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Should you do managed or self-service data migration?




You were happy with your cloud storage provider. Then, they changed. No longer would they offer the same features, price, or support that you needed. So you gave them an ultimatum: Think about your needs or you’re leaving them for good. 


When they responded that they were happy with the way they’ve become, you made good on your word and decided to go. But, you have a lot of stuff at their place, and need it out. Are you going to do it all yourself or have the movers stop by and handle everything for you? 


No matter your reason for moving cloud storage providers, there are two main ways to handle cloud data migration: Managed data migration, where you have a professional set up, start, and handle the entire process, or self-service data migration, where you use the software on your own and do it all yourself. 

Depending on your skills, budget, and availability one option might provide the best value, and we’ll help you decide what’s right for you by going over the differences between the two. 


Managed Data Migrations

If you need to move a bunch of data and your tech experience only extends as far as knowing where the internet button is, managed data migration is a good fit. With a managed data migration, a professional techie will sort out the entire process and you don’t have to do anything. 

But not all managed data migration is useful or a good value, so it’s important to know what you’re getting so you aren’t getting ripped off. 


Experts using their own software

One common strategy for businesses in the tech world is to create software to solve a specific problem. Sometimes, this might mean that you never work directly in the product because the company handles everything on their end. 

This means you have to rely on the company’s recommendations and might not ever have a chance to try out the tool itself. If you're someone who doesn’t care about the labor pains and only care about the result, this might be a good choice for you. 

However, when you need to know how something works or fine tune it to your precise specifications, you might want to consider a self-service tool, or at least work with one that’s publicly available for use.  


Experts using publicly available tools 

Some managed migrations simply make use of a tool you could use yourself, but the experts have the knowledge and experience to do the work for you. At first glance this might seem like a scam–you could do it yourself after all–but consider what you get out of it.

It’s like that old legend with the handyman (or senior engineer or marketer or however people try to apply it to their own industry) where an expert solves a massive breakdown by changing one screw and charges $50k. Then in the invoice breakdown it’s $1 for the work done and $49,999 for knowing what to fix. 

If you don’t have anyone on your team who already has this skillset, a managed data migration is almost certainly worth paying for the expertise. However, if you need more control or are already a data moving expert, you might be better off with a self-service migration tool. 

What you absolutely don’t want is for someone to manually move all the files for you. 


Manual Migrations

The ones you want to watch out for are the ones who take a more hands-on approach and do a lot of the work manually. You’ll often get hit with higher charges–sometimes over $1.50 or $2 per GB–and in some cases they have access to the data in both platforms. The worst value is having someone go in and manually move the files from one system to another. 

See, humans are great at a lot of things. Art. Invention. Writing. Canceling good shows too early. But when it comes to precise, repetitive tasks? Machines win. There’s no John Henry of data migration: A good piece of software will be faster, more accurate, and more thorough than the best human. With a manual migration you get worse results and pay more for the privilege.  


Self-service Migrations

For those of you do-it-yourselfers (aka money savers), a self-service tool lets you handle and control everything on your own. You won’t have to pay for anyone to transfer the data for you, but will have to pay for the amount of data moved and possibly a subscription depending on the product and company you use

Some tools have a low cost up to a certain point and then get progressively more expensive at higher transfer rates. Others do the opposite and get less expensive over time. Either way, you’ll want to minimize how much data is moved over and how often it’s moved to save time, which equals money–something you’ll also save by minimizing how much you have to transfer.  


Make sure to get good pricing

If you’re going to do the data transfer yourself, you don’t want to end up paying more than it would cost for someone to do the work for you. Part of researching products is making sure they have the features you need at the right price point.

For example, some will have a basic plan where you can use it for cheap but get a throttled version with premium features locked behind a paywall. A lot of the most impressive features will often be in these top-tier offerings, making the simple plans useless for anyone doing more than transferring embarrassing family photos into a locked drive on another platform. 

With self-service data migration, you shouldn’t need to pay more than $0.50 per GB for a high-end data transfer system. 


Which method is the best value? 

While on the surface, doing the transfer yourself might seem like it will always save you money, it all depends on how easy the software is to use and in your ability to use it properly. If you’re still working on learning the difference between NFTs and MFTs, then you could save more in the long run with managed data migration. 

No matter your level of expertise, having a fast, easy-to-use self-service data migration tool will make your life easier. 

Dashboard (Edit)

Movebot as a self-service data migration tool

Simplicity and ease-of-use makes Movebot an excellent choice for self-service data transfers. The UI is easy to follow, and it’s built with modern architecture that makes it incredibly fast at moving large volumes of data. 

This also makes it great as a managed data migration system if you’re an MSP who needs to transfer files for one of your clients. 

Movebot keeps things simple with set per terabyte pricing.  You only pay for what you use with no fees or other gotchas. The Movebot software guides you through everything you need so you don’t need a PhD in computer science specializing in file transfer protocols to do basic tasks. 

This means you can confidently move on to the next new thing; you’ll know the movers will be using the good stuff or that when you do it yourself it won’t break down moments after you leave and cause you to sulk back and ask for support you don’t want. 

To find out more about Movebot, check out the features page or you can sign up for a 14-day free trial.

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Move data like a pro with simple yet powerful data migration tool that just works

Move data between storage platforms, cloud tenants, and to and from on-prem files servers and the cloud with ease. Movebot provides lightning-fast speeds and simplifies data moving with an intuitive, feature-rich web dashboard that gives complete visibility for stress-free migrations.

Free pre-migration scan

Fast and scalable transfer

Full visibility of progress

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