The Emotional Rollercoaster of a Data Migration

Jacob Wallace addresses the common concerns and challenges that arise when an enterprise embarks on a cloud data migration.

May 8, 2024

The thought of migrating your organization’s file data onto an entirely new file data platform is intimidating. Maybe even terrifying. Whether the project involves dozens of TBs or multiple PBs, you’re looking at moving one of your enterprise’s most important assets, file data. On top of that, you need to do so in a minimally disruptive way. The whole idea probably sounds a little like switching planes mid-flight.

At Nasuni, our Professional Services team works all the time with IT leaders who are trying to wrap their heads around the cloud data migration process. These IT professionals understand the potential benefits. They know what a cloud file data platform could do for their organization. Yet they’re justifiably apprehensive by the prospect of transitioning dozens or even hundreds of locations off storage hardware and backup and onto a single cloud platform. The good news is that we understand what you’re going through because we’ve conducted successful global data migrations for some of the largest companies in the world. These projects have helped us refine our tooling and best practices to make the migration process as efficient and painless as possible.

In the months to come, we’ll be sharing more migration stories here on the blog, including concrete examples of what our Professional Services team can do for you. What I’d like to do in this first post is walk you through the journey — the six stages of migration with Nasuni.

Stage One: Fear & Hesitation

Sure, we can point you to our client roster, share case studies, and set up customer reference calls, but you’re still going to wonder if this is really the right move, right now. This is completely natural. It’s a typical response from many of our customers, including the team at Greenhill & Co., an investment banking firm. “When you’re looking to switch platforms, there’s always a bit of fear,” recalls Managing Director and Chief Information Officer John Shaffer. “Nobody wants to take that plunge and find out that it was the wrong move.”

Stage Two: Reassurance

This is when we start to pull back the curtain and show you how everything will play out. Our Professional Services team establishes a cadence and schedule and starts to walk you through how we are going to work together to map out the migration and deployment. These planning stages are critical as we get to know your business, infrastructure, permissions, file shares and directories, and the many other particulars of your current system. I’ll delve into the details of this stage in a subsequent post; suffice to say this is around when our customers start to feel a little better about the whole process.

Stage Three: The Real Work

After we’ve gone through extensive planning and preparations, we dive into the work of copying all your file data off your legacy systems or underperforming cloud platforms and over to Nasuni and your chosen cloud object storage provider. We’ve developed numerous systems, processes, and technological tools to make this as easy as possible, but we also work incredibly hard as an organization to make sure we employ intelligent, resourceful, trustworthy, and reliable people. Our customers attest that this is one of the most valued aspects of our cloud data migration process. “I haven’t met one person in the Nasuni organization who has been anything other than helpful, friendly, and professional,” says Glen Ridnour, Huitt Zollars.

Stage Four: Anticipation

If this process begins with fear and hesitation, now anxiety and anticipation start to spike. We’ve done the work together. We’ve planned and mapped everything out. Your Professional Services contacts are assuring you that it’s going to work. Yet that cutover is intimidating! You can’t have interruptions or outages that impact productivity. Business needs to proceed as usual, and now you’re nervously awaiting the reviews of the user experience on day one.

Stage Five: Blissful Silence

The product of all that fear, hard work, and anticipation? Silence. No one emails or calls to complain. No one files a ticket with the help desk. All the work we do leading up to the cutover ensures that users will either find their files and folders in the same familiar drives they’ve grown accustomed to or that they have been educated appropriately if anything has been changed. This way, after the cutover, your end users will just get to work as they always do. Typically, the users who do notice are the ones in remote offices who find that their access to files has sped up.

“There was some trepidation initially because we were moving quite a large amount of data, and this was some of our most important data,” writes Michael Stöckli, CIO of Jakob Müller Group. “This process was quite important for us, and the help from the Nasuni team was really great. They really guided us through the process and helped us understand how it would normally be done, what obstacles we might encounter along the way, and how to get around them. It is some work, but then it simply works.”

Stage Six: Triumph

The silence doesn’t persist forever. Eventually, groups across the organization start to notice all the different advantages of the Nasuni File Data Platform, and the positive reviews start flooding back to IT.

I’m not saying you should expect a medal, but Glen Ridnour at Huitt Zollars had that experience. At one point, he received an unexpected call from his CIO. “He was chatting me up at first. No one chats up the IT guy,” Glen notes. “But one of the things he said was that he was very impressed with the way we had zero downtime, no bumps, and no screw-ups during the Nasuni migration. It went very smoothly. He was very pleased. It really was awesome.”

Moving your file data to Nasuni doesn’t have to be a scary rollercoaster experience. Countless customers have had a smooth and uneventful migration, and your organization will be the same. Learn more about the cloud data migration process by visiting us at It is the smartest move your business can make.

Ready to dive deeper into a new approach to data infrastructure?