Migrating petabytes of data from on-premises file systems to Amazon FSx for Lustre

Many organizations use the Lustre filesystem for Linux-based applications that require petabytes of data and high-performance storage. Lustre file systems are used in machine learning (ML), high performance computing (HPC), big data, and financial analytics. Many such high-performance workloads are being migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to take advantage of the scalability, elasticity, and agility that AWS offers. Amazon FSx for Lustre is a fully managed service that provides cost-effective, high-performance, and scalable storage for Lustre file systems on AWS.

AWS DataSync is an AWS managed service for copying data to and from Amazon FSx for Lustre. It provides high-speed transfer through its use of compression and parallel transfer mechanism and integrates with Amazon CloudWatch for observability.

This blog will show you how to migrate petabytes of data files from on-premises to Amazon FSx for Lustre using AWS DataSync. It will provide an overview of Amazon CloudWatch metrics and logs to help you monitor your data transfer using AWS DataSync and metrics from Amazon FSx for Lustre.

Solution overview for file storage data migration

The high-level architecture diagram in Figure 1 depicts file storage data migration from on-premises data center to Amazon FSx for Lustre using AWS DataSync.

Following are the steps for the migration:

  1. Create an Amazon FSx file system.
  2. Install AWS DataSync agent on premises to connect to AWS DataSync service over secured TLS connection.
  3. Configure source and target locations to create an AWS DataSync task.
  4. Configure and start the AWS DataSync task to migrate the data from on-premises to Amazon FSx for Lustre.

Figure 1. Architecture diagram for transferring files on-premises to Amazon FSx for Lustre using AWS DataSync


Steps for migration

1. Create an Amazon FSx file system

To start the migration, create a Lustre file system in Amazon FSx service and follow the step-by-step guidance provided in Getting started with Amazon FSx for Lustre.

For this blog, a target of ‘Persistent 2’ deployment type FSx for Lustre is selected with a storage capacity of 1.2 TB (Figure 2.)

Figure 2. FSx for Lustre target file system

2. Install AWS DataSync agent on-premises

Follow steps in the article: Getting started with AWS DataSync to get started with the AWS DataSync service. Configure the source system to migrate the file system data using the following steps:

  • Deploy an AWS DataSync agent on-premises on a supported virtual machine or hypervisor (Figure 3.)
  • Configure the AWS DataSync agent from AWS Management Console.
  • Activate the AWS DataSync agent configured from the preceding step.

Figure 3. Create AWS DataSync agent

3. Configure source and destination locations

A DataSync task consists of a pair of locations between which data is transferred. The source location defines the storage system that you want to read from. The destination location defines the storage service that you want to write data to. Here the source location is an on-premises Lustre system and the destination location is the Amazon FSx for Lustre service (Figure 4.)

Figure 4. Configure source and destination location for AWS DataSync task

4. Configure and start task

A task is a set of two locations (source and destination) and a set of options that you use to control the behavior of the task. Create a task with the source and destination locations and choose Start from the Actions menu (Figure 5.)

Figure 5. Start task

Wait for the task status to change to Running (Figure 6.)

Figure 6. Task status

To check the details of the task completion, select the task and click on the History tab (Figure 7.) The status should show Success once the task successfully completes the migration.

Figure 7. Task history

Monitoring the file transfer

Amazon CloudWatch is the AWS native observability service. It collects and processes raw data from AWS services such as Amazon FSx for Lustre and AWS DataSync into readable, near real-time metrics. It provides metrics that you can use to get more visibility into the data transfer. For a full list of CloudWatch metrics for AWS DataSync and Amazon FSx for Lustre, read Monitoring AWS DataSync and Monitoring Amazon FSx for Lustre.

Amazon FSx for Lustre can also provide various metrics, for example, the number of read or write operations using DataReadOperations and DataWriteOperations. To find the total storage available you can check the metric FreeDataStorageCapacity (Figure 8.)

Figure 8. CloudWatch metrics for Amazon FSx for Lustre

AWS DataSync metrics such as FilesTransferred, gives the actual number of files or metadata that transferred over the network. BytesTransferred provides the total number of bytes that transferred over the network when the agent reads from the source location to the destination location.

A robust monitoring system can be built by setting up an automated notification process for any errors or issues in the data transfer task. Integrate Amazon CloudWatch in combination with the Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS). Figure 9 depicts the AWS DataSync logs in Amazon CloudWatch.

Figure 9. AWS DataSync logs in Amazon CloudWatch

You can also gather insights from the logs of the data transfer metrics using CloudWatch Logs Insights. CloudWatch Log Insights enables you to quickly search and query your log data (Figure 10.) You can set a filter metric for error codes and alert the appropriate team.

Figure 10. Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights for querying logs


If you are no longer using the resources discussed in this blog, remove the unneeded AWS resources to avoid incurring charges. After finishing the file transfer, clean up resources by deleting the Amazon FSx file system and AWS DataSync objects (DataSync agent, task, source location, and destination location.)


In this post, we demonstrated how we can accelerate migration of Lustre files from on-premises into Amazon FSx for Lustre using AWS DataSync. As a fully managed service, AWS DataSync securely and seamlessly connects to your Amazon FSx for Lustre file system. This makes it possible for you to move millions of files and petabytes of data without the need for deploying or managing infrastructure in the cloud. We walked through different observability metrics with Amazon CloudWatch integration to provide performance metrics, logging, and events. This can further help to speed up critical hybrid cloud storage workflows in industries that must move active files into AWS quickly. This capability is available in Regions where AWS DataSync and Amazon FSx for Lustre are available. For further details on using this cost-effective service, see Amazon FSx for Lustre pricing and AWS DataSync pricing.

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