Azure DevOps Migration Strategies

What are the best Azure DevOps migration strategies you can use for your business?

Which one is ideal for your dynamics?

If you’re confused, that’s understandable.

After all, there are several methods for Azure DevOps backups shared online with inadequate explanations about why one is better than the other.

That’s why in this guide, we’ll talk about three Azure DevOps migration strategies, how to execute them, and what makes them feasible (or not).

But first, let’s explore why Azure DevOps migration is essential for your business.

Why migrating your Azure DevOps is important

Migrating and duplicating your Azure DevOps is crucial to protect your data integrity and ensure continued business operations.

Even Microsoft recommends it since it experiences occasional outages and security issues, e.g., ransomware, account hijacking, etc.

Azure DevOps also has limited recovery and backup solutions to offer should you lose or need to duplicate your data. 

For instance, Microsoft can only recover an organization at a time (within 28 days) and not on a project level. It also disables you from restoring a project with a different file name.

When that happens, you can lose your software code and data assets wholly and forever shut down your business.

3 Azure DevOps Migration Strategies

Here are three options for migrating your Azure DevOps data:

1. Back up repositories with GIT bash script

One strategy to migrate your Azure DevOps data is to use a bash script. This enables you to obtain a full copy of your repository through a virtual machine (VM).

The steps for this process include:

  • Creating, e.g., an affordable Linux VM in Azure DevOps;
  • Generating a new SSH key pair;
  • Adding an SSH public key to Azure DevOps;
  • Writing a bash script (to imitate your original GIT repository), and
  • Executing the created bash script according to schedule.

The first step is a straightforward task and comes with everything you need: GIT and shell scripts. You can then SSH into it and write a bash script.

Although a script sounds like an old-fashioned method, it gets the work done. It essentially deletes your previous backup and creates a duplicate copy of your GIT repository.

Nevertheless, despite the simplicity this process brings, it has a few disadvantages, such as:

  • Susceptibility to errors (one mistake alters the program’s flow, bringing potential harm);
  • Sluggish implementation speed;
  • Unsuitability for enormous, sophisticated tasks, and
  • Minimal availability of data structures as compared with other programming languages.

2. Keeping data in the Azure Blob storage

Azure Blob is Microsoft’s scalable cloud object storage solution, optimized for keeping massive volumes of unstructured data for quick shared access, backup, restoration, archiving, etc.

The platform keeps the blobs in virtual containers, which act as directories, then links them to the storage account.

When generating the address for people to access a file in Azure Blob, the platform includes it in the storage account plus the blob’s location and formats the link as .net.

Azure Blob storage is one of Microsoft’s storage options and sounds like an ideal solution for enterprises. However, it can have some security issues tied to its mother company.

Early this year, a vpnMentor research team headed by Noam Rotem discovered a cache of sensitive source code in a misconfigured Azure Blob account left exposed and accessible.

The 63gb-dataset seemed to have come from a set of company pitches to Microsoft Dynamics. It included nearly 4,000 separate files, proprietary software source code for products released later, hardcoded passwords, etc.

Rotem’s team contacted Microsoft for months to notify them of the misconfiguration, but the company seems to have confused the data exposure for the uncovering of its software flaw.

In this sense, Microsoft didn’t acknowledge their responsibility for the misconfigured Azure Blob account and disclosed data, leaving no solid evidence on the responsible party or file owners.

Azure Blob is supposedly privately accessible and automatically encrypted by Storage Service Encryption (SSE) with AES-256, one of the most robust block ciphers available — so the misconfiguration may have occurred on Microsoft’s end, as suspected by Rotem’s team.

Nevertheless, researchers said the Azure Blob account owner could have prevented the disclosure through various security practices.

They also noted that Microsoft gives comprehensive instructions and recommended security actions for Azure Blob storage accounts. 

Another disadvantage of this strategy is that Azure Blob does not have innovative solutions for backing up block blobs.

Although a Microsoft senior consultant recommended some incremental backup methods as alternatives, these can be tedious to perform.

3. Use Backrightup

The third Azure DevOps migration strategy is using automated comprehensive backup solutions such as Backrightup.

Backrightup is a one-click, automated backup solution specifically for Azure DevOps and highly business-critical data and software code.

Using Backrightup is extremely convenient because it autonomously backs up your Azure DevOps repositories, pipelines, wikis, work items, releases, etc. d-a-i-l-y.

Once you sign up, authorize, and integrate Azure DevOps and this platform, Backrightup instantly starts pulling out and duplicating all your data within minutes.

Every day, Backrightup provides updates on your dashboard about every entity it has backed up. You’ll find information e.g., item name, ID number, date and time it was last updated, etc.

Backrightup’s Work Items page
It’s easy to backup your Azure DevOps with Backrightup.

Backrightup lets you do several supposedly heavy-duty data migration and backup activities in a single to a few clicks — whether for individual files or organizations.

For instance, to restore any updated items, you can tick them from the list and click the “Restore Items” button above the table.

You can even determine which data types Backrightup should automatically copy. Switch off the corresponding “Yes” buttons for the items under any specific entity settings, like this:

Backrightup’s repository settings page
You can specify which data type to backup.

Besides Backrightup’s default storage, it also lets you add your own Azure storing location. You can do so by clicking “Storage Settings” and clicking the corresponding button above the table.

Backrightup’s Storage Settings page
Add your own storing location.

Bonus tip: if you wish to back up your data manually — that is, not waiting for tomorrow’s updates from Backrightup — click “Run Backups” at the top of your dashboard.

A dialog box will appear with options of the entities on which your request will be applied. Then hit “Start Backup(s)” to begin backing up your selected projects.

A pop-up that says “Start Manual Backup”
You can run your backups manually.

With automated solutions such as Backrightup, you don’t need to maintain backup scripts. Plus, you get highly secure, customized backups to your chosen storage locations in just a few minutes.

Set up your Azure DevOps migration strategies now

With these three migration strategies introduced, you can now make informed decisions about the best option for you and begin planning and implementing its setup.

Of the three, I highly recommend the third option, using Backrightup, since it’s the most secure, cost-efficient, and effortless one. Additionally, it takes care of the administrative burden of data backups and frees up your IT team to focus on their primary duties.

So, don’t delay your Azure DevOps migration. If you wish to learn more about using Backrightup for your company, reach out to us anytime. We’ll be glad to help you out.

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