How Evernote Moved 3 Petabytes of Data to Google Cloud Platform in 70 Days

Evernote has moved 3PB of data to Google Cloud Platform

Evernote, the cross-platform workplace app, has found a new home in Google Cloud Platform. Evernote announced last September that they had decided to move to a public cloud; and, after an intensive period of research and investigation involving several cloud service providers, the company said it had picked Google Cloud Platform as its new home.

Migrations are always a tricky thing, especially when you have a growing and engaged customer base and have more than 3 petabytes of data. Evernote announced earlier this week that, in a short span of 70 days, it moved 3 PB of data into Google Cloud.

How Big is a Petabyte?

A petabyte is equal to 1024 terabytes, so if you had that many 1TB storage devices lined up in a series, that would be 1 petabyte. In more practical terms, it is the equivalent of 58,292 full-length HD movies. Watched end-to-end, it would take you more than 13 years to watch all of that.

How did Evernote move that much data in such a short period of time? Moving data to the cloud isn’t as simple as loading a thousand 1TB hard drives on the back of a truck and shipping it to the cloud service provider’s datacenter premises. Not quite.

Evernote says that it started off small, by transporting few items at a time, and then accelerated once they were 100% confident. Migration is an engineering challenge of monumental proportions, but if done with careful planning and execution, it does become a surmountable challenge.

Companies sometimes hire external consultants to assist them in migration, and even then there is no guarantee that it will go off without a hitch. And to further complicate the matter, you can’t use a ‘one size fits all’ approach to data migration. Every company has specific requirements.

So, how did the company actually execute such a big data migration?

Evernote has done a great job of explaining how they planned and executed this massive migration, and it’s a must-read for any company that planning a move into public cloud.

Part 1 – The Evernote Service and our options to migrate to Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Part 2 – Protecting Customer Data on GCP

Part 3 – The Evernote Architecture in GCP and our Technical Transformation

Part 4 – Planning and Executing the Migration

Part 5 – Conclusion and Future

We hugely appreciate Evernote for taking their time to show the world how they executed their migration. This is literally a textbook case of big data migration to public cloud, and it will help developers and companies around the world strategize their own move to the cloud.

It’s not often that you see a company detail the movement of the equivalent of 40 years’ worth of HD movies to a cloud environment – that too in just a little over two months.

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