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The Hidden Costs of File Data Migration

The journey to the cloud for many enterprise IT professionals often follows a similar path. Maybe it seems familiar to you: You’ve identified cloud transformation as a key IT initiative. You’ve powered through months of research, spoken with a dozen vendors, and identified your plan to move forward and implement your solution that will modernize your IT environment and bring any number of benefits to how your users work.

At some point during this journey, file data migration to a new platform becomes a sticking point. Migrations are more complex than first theorized; the right tools for migrations are missing; or the file data itself is not cooperating with your migration strategy.

Whatever the hold-up, it’s not uncommon. In fact, Gartner predicts that through 2019, more than half of data migration projects will exceed budget and timeline, due to flawed strategy and execution.

Our experience, based on hundreds of customer file data migrations from legacy ROBO IT appliances and endpoint devices (not to brag, just so you know we’re a believable resource ;)), is that unstructured data migrations don’t need to be particularly painful.

We’ve identified several hidden costs of file data migration that can reduce the effectiveness of a digital transformation project. Here’s how you can deal with them.

User Disruption
If you support remote and branch offices (ROBOs), chances are your users have preferred working behaviors and patterns that they don’t want disrupted. If office workers been accessing their home directories the K:// drive for group shares for the past decade, they’re not going to want to move a completely different platform with a new learning curve, no matter how flat it is.

Help keep things simple for your users. Seek modern solutions that offer identical user experiences to the ‘old way’ of doing business, while delivering all the benefits of cloud-based file services like global edge caching and data tiering. That’s one fewer item on the to-do list for your users, and they’ll thank you.

(Download our free Edge Filer Know-It-All Kit today.)

IT Disruption
It’s not just migrating the files that’s a key point for IT to consider; it’s everything that comes with the file – metadata, user permissions, and mapping the files into the right places. Many customers we’ve talked to found out the hard way, that migrating file data to the cloud required a complete reinvention of the wheel, with weeks spent recreating file system structures, permissions, etc. And your time, of course, equals money.

We felt your pain. At CTERA we have built robust tools to seamlessly migrate file access permissions and system structures from your legacy systems. Adopt cloud on your terms, with the same system permissions you may have spent years building out.

Lack of Visibility
Here’s another common challenge we see regularly: if your organization has file scattered across offices, roaming user laptops, mobile devices, etc., chances are you don’t have a complete picture into the files that need to be migrated to a new platform. (This is a common challenge with GDPR compliance, as you might have realized yourself.)

This is where a sophisticated cloud platform can ease your transition once more. Seek a solution that enables the primary file repository to shift from the edge to the cloud. This will enable you as an IT professional not only to reduce efforts managing edge data across myriad devices, but also helps to reduce Shadow IT and eliminate “dark data” and store it in a searchable, analyzable, and shareable cloud storage repository.

Data Loss
Data loss is always a risk, even when not performing data migrations. But migrations add even more potential for data loss, as errors and failures can result in files being lost. The simplest strategy to rebut risk is to embrace a schedule where all files are regularly backed up. Ensuring that both servers and endpoints are backed up and don’t contain damaged files is a critical step toward a successful migration.

Congratulations on taking the cloud journey, and good luck with your file data migration!

We know file data migration can have enterprise organizations suffer from a wide range of pitfalls. That’s why we continually add new features and capabilities to the Enterprise File Services Platform that ease the transition. As well, our world-class Support team has seen it all, and is ready to help on any challenge you face.

Let us know if we can be of service.

Categories: Insight