Strive for IT Excellence

Options for Getting Your Data to Amazon Web Services Safely

Once the decision is made to use cloud, the next challenge is how to make that transition. In many cases, moving data to the cloud becomes a stumbling block. Transferring large amounts of data runs into problems of time, bandwidth, and security; 100 terabytes needs 100 days to transfer at 100 Mbps. If the cloud provider being used is Amazon Web Services (AWS), there are several options available for getting the data from your premises to their cloud.

1. Direct transfer via the Internet

One obvious method of transferring data to AWS is to use a simple file transfer tool such as FTP or rsync. There are various software products available to help you track and manage these file movements. These methods share the advantage of being straightforward, but sending large files to AWS via this method is generally not practical.

2. Amazon commands

Several Amazon products such as S3 and Glacier have command lines and commands you can use to directly upload files.

3. Accelerated networks

The performance of command line file transfers can be improved by using AWS Direct Connect to establish a dedicated connection between your site and AWS. Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration is another approach that improves upload speed.

4. Amazon Import/Export

AWS Import/Export lets you physically transfer data to AWS by sending them a storage device. It can be used to send up to 16 terabytes of data to Amazon to be loaded into AWS. Data is usually loaded the business day after AWS receives your device. 

5. AWS Snowball

For petabytes of data, consider AWS Snowball. Amazon sends you the Snowball appliance, which downloads and encrypts your files. You then return the device to Amazon, where your data is loaded into AWS and the Snowball appliance is wiped clean. Each Snowball appliance can transfer up to 80 terabytes, and multiple Snowballs can be run in parallel to transfer larger volumes. Using Snowball successfully requires the data to remain static while it is being copied and that the data's local host runs the file transfer process to avoid network bottlenecks. 

6. AWS Snowball Edge

Another data transfer appliance from Amazon, the AWS Snowball Edge eliminates the need for data to remain unchanged during the transfer process. It has a 100 terabyte storage capacity and computational power allowing for data processing on the device. (The data can't be updated while the device is in transit back to Amazon, however). 

7. AWS Snowmobile

For truly Big Data, consider AWS Snowmobile, which arrives in a tractor-trailer truck and has a 100-petabyte capacity. The device is populated via a high-speed network connection in your data center and then driven to Amazon to be loaded into AWS.

8. AWS Database Migration Service

The challenge of downtime during data transfer can be mitigated using the AWS Database Migration Service. The source database stays live during the transfer process, which streams data to a database on AWS. The target database may be the same or different database platform. 

While there are lots of alternatives for transferring data to AWS, making the migration successful requires choosing the best option for your use case and having a plan before getting started to minimize the impact on your business. dcVAST can help you decide how to transition to the cloud and offers managed AWS services to help you make the best use of your cloud environment. Contact us to learn how we can make getting started with AWS smooth and efficient.