ~200GB) it will likely suit your needs. Unfortunately, the tool has a tendency to fail entirely when faced with large-scale migrations. Since the DMT can’t port metadata only makes it less suited for enterprise migration. While a convenient and helpful solution for individuals looking to make small data transfers, the DMT simply doesn’t have the horsepower for the type of migrations most businesses want to conduct at an enterprise level.

Manual upload is very similar to the Dropbox migration tool, in that it’s a wonderful solution for uploading small amounts of data, and a wholly ill-suited one for anything else. Its inability to mirror permissions, combined with its lack of central control puts users at risk for a total breakdown of the migration process, and leaves IT guessig what has been migrated and what hasn’t.

Custom scripting, very custom workflows or use cases are usually the best for self-created scripting. Like many DIY solutions, it gives users just what they need to accomplish the task at hand, and ensure that they can complete the move without too much hassle. However, a migration is not a simple upload. While scripting a simple upload function may be easy, you have to think about security, reporting, retry, error handling, resilience, and much more. Even more, when faced with larger migrations that require the movement of complicated file structures, sensitive information, and terabytes of data, custom scripting all but crumbles, leaving users frustrated, and behind schedule.

Paid Solutions:
There are a range of third-party solutions available for those looking to make the jump to Dropbox. For many users, these seem like the ideal tools: more durable and versatile than free tools, but still cost-effective. A best of both worlds solution for migration.

Too often, though, this is not the case. Many times, these paid solutions—while slightly more powerful and capable than their free counterparts—are no more capable of handling an enterprise migration. Certainly, many will come with additional features and enhanced transfer capacity, but in the end this is like getting a slightly more powerful car for a job that requires a truck. Often times, the additional features are superfluous to the job that actually needs to be done, and only serve to confuse and distract the users, while the areas that really needed to be pumped up, remain completely unsuited. Issues like security and metadata often persist with these solutions, ensuring that the extra money buys users little more than a nicer dashboard hiding the same stumbling machinery.