Microsoft Azure Data Box Family #blogtobertech

October 31, 2018 – 6:52 pm
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Microsoft Azure Data Box Family #blogtobertech

Microsoft Azure Data Box Family #blogtobertech

Microsoft Azure Data Box Family is part two of a four-part series looking at Data Box. View Part 1 Microsoft announced Azure Data Box updates, Part 3 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Review, Part 4 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Impressions.

Microsoft Azure Data Box Overview

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.

Data Box Online

Microsoft has two online Data Box offerings that provide real-time access of Azure cloud storage resources from on-prem including remote, edge locations. The online Data Box solutions include Edge and Gateway both with local on-prem storage.

Data Box Edge image via Microsoft.com
Data Box Edge image via Microsoft.com

Data Box Edge (Preview)

Currently, in preview, Data Box Edge is a 1U appliance that combines hardware along with software resources for deployment on-prem at the edge or remote locations. Data Box Edge places locally converged compute and storage resources as an appliance along with connectivity to Azure cloud-based resources.

Intended workloads and applications for Data Box Edge include remote AI, ML, and DL inferencing, data processing or pre-processing before sending to Azure Cloud, function as an edge compute, data protection and data transfer platform (e.g., cloud storage gateway) with local compute. Data Box Edge is similar in functionality and focuses on other cloud service provider solutions such as AWS Snow Ball Edge (SBE). Management tools include Data Box Edge resource Azure portal for management from a web UI, create and manage resources, devices, shares.

Other Data Box Edge attributes include:

  • Supports Azure Blob or Files via SMB and NFS storage access protocols
  • Dual Intel Xeon processors each with 10 CPU cores, 64GB RAM
  • 2 x 10 Gbps SFP+ copper cables, 2 x 1 Gbps RJ45 cables
  • 8 NVMe SSD (1.6 TB each), no HA, 12.8 TB total raw cap
  • 2 x 1 GbE (one for management, one for user access)
  • 2 x 25 GbE (can operate at 10 GbE) and 2 x 25 GbE ports
  • Local web UI for management and configuration

Data Box Gateway (Preview)

Also in Preview, Data Box Gateway is a virtual machine (VM) based software defined appliance that runs on VMware vSphere (ESXi) or Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors. The functionality of Data Box Gateway is that of a cloud storage gateway providing access to Azure Blob (Page and Block) or Files (NAS) via SMB or NFS protocols. Learn more about both Data Box Edge and Data Box Gateway here including pricing here.

Data Box Offline Solutions

Microsoft has several offline Data Box offerings including previously available and new in preview models. Offline Data Box solutions enable large amounts of data to be moved from on-prem primary, remote and edge locations to Azure cloud storage resources. Bulk data movement operations can be one-time or recurring in support of big data migration of energy, research, media & entertainment and other large volumes of data.

Other bulk movement includes for archive, backup, BC/DR, virtual machine and application migration among others. Use Data Box Offline solutions when large amounts of data need to be moved from on-prem to Azure cloud faster than what available networks will support promptly.

Offline Data Box solutions include:

  • Data Box Heavy (Preview) 1 PB Storage, 800 TB usable
  • Data Box 100 TB (80 TB usable)
  • Data Box Disk (Preview) 40 TB (35 TB Usable)

Data Box Heavy image via Microsoft.com
Data Box Heavy 1 PB (Preview) image via Microsoft.com

Data Box Heavy 1 PB (Preview)

  • Appliance with Up to 800 TB usable capacity per order
  • One system per order
  • Supports Azure Blob or Files
  • Copy data to up to 10 storage accounts
  • 1 x 1/10 Gbps RJ45 connector, 4 x 40 Gbps QSFP+ connectors
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Copies data using NAS SMB and NFS protocols

Data Box 100TB image via Microsoft.com
Data Box 100TB image via Microsoft.com

100 TB Data Box

  • An appliance that supports 80 TB usable storage capacity
  • Supports Azure Blob or Files
  • Copies data to 10 storage accounts
  • 1 x 1/10 GbE RJ45 connector
  • 2 x 10 GbE SFP+ connector
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Storage access and copy via SMB and NFS NAS protocols

Case of Data Box Disks image via Microsoft.com
Case of Data Box Disks image via Microsoft.com

Data Box Disk 40 TB (Preview)

  • Up to 35 TB usable capacity per order
  • Up to 5 SSDs per order
  • This is what I tested (2 x 8 TB)
  • Supports Azure Blob storage (Block and Page)
  • Copies data to a single storage account
  • USB/SATA II, III server I/O interface (comes with SATA to USB connector cables)
  • AES 128-bit encryption
  • Copy data with standard tools

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

Which Microsoft Azure Data Box is the best? That depends on your needs and requirements.

Microsoft along with other major cloud service providers continue to evolve their data migration services. Realizing that customers who need, want, or have to get data to the cloud also need to remove barriers, solutions such as Azure Data Box are a step in eliminating cloud barriers while addressing cloud concerns. Continue reading Part 3 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Test Drive Review and Part 4 Microsoft Azure Data Box Disk Impressions as part of Microsoft Azure Data Box Family.

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.

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