Cloud services such as Azure are great for large data storage. This is great if your IT strategy starts with Azure. What if you want to migrate your IT resources into Azure? How can you get all your data into Azure’s data stores? It’s not as difficult as you might think. You can send your data to Azure via sneakernet.
It’s funny to think that traditional mail services are the best way to get large amounts of data to Azure. Isn’t digital revolution supposed make snail mail obsolete It’s not.
Today we will discuss how to create an Azure import job for data.
How to create an Azure Import job
Although bulk data can be sent to Microsoft to be imported into Azure, it is not difficult. You will need to prepare drives for shipping and storing your data. Let’s take a look at the steps involved.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-103)Related training at SPOTO
Start trainingThe Azure import process looks something like this:
Prepare your storage drives
Create a new import job for Azure
Send your storage drives to Azure
Each step has its own process.
First, prepare your storage drives. You should ensure that you use high-quality drives that can withstand the shipping rigors. Also, ensure that your storage drives are large enough for all the data you wish to send. Next, format the drives and make sure they are clean.
An Overview of How to Create Azure Import jobs [Video]
Chuck Keith demonstrates how to create Azure import/export jobs in this video. In rare cases when data cannot be uploaded to cloud using traditional methods, physical mailing the data to Microsoft is an option. The data will then be uploaded to cloud and returned to your computer.
How to use the WAImportExport tool
Microsoft offers a tool to help with the rest of the drive preparation process. WAImportExport is the name of this tool. It can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website.
The WAImportExport command-line tool is not the easiest to use. The WAImportExport Tool will be covered at a high-level, but you can find more information at Microsoft’s Knowledge Base.
Before you proceed, be aware that the WAImportExport encrypts your drives with BitLocker. Make sure that BitLocker is enabled on your computer.
The WAImportExport has two purposes. It prepares your storage drives by copying data and encrypting them with BitLocker. It also creates a JRM file which you will need to provide to Microsoft in Azure portal when you create an import job.
You must create two CSV files before you can use the WAImportExport tool. The first CSV file tells WAImportExport which data it should copy to your storage drives. The second CSV file tells WAImportExport what drives to use.
Here’s an example of the CSV dataset:
BasePathDstBlobPathOrPrefixBlobTypeDispositionMetadataFilePropertiesFile”F:\50M_original\100M_1.csv.txt””containername/100M_1.csv.txt”BlockBlobrename”None”None”F:\50M_original\””containername/”BlockBlobrename”None”NoneThe data set CSV file is straightforward enough. Basepath refers to the paths to individual files or folders that you want to copy to the storage drives. DstBlobPathOrPrefix indicates the path that you want to store your files in Azure. This is the root folder of Azure. Other than that, the other four options can be copied unless you need to modify them.
Here’s an example of a CSV file that explains the WAImportExport tool.
DriveLetterFormatOptionSilentOrPromptOnFormatEncryptionExistingBitLockerKeyGAlreadyFormattedSilentModeAlreadyEncrypted060456-014509-132033-080300-252615-584177-672089-411631HFormatSilentModeEncryptThis CSV file isn’t complicated either. The first column contains the drive letter designation of the drive or drives you wish to use. The second option indicates wheth