Azure Data Transfer Solutions

One of the initial challenges customers come across after purchasing Azure Storage, is moving on-prem data to the Azure Storage account. Microsoft provides data transfer solutions for various scenarios. In today’s post we are going to have a look at these solutions.

The main factors to consider while choosing a data transfer solution are:

  • Data Size
  • Data Transfer Frequency (One-time or Periodic)
  • Network Bandwidth

Depending on the above factors, data movement solutions can be either Offline or through Network. Lets have a look:

Offline transfer: This method is used for one-time bulk data transfer. Microsoft can provide customers with disks or secure storage device. Customers also have the option to ship their own disks to Microsoft. The offline options are named data box, data box disk, data box heavy and import/export (customers provide own disks).

Network transfer: Data transfer over network connection can be performed in the following ways:

  • Graphical Interface: This is ideal while transferring a few files and when there is no need to automate the data transfer. Graphical interface options include Azure Storage Explorer and Azure Portal.
  • Programmatic Transfer: Some of the available scriptable data transfer tools are AzCopy, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI. Various programming language SDKs are also available.
  • On-premises devices: A physical device called Data Box Edge, along with a virtual Data Box Gateway are installed at the customer’s premises which optimize the data transfer to Azure.
  • Managed Data Factory pipeline: Azure Data Factory pipelines can be used to move, transform and automate regular data transfers from on-prem data stores to Azure.

Microsoft provides the following informative illustration to help customers decide on the suitable data transfer solution as per their requirements:


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