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Monday, January 18, 2010

Migrating Data from Amazon S3 to Azure

Windows Azure enables the hosting of web applications in Microsoft data centers on a scalable and highly available platform. To do so, Microsoft has provided a set of services aimed at making it easier for developers to build applications that scale and elastically utilize physical or logical resources in the cloud. They have also provided a lot of value to lure customers away from services like Amazon S3. Depending on usage patterns, storage cost is similar on Azure and is also free for the first 8 months; the C# API and dev studio integration are convenient and easy to use; Azure was built with security in mind and, last but not least, it’s really fast.

But what if you’d like to enjoy the benefits of becoming an Azure blob storage user without writing any code? What if you’ve already stored terabytes of information with another provider, like Amazon S3? Is there an out of box solution that can help? As you might guess from the boldness of the question, the answer is yes.



Gladinet Cloud Desktop solves the problem by turning Windows Explorer into a cloud storage portal, so that customers can access Azure storage from their desktop as if it were on a local disk. This means that all files and data stored in Azure can be accessed and manipulated by any installed application. It also makes migrating data from other storage services, like Amazon S3, as simple as any other desktop folder copy.

As an example, let’s say that Gladinet Cloud Desktop has been installed and that the storage services from Azure and Amazon S3 have been mounted (Gladinet allows a host of storage services to be mounted). Opening the Gladinet Drive under Windows Explorer should then yield a view similar to the one shown below.
amazons3azuremigration1
Here we see that a folder exists for Amazon S3 and for Azure. Now, we can transfer data from Amazon S3 to Azure by simply dragging the S3 folder onto the Azure folder. This starts a transfer task which can be scheduled to run in the background, at some point in the future, or as a recurring task:
amazons3azuremigration2
The transfer task can then be monitored using Gladinet’s management console:
amazons3azuremigration3
Hopefully, this example has demonstrated how seamless the migration from Amazon S3 to Azure blob storage can be.

For more information about managing Azure with Gladinet, please visit Manage Azure Blob Storage With Ease.