Success Tips for Large Scale Data Migrations - Graphic by Angela Jeske

Success Tips for Large Scale Data Migrations

You’re moving data from location A to B and need it done as quickly and securely as possible. While in theory this sounds like an easy concept, large scale data migrations can become complicated if you don’t pay attention to a few key steps.

After moving data on a massive scale for clients like Autodesk and Nike, we have four success tips we hope greatly improve the migration experience for all parties involved. Our migration managers believe spending a little extra time in these areas can save yourself and your team hours of time and frustration. Let’s hear what our experts have to say!

Setting folder pathways

Folder pathways will set where you want your files to be located once transferred to the cloud destination. You are able to specify each folder pathway using either the app’s auto-create feature or a CSV file. Take your time during this step looking for usernames that aren’t matching, and ensuring pathways are set to your preferred folder destination. If you have folders in an already existing destination account, be sure to group that data with a notably different name. For example, if you are moving from Dropbox to G Suite Drive, we recommend the naming convention indicated below to help clearly identify which data has just been uploaded.

From source / to destination / from Dropbox.

The destination folder name can be named anything but it’s best to use something users can easily identify and recognize as their newly migrated data. By reviewing usernames and setting folder pathways you can be sure every file transfers as intended. The most common reason for failed transfers during a migration is when folder pathways do not match. Your file wants to transfer, but it’s not sure where to go. Give the CSV file a little extra love, and the migration will love you back.

Permission mapping

Let’s pause for a few minutes to fully understand and focus on permission mapping. While permission mapping can sound similar in theory to setting folder pathways, there is a GIANT difference between the two. Setting folder pathways is assigning a destination for data to be transferred to. Permission mapping has nothing to do with data getting to a destination, and everything to do with re-sharing users’ access to it once it’s in the destination.

The permission map is uploaded via CSV or through an autodiscover feature in our app and works to identify who (in the source) needs what re-shared with them in the destination. If a user or group does not have a perfect match appearing in the permission map destination field, this means the re-sharing details can’t be relayed and must be corrected in our interface. For example, an imperfect match can be the result of a recent name change that should be reflected as such in the destination. The permission map allows you to map the permissions of the former name to the new name you indicate in the destination field. Voila, your user will see all files and folders shared with them in the new destination.

“If we don’t know who someone is, if they don’t own data, we need to know not what their destination location is, but who we are re-sharing data to. That is permission mapping.” - Joshua Badach, Senior Sales Manager

Below is an example of an incomplete permission map, where the destination field should be corrected to the appropriate user or group permission mapping (re-sharing access). Note: A blank destination entry will automatically cancel any permissions sharing for that user or group.

Identify unsupported file types

It will depend on the source and destination you want to move files from, but exploring unsupported file types before beginning a migration is a must. For example, Dropbox Paper or Box Notes are unique to Dropbox and Box and therefore are not likely supported by Microsoft OneDrive for Business. We often see files fail because the file type is not compatible with the destination. Our comprehensive guides can assist in identifying unsupported file types specific to your source and destination. If you identify unsupported file types ahead of time, you may convert the data into a compatible format or choose to leave it behind.

Do not move or delete files in destination folders

When your migration is ready for what we call a final delta pass, please let this process run without interruption. When a final delta pass has begun, allow files and folders to fully transfer to the destination before moving or renaming anything. If a file is moved or renamed while the final delta pass is running, our app will have difficulty accurately identifying if any files/folders were missed. If a client shares a concern of missing folders or data, it is often because movement or renaming occurred during the delta pass. It is best practice to let the migration run without interruption to ensure the most accurate and stress free file transfer is possible.

Working on large scale migrations every day means our migration managers are troubleshooting new challenges all the time. If you are gearing up for a large scale migration and are not sure where to start, our team of experts really know their stuff. We hope you found these tips valuable and you feel confident as you begin tackling a large scale migration!

Don’t forget to check us out on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages!

Migrate Your Entire Company to Office 365 Without Leaving Your Browser.