Forecast Cloudy – The Magic of AzCopy As Database Migration Tool

Here is a quick note that can be helpful to folks. Recently I had to migrate database to Azure via taking a backup from on-premises SQL Server and restoring this backup on SQL Server on Azure VM.  Now, there is a better , more structured method available for the same using Database Migration Assistant (DMA) from Microsoft – , however I went old fashioned way purely through backups.

But how do I move 800 GB backup quickly to the cloud? What about network issues and need to restart on network hiccup? All of these issues and more can be solved via AzCopy tool.

AzCopy is a command-line utility designed for copying data to and from Microsoft Azure Blob, File, and Table storage using simple commands with optimal performance. You can copy data from one object to another within your storage account, or between storage accounts.

There are two versions of AzCopy that you can download. AzCopy on Windows is built with .NET Framework, and offers Windows style command-line options. AzCopy on Linux is built with .NET Core Framework which targets Linux platforms offering POSIX style command-line options. I will showcase Windows version here for now.

So what I did first is created a File Share on Azure Blob Storage. Azure File storage is a service that offers file shares in the cloud using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol. Both SMB 2.1 and SMB 3.0 are supported. You can follow this tutorial to do so – . Next, I needed to upload my backup to this file share via AzCopy:

The basic syntax to use AzCopy from command line as follows

AzCopy /Source: /Dest: [Options]

I can upload a single file, called test.bak , from C:\Temp to the demo container in the storage account (blob service) using the following command:

AzCopy /Source:C:\Temp /Dest: /DestKey:QB/asdasHJGHJGHJGHJ+QOoPu1fC/Asdjkfh48975845Mh/KlMc/Ur7Dm3485745348gbsUWGz/v0e== /Pattern:"test.bak"

Some notes:

  • Note how the URL of the destination storage account specifies the blob service.
  • I have specified the storage account access key with the /DestKey option. This key is unique to the storage account (source or destination).
  • The /Pattern option specifies the file being copied

Once file copied ypu should see stats in command line as well:


Once file is uploaded from my destination Azure VM all I have to is map to the File Share (example here –  and restore backup.

Hope this helps.  More on AzCopy –



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