Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Impressions #blogtobertech

October 31, 2018 – 6:53 pm

Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Impressions #blogtobertech

Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Impressions #blogtobertech

Data Box Disk Test Drive Impressions is the last of a four-post series looking at Microsoft Azure Data Box. View Part 1 Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates, Part 2 Microsoft Azure Data Box Family, and Part 3 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Review.

Overall, I liked the Azure Data Box experience along with a range of options to select the best fit solution for my needs. A common trend among the major cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google is that one size fits all approach solution does not meet different customer needs.

The only things that I did not like about and would like to see improved with Azure Data Box are two items one at the beginning, the other at the end of the process. Granted with Data Box Disks still in preview, there is time for those items to be addressed before general availability, and I have passed on the feedback to Microsoft.

At the beginning of the process, things are pretty straightforward with good tools along with resources to help you navigate which type of Data Box to order, how to order, specify your account details and other information.

What I did not like with the up front experience was after the quick ordering and notification process, the time delay of a week or more until notified when a Data Box would be arriving. Granted I was not in a rush and Microsoft did indicate that it could take about ten days to be informed of availability, this is something that should be done quickly as resources become available. Another option is for Microsoft to add an ordering option for priority or low-priority in the future.

The other experience that I did not like was at the very end, in that perhaps its stuck in an email spam trap (checked, could not find it), the final notification could be better. Not only a final email note saying your data is copied, but also a reminder of where your block or page blobs were copied to (e.g., what your setup when ordering).

Monitoring the progress of the process, I knew when Data Box drives arrived at Microsoft, copy started and completed including with error status. Having gotten used to receiving update notifications from Azure, not receiving one at the end saying congratulations your data has been copied, check here for any errors or other info, as well as a reminder where the data was copied to would be useful.

Likewise, a follow-up note from Microsoft saying that the Azure Data Box drives used as part of the transfer were securely erased along with a certificate of digital destruction would be useful for compliance purposes.

As mentioned above, overall, I found the Data Box Disk experience very positive and a great way to move bulk data faster than what could be done with available networks. My next step is now to migrate some of the transferred data to cold long-term archive storage, and some others to Azure Files, with some staying in block blobs. There are also a couple of VHD and VHDX that will be moved and attached to VMs for additional testing.

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

For those who have a need to move large amounts of data including structured, unstructured, semi-structured, little or big data to a cloud resource, solutions such as Azure Data Box may be in your future. Likewise, for those looking to support remote and edge workloads from AI, ML, DL inferencing, to large-scale data pre-processing, data collection and acquisition, video, telemetry, IoT among others Data Box type solutions may be in your future. Overall I found Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Impressions Favorable and was able to address a project I had on the to-do list for some time.

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 any reproduction in whole, in part, with changes to content, without source attribution under title or without permission is forbidden.

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