Migrate Shared Drives to the Cloud

Fully Automated File, Permissions, and Metadata Migration and Sync

In this full demo we explore how Cloud FastPath greatly automates the process of migrating from on-premises to the cloud. Learn how to:

  • Deploy the on-premises agent
  • Analyze source data
  • Map permissions, ownership, accounts, sharing, and external users to the cloud
  • Start and monitor the transfer
  • Validate the migration’s success

The following is an unabridged transcript of the preceding video, provided for your convenience.

Hello, and welcome to Cloud FastPath!

In this video, we are going to walk through the process of migrating on-premises file server shared drives into a content collaboration platform.

Before we dive into the product, there are steps which must be taken before a shared drive migration begins.

  • Migrate user home drives
  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Establish a dedicated migration team
  • Create communication plan
  • Establish timelines and expectations

In addition to planning, we must consider the important technical considerations while preparing for a shared drive migration:

  • Proper admin access to the shared drives
  • Network considerations
  • Dependencies
  • Linked Files
  • Limitations of Cloud Platforms

Once the preparation steps have been completed, the next step is to run Cloud FastPath Analytics.

To connect file servers to the Cloud FastPath service, the first step is to download and install the on-premises agent. It is a lightweight MSI which can be installed onto a server or onto a computer with proper access to the content on a server. Once it is installed simply login with Cloud FastPath credentials.

We then run Cloud FastPath analytics.

In this case we will get the most insight from the “file system” tab where we can analyze the content size, type, age, and more for each directory. With powerful filtering and searching we can determine what kind of content is in the share, how old the content is, if there are any disallowed file types, path length issues, and much more.

You may realize that much of the content on the file server is cold data or may not have an immediately clear destination in the cloud platform. Work with the owners of the content to determine what should be filtered out of the migration or if the content should be reorganized.

The next step is to create migration segments based on the results of the analysis. The size of the segments should reflect your timeline, the total size of the shares, and the general complexity of the file structure and permissions.

Once the segments have been created it is time to configure the migration jobs. Create a new job, and come up with a naming convention that will keep jobs organized. We then select the sources and targets.

Next, we will select which automated permission mapping strategy we would like to. When moving from an on-premises shared drive environment into a waterfall permissions based cloud platform there are potential incompatibilities which must be addressed. Even if the migration target is not a waterfall model, permissions structures commonly need to be reorganized or cleaned up. Cloud FastPath has built-in automation to address incompatibilities and help clean up permissions in the following ways:

  • Preserve file structure, grant additional permissions
  • Preserve file structure, restrict permissions
  • Preserve permissions, move content higher up in the directory
  • Custom

Next we will select the directories we would like to. The custom metadata option does not apply to this use case.

The following screen has more settings such as the ability to put everything into a “migration” folder within each target folder.

Next we will generate the permissions map. This step generates an excel file which contains a report of all the ownership, permissions, sharing, and ACL’s associated with the selected shared drives.

Once the sheet is opened, the first step is to verify that all associated users are mapped to the correct corresponding account in the cloud collaboration platform. There may be only administrators here if the content is not owned by the users. They can be manually mapped to an admin or archive account if the user is no longer with the company and does not have a provisioned cloud account. Next is to perform the same exercise with groups.

The next tab called paths is the most flexible and powerful of the mapping options. The paths tab is a full representation of the ownership, sharing, permissions and ACLs for the selected shared drives. Here is where any permissions incompatibilities will be flagged and then can be remediated.

Sometimes, shared drives can be a mess after years of use. We can audit and edit permissions and ACLs using the paths tab. For example, on this portion of a shared drive the marketing department is organized into teams and projects. If one of the automated mapping strategies was not chosen and a permissions incompatibility was detected, it will be flagged to be manually remediated. Upon investigating, we can see that many users and groups have write access who do not have access to the folder above. In this case we will move the folder up higher in the directory to remove the inheritance issue. We could also grant permissions to the parent folder, or revoke permissions on the folder.

Once the mapping is verified the sheet is saved then re uploaded to Cloud FastPath.

The next step is the simulation feature, which runs the migration with the current configuration without actually transferring any files. The simulation provides estimates for how long the transfer will take, what the bottlenecks will be, and can identify any potential errors such as access errors, disallowed file types, and path length issues before a migration starts.

If the simulation comes looks satisfactory, it is time to run immediately or schedule this migration wave to transfer or delta sync. Once the wave has been migrated, Cloud FastPath provides robust reporting to ensure that the content reached the target intact, with the correct permissions, and in the correct location.

It is best to run the initial large migration over an extended timeframe and have the cutover syncs occur overnight or on the weekend. Successful user adoption depends on clearly communicating the changes, educating your users, and gamifying adoption. Creating adoption campaigns targeted towards your users results in greater user adoption. Gamifying the adoption process with prizes like “first team to collaborate a certain number of files gets a gift card” are always positively received.

Thanks for watching the demo of the Cloud FastPath shared drive migration experience. Next step is to sign up for a trial at cloudfastpath.com.

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