TubbTalk 146: Growth and Success Advice from The Wizard of MSP Data Migrations - Tubblog: The Hub for MSPs

TubbTalk 146: Growth and Success Advice from The Wizard of MSP Data Migrations

TubbTalk 146: Growth and Success Advice from The Wizard of MSP Data Migrations image

In this episode, I speak to Michael Lawson. He has over 15 years of experience in working with MSPs. A seasoned start-up founder, he’s recently built an exciting new platform for MSPs. Movebot is designed to make data migration easier, particularly at scale.

An Interview with Michael Lawson

How Michael Came up with the Idea for Movebot

Michael runs Couchdrop, an SFTP server that sits on top of any cloud storage platform. His team learned that partners were using it for migrations. As SFTP isn’t designed to do that, it became apparent that there was a need for a solution that did.

“I was surprised by the size of the problem. Moving data between cloud platforms seems trivial, but doing it was a nightmare. So we evolved Couchdrop, added in some technology abstractions and built it into a platform which can migrate data at scale.

“From there, we moved into data lifecycle management, syncing, backup and so on. Movebot is designed to make data migration easy. And you should only think about it when a client asks you to do it, and forget about it the rest of the time.”

The Types of Data Migration you Can Do in Movebot

Up until recently, Movebot only migrated files. Because, as Michael says, they wanted to do file data migration really well. That was where MSPs really have a challenge.

“I could see that there are a lot of email migration tools on the market. But there are not so many that offer both highly optimised and simple file transfer, file and folder migration tools.

“Once we’d established the file migration, we began to build out email migration for Google, Office and so on. And today, we also offer support to move calendars, contact lists and other things that clients need. We’ve taken a different approach to the rest of the market.”

How Real-Life MSPs Use Movebot in Their Businesses

Movebot’s clients use it for all sorts of things, Michael says. A typical migration would be between five and ten terabytes of data, shifted between Google and SharePoint, and users usually do the same with emails.

“But we find that customers move anything from a couple of users up to thousands of users. It varies. But it’s almost always last minute! Data migration tends to be an afterthought lumped in with a bigger project.

“And with that can come some tight turnaround times. We pride ourselves on being quick with file transfers. It’s important to be responsive. The biggest single migration we did was Google to Backblaze – that was 35 terabytes per day with 1.2 petabytes of data to shift!”

How can #MSP owners use #datamigration for business growth and success? Michael Lawson of @couchdrop_ tells Richard Tubb about his new solution, Movebot. Click to Tweet

Live Data Migration with Movebot

Movebot do offer live data transfers, and they take a modern approach to it. “In the past, we’d tell clients not to do anything and stay away from the data. But that it’s extremely prohibitive for the clients. And you don’t have any margin for failure in that case.

“So we tell customers not to mention that they’re moving any data and let Movebot perform the copy operation in the background. Once it’s done, we get them to test and check that the data is in the right place.

“And then we go into what we call a continuous data cut over. Movebot will look at the source and destination and identify changes. It only moves data being changed or added. You can grab most of your data in one go, and then you slowly cut your users at time which suit them.”

How Movebot Helps Global MSP Clients to Stay Data Compliant

While Movebot are based in New Zealand, they have very few clients in the country. However, Michael explains that data sovereignty is up to the client.

“So when you configure a project, you tell us where you would like the data to reside. And we have a micro data centre or point of presence in most regions.

“When we deploy resources for your migration, which we do in the background for you automatically, we will put it in a particular region and your data doesn’t leave that region. So as long as you choose the appropriate place, depending on the regulations that you’re trying to satisfy, you’ll be fine.”

Movebot’s Outsourced Data Migration Offering

Movebot do offer professional services, but they don’t push it too heavily. “Our customers are MSPs, so we do have it there for them,” Michael says. But they prefer to help the client through the data migration process itself.

“We prefer to do that rather than doing it for them. Once MSPs realise how easy it is to use the tool and they’ve been through a migration with it, then it’s not such a big obstacle. And then when there are issues or things they don’t know, we’re here to help.”

How to Connect With Michael Lawson

How to Connect With Me

Mentioned in This Episode

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RICHARD TUBB

Richard Tubb is one of the best-known experts within the global IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) community. He launched and sold his own MSP business before creating a leading MSP media and consultancy practice. Richard helps IT business owner’s take back control by freeing up their time and building a business that can run without them. He’s the author of the book “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide” and writer of the award-winning blog www.tubblog.co.uk

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