General Information

What is Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Transfer?

Data Transfer is an offline data migration service that lets you securely move petabyte-scale datasets from your datacenter to Object Storage or Archive Storage on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Using the public internet to move data to the cloud is not always feasible due to high network costs, unreliable network connectivity, long transfer times, and security concerns. The Data Transfer service overcomes these challenges and can significantly reduce the time that it takes to migrate data to the cloud.

When should I use Data Transfer?

You should use Data Transfer when uploading data using public internet connectivity is not feasible. This lack of feasibility may stem from the upload dataset being too large, the internet connection being too slow, or an inability to dedicate the required internet bandwidth for the extended time that it takes to upload data. Data Transfer is also a great alternative when using Oracle FastConnect is not an option, either because your network infrastructure cannot support it or when you cannot justify the FastConnect investment because you do not expect to transfer data frequently.

You can comfortably use Data Transfer to upload hundreds of TB of data to the cloud. Our recommendation is that you consider using Data Transfer if uploading data over the public internet takes longer than 1-2 weeks. Looking at the following table, if you have a 100-Mb internet connection that you can solely dedicate to transferring 100 TB of data, it takes more than 100 days to complete data transfer over that connection. You can complete the same transfer using Data Transfer in about a week, including shipping.

  Approximate Data Upload Time*
Dataset Size 10 Mbps 100 Mbps 1 Gbps 10 Gbps Data Transfer Service
10 TB 92 Days 9 Days 22 Hours 2 Hours 1 Week
100 TB 1,018 Days 101 Days 10 Days 24 Hours 1 Week
500 TB 5,092 Days 509 Days 50 Days 5 Days 1 Week
1 PB 10,185 Days 1,018 Days 101 Days 10 Days 2 Weeks

*The data upload times depicted in the table are approximate and must not be construed to be an SLA for the Data Transfer service. The actual time it takes to upload data varies.

When should I use Oracle FastConnect instead of Data Transfer?

Oracle FastConnect is a network-connectivity alternative to using the public internet for connecting your on-premises datacenter or network with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Typically, you would use Oracle FastConnect when you require a dedicated, reliable, and consistent networking experience as compared to public internet-based connections.

FastConnect is a great alternative to Data Transfer. We encourage the use of FastConnect to transfer the data whenever possible. This is especially true if you need to transfer large quantities of data to Oracle on an ongoing basis. However, if investing in FastConnect is not feasible or you don't expect to frequently upload data from your datacenter, then Data Transfer is a great alternative to migrate your data to the cloud.

Two solutions: Data Transfer Appliance and Data Transfer Disk

The Data Transfer Appliance service uses a high-capacity storage appliance that you loan from Oracle for a short duration of time (30 days) to facilitate data migration to the cloud. The transfer appliance is especially useful when you need to migrate a large amount of data, up to 150 TB per appliance. Currently, the Data Transfer Appliance service is only available to customers in the United States.

The Data Transfer Disk service requires that you purchase your own hard drives to migrate data to the cloud. These hard drives are shipped back to you after the data is transferred successfully to your Object Storage or Archive Storage tenancy. The disk option is practical if you transfer only a relatively small set of data, or if you need more time than 30 days to copy your data for transfer.

This FAQ page covers Data Transfer Appliance. For more information about Data Transfer Disk, see the Data Transfer Disk FAQ webpage.

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Data Transfer Appliance

The following information describes the details and frequently-asked questions for using the Data Transfer Appliance service.

What are the components of Data Transfer Appliance?

  • Transfer job - A transfer job is the logical representation of a data migration to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. A transfer job is associated with one transfer appliance.
  • Transfer appliance - A transfer appliance is a high-capacity storage device that is specially prepared to copy and upload data securely to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. You copy your data to one or more appliances and ship these appliances to Oracle to upload your data.

How does Data Transfer Appliance work?

You create a Transfer Job of the type Appliance using the Console, and then click Request Transfer Appliance. Depending on how much data you want to transfer, you may need to order more than one transfer appliance. After Oracle receives and approves your request, a transfer appliance is shipped to the address you specified when creating the request. Download the Data Transfer Utility on a host computer at your site that is running a terminal emulator that can access the appliance's serial console. When you receive the transfer appliance, physically connect the appliance to the host computer with the provided USB-DB9 serial cable. Power on the appliance, configure the transfer appliance's networking, and then physically connect the appliance to your network. Initialize the transfer appliance using the Data Transfer Utility. Initializing the appliance sets up communication between the host computer (where you installed the Data Transfer Utility) and the transfer appliance. Then, initialize authentication and configure data encryption. Next, create the datasets and NFS mount points needed to write data to the transfer appliance.

After the transfer appliance configuration is complete, copy your data to the appliance using normal file system tools. Then, lock the transfer appliance and ship the appliance back to the Oracle transfer site. You can track the chain of custody of your data by monitoring the status of your transfer appliance using the Console or the Data Transfer Utility. Oracle regularly updates both the status of your transfer job and transfer appliance. After Oracle receives your transfer appliance and uploads your data, a detailed upload summary is generated and posted in the same Object or Archive Storage bucket where the data was uploaded. This report provides a detailed status on every object transferred to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

How do I start using Data Transfer Appliance?

Contact your Oracle sales representative to place an order for the data transfer appliance. When you purchase Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services, you are eligible to use data transfer appliances to migrate your data. To initiate the data transfer process, first create a transfer job of type appliance using the Oracle Cloud Console, an easy-to-use, browser-based interface. Next, you request one or more transfer appliances. After Oracle receives and approves your requests, the transfer appliances are shipped to the address you specified when creating the request. You can track the status of your appliance request using either the Console or the Data Transfer Utility, a command-line software that Oracle provides for data transfer.

How much data can I move using a single transfer appliance?

You can transfer up to 150 TB of data using a single transfer appliance. If you need to transfer more than 150 TB of data, request more than one transfer appliance. Make sure that your tenancy service limits are set appropriately before you request multiple transfer appliances. Review service limits documentation for more details.

What tools can I use to copy data to a transfer appliance?

The transfer appliance exposes an NFSv3 mount point. Copy data to the transfer appliance using normal file system commands that copies data to an NFS target.

How do I transfer a dataset that is larger than what can be accommodated on a single transfer appliance?

To transfer a dataset larger than what can fit on a single transfer appliance, you must carefully segment your data into multiple logical datasets and then transfer these datasets using multiple data transfer appliances.

Which countries do you support shipping a transfer appliance to?

Currently, Oracle only supports shipping a transfer appliance within the continental Unites States.

Can I request a transfer appliance if I want to transfer data to one of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure US regions, but I am based outside the United States?

No. Due to various security and compliance mandates, Oracle does not support shipping the transfer appliance outside the United States, even if the data is meant to be uploaded to one of the Oracle's US regions. For these transfers, we recommend using Data Transfer Disk service.

Can I use Data Transfer Appliance to export data from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage?

The Data Transfer Appliance service currently supports importing data from a customer datacenter to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. We anticipate data export capability to be supported at a later time.

What are the software requirements for using the Data Transfer Utility?

  • Linux operating system with the ability to create an EXT4 filesystem
  • cryptsetup package 1.0.3 or greater
  • hdparm 9.0 or greater
  • Java 1.7 or greater (including Java keytool)
  • Openssl

How do I validate that my transfer appliance is configured correctly before sending it?

You can use the Data Transfer Utility to validate the configuration of your transfer appliance before sending it to Oracle. This helps catch common mistakes and saves time.

Do I need to keep a backup of my data during import?

Yes. You must keep a backup of your data until you have confirmed that your data has been successfully uploaded to the target bucket in your tenancy.

How are my files mapped to objects?

Files are uploaded to a target bucket as objects. The name of the object is the flattened path of the file.

What happens if my bucket has an object with the same name as a file being imported?

If a file is being imported into a bucket and the bucket already has an object of the same name, the file fails to upload and the existing object remains intact. The upload failure status of the file is logged in the upload summary report.

Can I preserve the source filesystem metadata when importing data into Oracle Object Storage?

No. Filesystem metadata is not preserved when being imported to the target bucket. The object name becomes the flattened path to the file. The timestamp is the time the object was created.

Does Oracle maintain a chain of custody for my package?

Yes. Oracle rigorously maintains the state change of the transfer job and transfer appliance. You can review the status of the job and appliance using the Console or the Data Transfer Utility.

Will Data Transfer Appliance transfer the symbolic links that exist in my source filesystem?

If you want to maintain source-side symbolic links, tar up the source directories and copy data over as a monolithic object.

I changed my mind about transferring data. How do I stop the data from being imported to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

Here are the things you can do if you change your mind about uploading your data to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure:

  1. You can delete a transfer job early in the transfer process. For example, you initiated the data transfer by creating a transfer job, but changed your mind. If you want to delete a transfer job after you requested transfer appliances, you must first delete those appliance requests before you can delete the transfer job. A transfer job cannot be deleted after the job status changes to Active.
  2. You can delete a transfer appliance request before Oracle approves the request—the status must be Requested. A transfer appliance request cannot be deleted after the appliance status changes to Processing.
  3. You can cancel the transfer appliance. You can only cancel a transfer appliance after you ship the appliance back to Oracle. Oracle does not process canceled transfer appliances.

Which Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services can I use with Data Transfer Appliance?

You can use the Data Transfer Appliance service to transfer data into any Oracle Cloud Storage Infrastructure service. At the end of the upload process, the transferred data is first available in Object or Archive Storage. From there, customers can use Oracle Cloud Storage Infrastructure tools to copy the data to other services as needed. To get the best performance for copying your data to other services, upload your data to the same region as the target service.

How do I migrate Oracle database instances to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure compute instances using the Data Transfer Appliance?

To migrate Oracle databases, create a RMAN backup and choose the transfer appliance as the backup target. Once the appliance is shipped and the data uploaded to Object Storage, you can instantiate a new database instance on an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure compute instance and then restore data from the Object Storage.

How long can I keep the transfer appliance, once it's delivered?

You can keep the transfer appliance for 30 days, from when it is delivered to you. If you need to keep the appliance beyond the standard 30-day window, you must request an extension of up to 60 additional days. If you do not return the transfer appliance within 90 days from the time it was delivered to you, Oracle assumes that the appliance is lost and can initiate a transfer appliance recovery process. You may be charged for the full cost of the appliance.

How long will it take for Oracle to upload my data to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage?

The time it takes to transfer the data to Object Storage depends on the amount of data and the number of objects being transferred. The number of data transfer appliances in queue for processing can also impact how quickly your data is uploaded.

How do I track the chain of custody of my data?

You can track the chain of custody of your data by monitoring the status of your transfer appliance from the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console or the Data Transfer Utility. Review the Data Transfer service product documentation for complete details.

How can I securely package the transfer appliance, before I ship it back to Oracle?

The data transfer appliance is a purpose-built storage appliance. The appliance is shipped in a ruggedized transit case and special packaging designed to provide sufficient protection against the demands of traditional transportation. When you receive the appliance, you must retain all the original shipping materials and transit case. You will ship the transfer appliance back to Oracle using these same shipping materials.

My transfer job status indicates that the transfer appliance I ordered has been shipped, but I have not received it. How can I track my shipment?

You can track the transfer appliance shipment using the tracking ID that Oracle provides when the appliance is shipped from Oracle. You can retrieve the tracking ID using the Console or the Data Transfer Utility.

What is my security exposure if the transfer appliance is lost during transit?

In the unlikely event of a transfer appliance being lost in transit, there is little risk of your data being compromised. All data stored on the transfer appliance is by default fully encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption. The encryption password is stored securely in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, separate from the transfer appliance. We designed the transfer appliance with security being front and center. Your data is in safe hands.

What happens if Oracle is unable to import the data from the transfer appliance?

  • If Oracle cannot import your data from the transfer appliance to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object or Archive Storage, we reach out to you (by email and/or phone). We will send you a new transfer appliance to facilitate the data transfer.
  • If Oracle is only partially able to upload data from the transfer appliance, you are able to review a comprehensive report of the list of files that we were unable to upload. This upload summary is posted in the same Object Storage bucket where your data was uploaded from the transfer appliance. You can then request additional transfer appliances to resend the data that could not be uploaded in the first attempt.

How do you provide confirmation that the data shipped in the transfer appliance has been uploaded successfully into the Object Storage?

You can monitor the transfer job status using the Console or the Data Transfer Utility. The Transfer Appliance status of Complete indicates that the data has been uploaded successfully into Object or Archive Storage. After the data is uploaded, you are also able to review a detailed upload report that is posted in the same bucket as the data, which details the upload status of each object stored on the appliance.

What happens if the appliance is damaged during transit and the data cannot be transferred to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

In the unlikely event that a transfer appliance is damaged during the transit, Oracle sends you a new transfer appliance at no cost. A note of caution: make sure that you do not delete the primary copy of your data until you verify that your data has been fully uploaded to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Once the data has been transferred, how do I ensure that Oracle cannot access any data in the Object Storage bucket in my tenancy?

After your data has been uploaded to your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy, delete the temporary data transfer upload user. Deleting the data transfer upload user revokes Oracle's access to your data.

How is the integrity of the data being uploaded maintained?

When you copy the data to the transfer appliance, a manifest file captures MD5 checksums of all the files. When data is uploaded to your bucket, we match the MD5 checksum from the manifest with the MD5 checksum of the uploaded data to ensure that the integrity of the data has not been compromised during the upload process.

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Data Transfer Appliance Service Limits

Can I request more than one transfer appliance in a single request?

Yes, you can request more than one transfer appliance per transfer job. Ensure that your Data Transfer Appliance service limits are appropriately set before requesting a data transfer appliance. Review service limits documentation for details.

Can I create unlimited number of transfer jobs to migrate data to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

Yes, you can create an unlimited number of Data Transfer Service resources. Review the default Data Transfer service limits.

If you want to raise the default limits for your tenancy, contact Oracle support.

What is the file size limit?

Files up to 10 TB can be uploaded. Files larger than 10 TB are skipped in the import process.

Can my data be loaded into more than one Object Storage bucket?

Datasets associated with a specific transfer job can only be moved into one designated bucket. If you need to upload your data to multiple Object Storage buckets, you must create multiple transfer jobs.

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Security

Because a transfer appliance is reusable, how do you ensure the safety and security of customer data across two usage cycles?

After each use, the transfer appliance is secure wiped using industry-standard processes before the appliance is returned to usable inventory. The transfer appliance is secure wiped even if the same tenant is reusing the appliance for multiple transfer cycles.

How do you make sure that the transfer appliance is tamper-resistant and tamper-evident?

The appliance is tamper-resistant in the following ways:

  • The appliance's enclosure only exposes power, networking, and serial ports. No other ports are exposed or accessible to customers.
  • The appliance's enclosure does not have any externally facing screws or access points. The skin around the enclosure is welded shut, so the only way to open the appliance is to physically break the enclosure.

The appliance is tamper-evident in the following ways:

  • Because the enclosure is sealed around the appliance, any physical tampering to open the appliance is visually self-evident.
  • The appliance implements digital security measures to enforce end-to-end system integrity.

How do you ensure the security of data in transit?

Customer data stored on the appliance is encrypted using AES-256 encryption. The encryption keys are never stored on the appliance. The encryption keys are privately shared between the customer and Oracle using the Data Transfer service.

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Shipping the Data Transfer Appliance

Who pays for shipping when using the Data Transfer Appliance service?

Data transfer appliance shipping is free. Oracle pays to ship the transfer appliance to you, and then back to a US Oracle data transfer site.

Can I use different shipping addresses when requesting more than one transfer appliance?

Yes, you can request that each transfer appliance be shipped to a different address. When you request a transfer appliance, you enter the address where that transfer appliance is to be shipped. The shipping address can be unique for each transfer appliance requested.

How does the return shipping process work?

When you are ready to ship the transfer appliance back to Oracle, carefully pack the transfer appliance using the provided materials. Then ship it back to Oracle using the shipping label that was included in the transfer appliance case.

My data transfer appliance is lost. What should I do?

If you believe that your data transfer appliance is lost in transit, immediately file an Oracle Service Request.

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Billing

How much does the Data Transfer Appliance service cost?

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure customers can use the Data Transfer Appliance service for free. You are only charged for Object Storage usage once the data is successfully transferred to your designated Object Storage bucket.

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