Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates #blogtobertech

October 31, 2018 – 6:48 pm
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates – #blogtobertech

Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates - #blogtobertech

Microsoft announced Azure Data Box is the first in a series of four posts looking at Data Box including a test drive experience. View Part 2 Microsoft Azure Data Box Family, Part 3 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Review, Part 4 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Impressions.

Microsoft Azure Data Box Family Page image via Microsoft.com
Microsoft Azure Data Box Family Page image via Microsoft.com

At Ignite in Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates, which means its time for a test drive and review. Microsoft has several Data Box solutions available or in the preview to meet various customer needs. These include both online as well as offline solutions that include hardware (except Data Box Gateway), software tools and cloud services. In general, Data Box enables bulk movement and migration of data from on-prem environments to Azure cloud storage including blobs (e.g., objects) and files (e.g., NAS accessible) resources.

Whats The Need for Data Movement Appliance Service

Some might ask the question why do you need a Microsoft Azure Data Box when there are fast networks? Good question, assuming you have fast networks that can move large amounts of bulk data promptly. Microsoft supports traditional Internet-based access to Azure cloud resources for data migration, along with higher speed Express Route service similar to Amazon Web Service (AWS) Direct Connect among other options.

On the other hand, if you need to move a large amount of data that would take weeks, months or longer sending over expensive networks, then solutions like Data Box are an option. Microsoft is not alone or unique having data storage migration or movement services. AWS has Snowball, Snowball Edge with compute, as well as the truck size Snowmobile for large-scale data movement. Google also has their Transfer services including Google Transfer Appliance.

Who is Azure Data Box for?

Azure Data Box is for those who need to migrate data to Azure cloud storage and other services on a one-time or recurring basis. Another scenario is for those who need to have on-prem storage and optional compute at remote or edge locations in support of data acquisition, media & entertainment, energy exploration, AI, ML, DL inferencing, local data processing, pre-processing before sending to cloud among other workloads.

Yet other scenarios for those who need to move large amounts of data online, off-line, or in disconnected also known as submarine mode where a connection to the internet is not always available. Bulk data movement also applies for one-time, as well as recurring data protection such as archive, backups, BC/DR, as well as data shipping, virtual machine farm relocation, SQL Server data migration to cloud, data center consolidation among many other scenarios.

What is Azure Data Box

Azure Data Box is a combination of hardware, software, cloud services that support data migration (on-line and off-line) from on-prem environments including remote or edge to Azure cloud storage resources. There are different Data Box solutions available or in the preview to meet various needs from performance, capacity, functionality, without as well as without compute. In addition to being used for data migration, there are also Data Box solutions (e.g., Edge) that converge compute and storage for deployment at remote or edge locations.

Data Box Gateway is a software-defined virtual machine appliance that deploys on VMware and Microsoft (e.g., Hyper-V) hypervisors. Off-line Data Box solutions scale from single 8TB SSD disks to PB of capacity with various functionality.

As a reminder, blobs are analogous to and what Microsoft Azure refers to instead of objects (e.g., object storage). Also remember that Azure blobs include block, page (512-byte page aligned for VHDX) and append (similar to other vendors object storage). Microsoft Azure in addition to blobs, supports file (SMB and NFS) access, along with table (database) and queue storage services.

Where to learn more

Learn more about Microsoft Azure Data Box, Clouds and Data Infrastructure related trends, tools, technologies and topics via the following links:

Additional learning experiences along with common questions (and answers), as well as tips can be found in Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials book.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials Book SDDC

What this all means

Azure Data Box type solutions and services are becoming more common as well as diverse. With the addition of compute in some of these solutions to support remote edge workloads, the lines may blur with some of the converged and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions. Likewise, keep an eye to see how cloud service providers leverage solutions like Data Box Edge to further place their reach out to the edge enabling fog (e.g., cloud at the edge) among other converged functionality. Continue reading Part 2 Microsoft Azure Data Box Family, Part 3 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Review, and Part 4 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Impressions as part of Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates.

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz – Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2018. Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Courteous comments are welcome for consideration. First published on https://storageioblog.com any reproduction in whole, in part, with changes to content, without source attribution under title or without permission is forbidden.

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2018 Server StorageIO and UnlimitedIO. All Rights Reserved. StorageIO is a registered Trade Mark (TM) of Server StorageIO.