Explaining the Device Migration Process



This article explains the process, rationale, and prerequisites for performing a device migration.


A device migration is the process of moving data from one device to another. Device migrations are usually in response to either hardware corruption or device upgrades and, to a much lesser extent, load balancing. The original device must be able to perform the tasks necessary for a device migration.

Generally, device migrations transfer at roughly 1TB per day. Network speeds or device-to-device connections will affect this rate.


To initiate a device migration, contact Datto Technical Support with the following information:

  • If the device should continue taking backups during the migration
  • If you need to move your user and group accounts from the old device to the new
  • If you would like the transfer to be done NIC-to-NIC or over the network
  • If you will be re-purposing the old device
  • If you want the new device to continue backing up to the same chain of data or if you want to begin a new chain
  • If you would like your offsite data reassociated from your old device to your new device.
    Refer to your User License Agreement for details if you choose to disassociate your old data chain.

Data migrations cannot be performed while any restores are active on the source appliance. This includes file restores and virtualizations. You must remove all restores before initiating a device migration. Restores cannot be migrated.

Be sure to have the new device in-hand and to check that both devices are checking in before initiating the migration process.

If your device migration involves transfer of ownership of data or equipment from one Managed Services Provider to another, both parties must consent to the transfer. Contact your Sales Executive for guidance if there are any concerns or ambiguities.

Migration Process

During the migration, your Technical Support Expert will broadly follow these steps:

  1. Pause local and offsite operations on the original device.
  2. Install sshpass onto the destination device, allowing Datto to create a secure shell using passphrases.
  3. Perform tests to verify the destination device is a viable backup environment.
  4. Sync data on the original device, verify that all necessary snapshots completed syncing, and then sync additional utilities (SAMBA, ShadowSnap keys).
  5. Transfer user and group accounts to the destination device, if necessary.
  6. Re-pair ShadowSnap agents to the destination device.
  7. Re-create original directories in the destination device.
  8. Begin re-enabling local backups on the destination device.
  9. Back on the source device, re-enable offsite syncing and send file creation.
  10. Re-enable backups.
  11. Transfer NAS Shares at a scheduled window when your NAS Shares are not in use.
  12. Re-associate your offsite data from your old device to your new device.

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