In a previous post, I conducted a terabyte migration to SharePoint Online. The premise was to discovery how fast you can perform a migration to SharePoint Online from a file share, or on premises data source. A byproduct of this migration though, is that it gave me a general idea of what a migration will entail when it comes to costs. I waited till the end of the billing cycle to see how much the storage, network, and transactional costs would be for the overall migration. One of these costs definitely surprised me…
Previously in “How Fast can you Go” my 1 TB migration, I migrated 1TB of data to SharePoint online at around 80GB/Hour. Here are the financial implications of this test and the Azure statement for this free service provided by Microsoft.
In the screenshot below is a summary of my transactions for the billing period, and I will go into detail about them a bit more below:
The primary areas for the usage charges are Storage, Network, Data Management, and Virtual Machines.
Virtual Machines ($37.46)
My all purpose migration machine is a D1 Virtual Machine in the US East region which runs about $57 a month if turned on all the time. I do not leave it running all the time so hence the partial price for the virtual machine usage.
This storage is really about 2 Terabytes of data, since I have a 1TB Hard Drive attached to the Virtual Machine mentioned above and also about 1TB of Packages and Files uploaded to Azure Blob Storage.
Transactional Costs ($0.43)
This is where I expected to be hit hard with a surcharge, the migration processes would have to hit the storage container frequently to pull the information and read the files. Also important, the import process writes frequent updates to the Azure Storage Queue with status information of the migration. The PowerShell commandlets also frequently read the storage queue to provide status information during the migration. In the end this result was pleasantly surprising.
Network Transfer Costs ($68.70)
This is where the surprise came from, according to the Azure data transfer pricing, only outbound traffic is charged from Azure. Even inside Azure regions the data transfers are free, so why am I being charged outbound network data transfers? Either the SharePoint import service is not deployed to an Azure data center (unlikely) or it was some billing meter error. Zone 1 is defined as: US West, US East, US North Central, US South Central, US East 2, US Central, Europe West, Europe North so I dont see why the data would leave this area.
In any case I was not expecting the network transfer to the import service to be my largest cost, I completely expected to have high storage costs which turned out lower than expected. If Microsoft removes the network charges for the import migration, or provides free Azure storage, then the actual costs for a migration are tied to virtual machine usage and storage primarily. This is just a sampling of the actual azure pricing for a migration, your mileage may very depending on your Azure usage and enterprise agreements.