If you want to move a lot of data from one cloud service to another, or from a local server to the cloud, often the fastest, most reliable solution is one that seems pretty archaic these days: load up a physical hard drive and ship that thing to where you need it to go. Plenty of people are still physically shipping their digital information, at the same time as Dropbox makes it possible to store your files once and access them anywhere you have a decent internet connection. Mover exists to change that.
Originally Mover started as a product, CEO and founder Eric Warnke explained in an interview. Called Backup Box, it allows users to move data back and forth between cloud storage services, including Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and many more. Backup Box as a standalone service has attracted plenty of use (there are over 11,000 users, including a significant paid contingent, according to Warnke), but the team saw a bigger opportunity to turn its product into a platform and offer it to developers looking to tackle their own unique data migration problems. That’s because there are a number of problems not being addressed by existing solutions.
“When it comes to data migration between cloud storage providers, in or out or from a traditional server, if you have more than a couple hundred [gigabytes] to move, cloud storage providers like Box literally mail hard drives to their customers,” he said. “Never mind all the time it takes to actually move the bytes, all the setup that’s involved in that is a real pain. And even if you do have a small amount of data, if you have hundreds of employees, trying to wrangle them to do that [migration] is really hard.”
Mover can provide easy one-time authentication to help users get involved in the transfers without having to do any of the actual dirty work, and the service also handles keeping file structures and timestamps in place, and soon hopes to also migrate things like file permissions smoothly and in an automated way. Right now, the service provides speeds far in excess of the usual FTP transfers, which can manage about one GB every 15 minutes in a lot of cases, while Mover currently manages top speeds of about 80 GBs per hour, or over one GB per minute. It’s a significant step up from what’s previously been available, but Warnke says there are additional speed increases coming down the pipeline, and eventually the goal is to make sure that Mover is always faster than it would be to dump data onto a hard drive and drive it to wherever the destination servers are housed.
Use of Mover’s APIs will allow clients to do not just the kind of transfer services that are available already via Backup Box, but to build their own tools for integration in their existing office backends and data management systems. Built-in import links and more will be available to developers who want to build on what Backup Box has to offer, but need to accomplish things outside of what it can provide via its limited feature set.
For now, Mover is strictly in private beta, and in the process of looking for new funding. Eventually it’ll be offering its APIs to the public for use, based on a pricing structure yet to be determined, but that will in all likelihood be based on how many calls clients are making, Warnke said, and there are plans to integrate with plenty more cloud storage and server-based storage options, too. Regardless of what they end up charging or what else the startup adds, they’ll be offering a tool that has the power to migrate massive amounts of data with much less pain than is currently possible, which should go over well with companies looking for ways to take their big data to the cloud and work with it there.
And for Mover, that’s just the start according to Warnke. While they’re starting with files, in the future he says it will be easy for Mover to also add the power to migrate other kinds of information. “Once we really own enterprise file movement, we can move into other verticals really easily, like databases and statistics and social graphs like Facebook and Instagram,” Warnke explained.