This post covers how I’ve migrated from Dropbox to Microsoft’s OneDrive without being bothered with a slow re-upload process. This was achieved by offloading the process to a Azure VM costing roughly $3 but saving me days of re-upload time.
For everyone with a fast internet connection, located close to a Dropbox / Azure datacenter, not roaming around with your laptop or having lots of patience then re-uploading the entire content shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, I was out of luck and required to find a simple solution.
Personal Cloud Storage Migration – Why?
The reasons for why I’ve migrated to OneDrive are simple; I’ve received additional storage space in the past which is about to expire and causing Dropbox to revert back to the original 2 GB storage limit. They were kind enough to add 3 bonus GB to my account however require at least 200 GB and therefore interested in moving to a different plan.
Dropbox & OneDrive offerings
Looking at Dropbox offerings, I have to say that was somewhat disappointed. They currently only have one plan which includes 1TB of storage for a bit less than $10 a month or $99/year, though for the same price, OneDrive included Office 365 Home for up to 5 users and 1TB of OneDrive online storage per user. There are even more benefits; free skype minutes and being able to use the latest version of Office. Therefore it wasn’t very hard to make a decision.
Migration steps using a Azure MV
The problem; I simply couldn’t move hundreds of gigabytes as explained earlier. And therefore required to setup a temporary MV to manage this process. The steps are really as simple as the title suggests, but would like to add some additional information as well.
Step 1 –Determining the VM location
This step might actually save you some money when it comes to outbound data transfers – importing the data from Dropbox (Amazon ec2) and most likely re-uploading from Azure to OneDrive (Azure). Therefore make sure to create the Virtual Machine close to one of Amazon’s datacenters. https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/regional-product-services/
More details on Azure’s data transfer prices:
Step 2 – Selecting a VM Size
When it comes to selecting the VM Size, it’s important to know that a relationship exists between the amount of cores and available bandwidth. I couldn’t find the details on the Azure website but found the following after testing a A0 and A1 configuration.
Upload speed from Azure to OneDrive (Azure).
A0 – Max 5Mbps (0.25 core)
A1 – Max 100Mbps (1 core)
Step 3 – Automate the software installation
This case doesn’t really lend itself for fully automating all provisioning steps nevertheless I’m not a big fan of searching , downloading .exes and clicking through installers, therefore decided to get some help from Boxstarter using the following GitHub Gist.
NOTE: : Please visit http://boxstarter.org/Learn/WebLauncher for more information on Boxstarter (step 3).
NOTE: I’m also installing all the available windows updates and some tools which are optional.
Step 4 – Provide user credentials and download the data
In this step you simply finish the installation by proving your account details for both Dropbox as OneDrive. Once completed fetch all data from the Dropbox
Step 5 – Cleanup data and initiate the Upload
At this stage you could optionally cleanup data and start the upload process by copying the data within the OneDrive folder.
I hope this might save someone some time as it did for my Personal Cloud Storage Migration. On the way I’ve learned about Azure VM restrictions and tried out Boxstarter in conjunction with a GitHub Gist