Sample workflow to prepare hard drives for an import job

This article walks you through the complete process of preparing drives for an import job.

Sample data

This example imports the following data into an Azure storage account named mystorageaccount:

Location Description Data size
H:\Video\ A collection of videos 12 TB
H:\Photo\ A collection of photos 30 GB
K:\Temp\FavoriteMovie.ISO A Blu-Ray™ disk image 25 GB
\\bigshare\john\music|A collection of music files on a network share 10 GB

Storage account destinations

The import job will import the data into the following destinations in the storage account:

Source Destination virtual directory or blob
H:\Video\ video/
H:\Photo\ photo/
K:\Temp\FavoriteMovie.ISO favorite/FavoriteMovies.ISO
\\bigshare\john\music\ music

With this mapping, the file H:\Video\Drama\ will be imported to the blob

Determine hard drive requirements

Next, to determine how many hard drives are needed, compute the size of the data:

12TB + 30GB + 25GB + 10GB = 12TB + 65GB

For this example, two 8TB hard drives should be sufficient. However, since the source directory H:\Video has 12TB of data and your single hard drive's capacity is only 8TB, you will be able to specify this in the following way in the driveset.csv file:


The tool will distribute data across two hard drives in an optimized way.

Attach drives and configure the job

You will attach both disks to the machine and create volumes. Then author dataset.csv file:


In addition, you can set the following metadata for all files:

  • UploadMethod: Windows Azure Import/Export service
  • DataSetName: SampleData
  • CreationDate: 10/1/2013

To set metadata for the imported files, create a text file, c:\WAImportExport\SampleMetadata.txt, with the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <UploadMethod>Windows Azure Import/Export service</UploadMethod>

You can also set some properties for the FavoriteMovie.ISO blob:

  • Content-Type: application/octet-stream
  • Content-MD5: Q2hlY2sgSW50ZWdyaXR5IQ==
  • Cache-Control: no-cache

To set these properties, create a text file, c:\WAImportExport\SampleProperties.txt:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Run the Azure Import/Export Tool (WAImportExport.exe)

Now you are ready to run the Azure Import/Export Tool to prepare the two hard drives.

For the first session:

WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:JournalTest.jrn /id:session#1  /sk:************* /InitialDriveSet:driveset-1.csv /DataSet:dataset-1.csv /logdir:F:\logs

If any more data needs to be added, create another dataset file (same format as Initialdataset).

For the second session:

WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:JournalTest.jrn /id:session#2  /DataSet:dataset-2.csv

Once the copy sessions have completed, you can disconnect the two drives from the copy computer and ship them to the appropriate Azure data center. You'll upload the two journal files, <FirstDriveSerialNumber>.xml and <SecondDriveSerialNumber>.xml, when you create the import job in the Azure portal.

Next steps