Microsoft Azure - Data Import & Export Job

This is very useful service for the clients in case a large amount of data cannot be accessed over the network from their storage account. Azure gives an option to its clients that they can put their data on a hard drive and ship them to Azure datacenters. That data is then uploaded to their storage account. Similarly, if data is needed to be downloaded by the client that is not viable to do over the network, they can ship an empty hard drive to the datacenter and Azure team will copy the data to that drive and ship it back to the client. In both cases, the data is encrypted.

Data Export Job

Let’s assume you have a large amount data in your Azure storage account and you want a copy of that data.

Create an Export Job

In this process, you will be given a shipping address, to where the empty hard drives needs to be shipped.

Step 1 − Login to Azure management portal and select the ‘Storage’ from the left panel.

Step 2 − Select the storage account.

Step 3 − Click ‘Import/Export’ from the top menu.

Step 4 − Create ‘Export Job’.

Create Export Job

The following screen will pop up.

Create Export Job

Step 5 − On clicking the next arrow, you will see the following screen, where you will have to provide your contact and shipping details.

Contact Details

Step 6 − In the next screen, you will have to select the Blob Data you want to export. You can specify the path or choose to export all blob data from the storage account.

Select Data

Step 7 − Enter a name for job in lower case letters. Address you can see here is the address where the hard drives is to be shipped. This address is based on the location of my storage account.

Next Steps

Step 8 − In the next step, you will have to provide the shipping details of the hard drive for delivery to datacenter and return to your location.

Create Export Job

Step 9 − Click next and you are done.

Hard Drives to Be Shipped

In order to determine how many hard drives you need for the Blob data, you will have to use Microsoft Azure Import/Export Tool. You will have to download and install this tool on your machine. Only 3.5 inch SATA hard drive I/II are up to 6TB supported.

Ship the Hard Drives

You need to ship the hard drives to the shipping address obtained while creating the export job. Then you need to come back to the management portal to enter the tracking number, in case you chose to provide the tracking number after shipping in the screen above.

Decrypt the Data

You will have to enter the decryption key before reading the data on hard drives. You can get the decryption key from your management portal by selecting the job name.

Data Import Job

If you want to store the large amount of data to your storage account, you can do so by saving it on the hard drive and shipping it to the datacenter.

Prepare the Hard Drives

You will have to use Microsoft Azure Import/Export Tool to prepare the hard drives. As mentioned in earlier section, the only 3.5 inches SATA hard drives are supported for this purpose. This process will create a drive journal file that you will need while creating the import job in management portal. The journal file will be saved on your computer.

Create Import job

Step 1 − Login into the management portal and go to the storage account.

Step 2 − Select ‘import/export’ at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3 − Select ‘Create Import Job’.

Step 4 − Check the checkbox and click Next.

Create Import Job

Step 5 − In the next screen, provide the contact details of the return shipping address. Enter the details and click Next.

Create Import Job

Step 6 − Upload the Drive Journal File that was created while preparing the hard drive.

Journal Files

Step 7 − Enter the name for import job.

Step 8 − Enter the shipping details for the delivery of hard drives to the datacenter and return to your location.

Ship the Hard Drives to the Datacenter

Ship the hard drive to the address obtained while creating import job in the management portal. Enter the shipping tracking number for the job in the management portal in order to complete the job.