How to Copy a VHD in Azure

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I’m so glad that moving data around in Azure is easy now! It wasn’t that long ago that I had to move data from subscription to subscription or upload data from on-premises into Azure and frankly it was a pain involving loading several powershell cmdlets after first loading up all of the powershell modules that they required but all of that has changed with a tool called AZCopy.

AZCopy does a lot of things that I will let you discover but I’ll show what it’s like to copy vhd’s from one storage container to another.

On the AZCopy website there are a bunch of pre-made command lines available for you to copy. Here’s the one I used.

AzCopy /Source: /Dest: /SourceKey:key /DestKey:key /Pattern:abc.txt

Next I went into my Azure portal and grabbed the information I need to fill out the command.

The URL of my source storage container

The URL of my destination container

My Site Key

The names of the two files that I wanted to copy.

Paste that information in and you get the commands below. (heavily redacted of course)


Notice those copy times! 1 second for a 50GB VHD and 3 second for the 127GB VHD. Why so fast? This is speculation on my part but most likely because Azure uses deduplication (it does) and so when you make a copy of something all it needs to do is create a new pointer. I love data dedup!

So now I’m ready to use my copied disks in a new VM where we’re going to be testing some webapp design changes.


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