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Import/Export Service

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1h 13m

This course provides an introductory tour of Azure Storage Solutions such as its SQL offerings (SQL DB and third-party offerings of MySQL), managed NoSQL databases (DocumentDB and MongoDB), managed Redis Cache service, Azure Backup (backup-as-a-service), Site Recovery (for handling disaster recovery) and StorSimple (a hybrid cloud storage solution).

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what SQL DB is and how to get started using it
  • Learn the options offered by Azure for managed MySQL
  • Understand what DocumentDB and MongoDB are and how to get started using them
  • Learn what Redis Cache is and some cases of when you would use it
  • Get an understanding of what Azure Search provides
  • Learn how Azure Backup can solve common backup needs
  • Understand what role Site Recovery can play in disaster recovery
  • Learn how StorSimple can extend your on-premise storage capacity

Intended Audience

  • This course is for developers or IT professionals looking for an introduction to Azure’s Storage Solutions


  • Some familiarity with the Azure platform is helpful, but not required


  • Course Introduction
    • Overview
  • Azure SQL Database
    • What is Azure SQL Database?
    • Understanding the service tiers
    • Create a SQL Database
    • What is a Data Throughput Unit (DTU)?
    • Scaling Azure SQL
  • MySQL
    • Options for Using MySQL in Azure
  • Azure CosmosDB DocumentDB API
    • What is DocumentDB?
  • Azure CosmosDB MongoDB API
    • Options for Using MongoDB in Azure
    • How does DocumentDB compare to MongoDB?
  • Azure Redis Cache
    • What is Azure Redis Cache?
    • Common scenarios for using Redis Cache
    • Understanding the service tiers
    • How does Redis work?
    • Create and manage a Redis Cache
    • Scaling Azure Redis Cache
  • Azure Search
    • What is Azure Search?
    • Indexes and Search Features
    • How do you use the Search Service?
    • Create a Search Service and Index
  • Azure Backup
    • What is Azure Backup?
    • Backup Scenarios
    • Import/Export Service
    • What is the Import/Export Service?
    • Why would you use Import/Export?
  • Site Recovery
    • What is Site Recovery?
    • Workload recovery scenarios
  • StorSimple
    • What is StorSimple?
    • How does StorSimple work?
  • Course Summary
    • Conclusion and Wrap-Up

Welcome back, we just looked at Azure Backup. Now let's look at the service that would allow you to do that offline initial backup we mentioned - the Import/Export Service.
What is the import/Export Service? In this day and age, it may be hard for you to believe but it can still be faster and less costly to physically ship disks than to send them over the internet.
The Import/Export service is how you can physically ship disks to Azure to import large amounts of data.
You can also export data from Azure this way.
It is secure, the disks use BitLocker encryption.
Plus tracking of your import or export jobs are available in the portal, so you can check on the status.
The most common reason you would use the Import/Export service it to seed an offline backup. Especially if you have multiple machines that you are going to start backing up to Azure.
If you don’t use the Import/Export service, the first set of backups could saturate your network for days, if you have many machines and don’t prepare for it.
The next common scenario would be: migrating a system to Azure when you already have a large set of data files that need to get to Azure storage as part of the system migration.
And if you need to pull a lot of data out of Azure storage, like maybe if you are a SaaS provider and needed to get all of one customer's data exported for some reason. You could have it saved to drives and shipped to the customer.
Let's now take a look what steps are needed for the import and export scenarios.
So how does Import work?
First thing you need to do, is plan what needs to go to the Azure storage account, calculate the total size of data to determine how many drives you will need. The drives need to be either 2 ½ inch SSD or if they are SATA 2 ½ or 3 ½ inch drives are supported.
Keep in mind, a single import job can consist of up to 10 drives of any size.
Then you'll need the Azure Storage account key to run the WAImportExport.exe utility to copy the data and prep the drives. Once the drives are prepared, then you need to create a new import job in the portal. You'll need the journal files from the prepping to upload for the import job, then set the storage account and location the files are to go.
Once you configure the shipping information and confirm, you are ready to physically ship the hard drives.
Once the drives arrive in the Data Center, they are processed and the data is loaded into the storage account and your drives get shipped back to you.
The export job is a little different.
You need to first create the export job and select what storage data you want exported, then ship a drive to the Azure data center.
They will then copy the data onto the drive for you and ship it back.
When you get the disk, it will be encrypted so you will need to use the WAImportExport.exe tool to get the data.

About the Author

Jason Haley is an independent consultant who focuses on Azure and Angular. He has over 20+ years’ experience architecting, designing, developing and delivering software solutions using mostly Microsoft technologies. Jason recently achieved his MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification in May 2017 (by passing all of the 70-532, 70-533 and 70-534 exams). He is also a Microsoft Azure MVP and leads the North Boston Azure User Group. He frequently speaks at community events on topics relating to Azure.