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Clean Data Migration: How NetApp Cloud Data Sense Can Help

For all the benefits of the public cloud, many large-scale enterprises are still reluctant to modernize their IT and migrate their workloads. For these cloud holdouts, especially large-scale businesses, the sheer complexity of the data they have on hand may be the barrier to migration.

In this post, we look at the major challenges to data migration and show how NetApp Cloud Data Sense can help map, classify, and streamline your data so you can make a clean data migration to the cloud.

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One Migration Challenge Out of Many

A migration project requires a large amount of planning, preparation, and testing to ensure its success. From deciding on how your organization will migrate—will it be a lift and shift to rehost the apps and data in the cloud, or rearchitecting your applications to take full advantage of the cloud?—there are innumerable decision points along the way. Among all these moving parts, there is one challenge that might present an almost insurmountable barrier to adopting the cloud: Sorting the data that needs to be migrated versus the data that can be left behind.

Before a migration takes place, an organization should consider the data it has on hand.

  • What kind of data does your organization possess?
  • What is the business value of this data?
  • Does all of it need to move to the cloud?
  • Is there redundant data in your dataset?
  • Will moving any of it affect your compliance with any data regulations?

You'll need a good understanding of your source data in order to make informed decisions on what files to move. This will help ensure data quality, consistency, security, and compliance with data protection regulations and standards.

While it might be tempting to move everything and sort out these questions later, consider that fixing any problems with this data in the cloud can potentially be more complicated and expensive. Remember the rule of the cloud is pay-per-use—you’ll pay for the unnecessary data you have stored and for every minute it takes you to sort it out thereafter.

One way companies looking to migrate can avoid these issues is to create a “clean copy” of their data set to move to the cloud, one that avoids duplicate data, complies with all the relevant data regulations, and only includes vital business data. While that can be a challenge all on its own, NetApp Cloud Data Sense offers a way to help make that possible.

Check out our clean migration checklist here.

How Cloud Data Sense Can Help

Data Sense is a data discovery, mapping, and classification tool that helps you stay on top of your data to meet data governance goals.

The solution can scan both structured and unstructured data in a wide range of storage repositories, including object storage, databases, and network-attached storage (NAS) appliances, across hybrid cloud and multicloud infrastructure.

Data Sense leverages artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyze the content of your files, assigning your data to categories based on the type of data you have and its sensitivity. This gives you an efficient way to identify personal and sensitive data, which should be afforded tighter security measures and stored in accordance with regulations.

The data management resource, which you can access directly through NetApp Cloud Manager, provides a complete overview of all your data from a centralized dashboard and offers the following real-time insights:

  • How much data you have
  • Sensitive private data that might require additional protection
  • Where your data resides
  • When data was last accessed
  • Duplicate data
  • Unnecessary data that has no useful business purpose
  • Any data with open permissions

With these tools, Cloud Data Sense can play an important role in the success of your data migration project by enabling you to sort through your data to make a clean migration.

Data Sense’s benefits include:

  • Reduced Costs
    The public cloud is on-demand pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) infrastructure so it's essential you make efficient use of storage to help keep your monthly cloud bills down.
  • Aids Compliance
    One of the key benefits of Cloud Data Sense is that it can help you identify unencrypted personal and sensitive data—so you can give it appropriate protection under data privacy regulations and standards.
  • Improves Data Quality
    Poor-quality data can result in misleading analytics, bad decision making, ill-conceived business strategies and incorrect financial or regulatory compliance reporting. Cloud Data Sense can provide the insights you need to address any data mapping issues that may arise from the migration process.
  • Supports Migration Security
    As well as identifying unprotected personal and sensitive data wherever it resides, it can also tell you the access permissions on your data before and after migration to help you move the data more securely.

Clean Data Migration Case Studies

Now that we’ve taken a look at all the benefits, let’s see how they work in practice in some success stories from customers using Data Sense to perform clean migrations.

Financial Services Company Leverages Fast Scanning Performance

An American asset management company, which serves customers in more than 100 countries across the world, was planning to move 1.2PB of data to Cloud Volumes ONTAP. As the company operates in a highly regulated sector, it needed to remove any files containing personally identifiable information (PII) before going ahead with the migration.

The company decided to use Data Sense because it was able to identify PII with a high degree of accuracy and also because of the solution's high-performance capabilities—both of which were especially important given the sheer scale of data the company needed to scan.

Data Sense was able to quickly and efficiently:

  • Identify and tag files containing PII and stale data that hadn't been accessed for several years
  • Take a copy of its volumes and delete files tagged for removal
  • Migrate the clean copy to Cloud Volumes ONTAP using NetApp SnapMirror®

Energy Producer Discovers Unexpected PII and Other Sensitive Data

A leading US oil and gas producer was in the process of migrating data from its on-premises servers to Microsoft Azure so it could gain access to more data analytics services.

Much of the information the business collected was geophysical, geochemical, and seismic data, which was used for analysis to find new and efficient ways to explore oil and gas reserves. The company’s migration was going to take place with the help of NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Before the migration took place, a NetApp architect suggested using Data Sense to scan the data set before the migration took place. The company decided to try out the product by scanning its on-premises data, and was surprised to find that Data Sense uncovered PII and other sensitive data in their primarily scientific dataset.

As a result of the trial, the management team gave their approval to use Cloud Data Sense to help address the data’s regulatory compliance objectives.

Education Provider Cuts Storage Costs by More Than 50%

A private college based in Florida recently began outsourcing its IT to a local managed service provider (MSP), which needed to migrate the educational institution's data to a NetApp ONTAP storage environment.

During the migration, the MSP discovered that permissions weren't being copied over correctly from their original location. The company used Data Sense to identify the permissions that were in place at the original storage location and then used this information to correctly secure data at its new location.

Without Data Sense, this would've been incredibly time consuming, requiring team members to look through trees of nested shares. But the solution was not only a huge time saver: Through its ability to identify duplicate and stale data, it also helped the college cut its storage costs by more than 50%.

The college continues to use the product as part of its IT arsenal for identifying unprotected personal data, and organizing and optimizing its storage.

Try Cloud Data Sense Today

For any company making the move to the cloud, it’s important to discover what data is on hand before the move takes place. Creating this clean copy is important because problems with your data will only get harder to solve after the migration takes place.

As we’ve read in the case studies above, NetApp customers are using Cloud Data Sense to help meet their data governance, compliance, and cloud transformation goals. To find out how you can create your clean data copy, download our new clean migration guidebook.

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Senior Marketing and Strategy Manager