Check number of drives needed for an export with Azure Import/Export

This article describes how to determine how many physical drives to provide for your Azure Import/Export export order. You'll use the Azure Import/Export tool. The article explains how to install and use the tool.

The Azure Import/Export version 1 tool lists all blobs to be exported, and calculates how to pack them into drives of the specified size, taking into account any necessary overhead, then estimates the number of drives needed to hold the blobs and drive usage information.

You can use 2.5" SSDs, 2.5" HDDs, or 3.5" HDDs with your export order. For more information, see Supported disks.


Determine how many drives you need

To find out how many physical disks you need for your export order, do these steps:

  1. Download the current release of the Azure Import/Export version 1 tool (, for blobs, on the Windows system.

  2. Download WAImportExport version 1. The current version is

  3. Unzip to the default folder waimportexportv1. For example, C:\WaImportExportV1.

  4. Open a PowerShell or command-line window with administrative privileges. To change directory to the unzipped folder, run the following command:

    cd C:\WaImportExportV1

  5. To check the number of disks required for the selected blobs, run the following command:

    WAImportExport.exe PreviewExport /ExportBlobListFile:<Path to XML blob list file> /DriveSize:<Size of drives used>

    The parameters are described in the following table:

    Command-line parameter Description
    /logdir: Optional. The log directory. Verbose log files are written to this directory. If not specified, the current directory is used as the log directory.
    /ExportBlobListFile: Required. Path to the XML file containing list of blob paths or blob path prefixes for the blobs to be exported. The file format used in the BlobListBlobPath element in the Put Job operation of the Import/Export service REST API.
    /DriveSize: Required. The size of drives to use for an export job, for example, 500 GB, 1.5 TB.

    See an Example of the PreviewExport command.

  6. Check that you can read/write to the drives that will be shipped for the export job.

Example of PreviewExport command

The following example demonstrates the PreviewExport command:

    WAImportExport.exe PreviewExport /ExportBlobListFile:C:\WAImportExport\mybloblist.xml /DriveSize:500GB /Cloud:Public

The export blob list file may contain blob names and blob prefixes, as shown here:

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

Examples of valid blob paths

The following table shows examples of valid blob paths and blob path prefixes to use with the <BlobPath> and <BlobPathPrefix> tags in your blob list file.

  • A path selects and filters to a single blob or file.

  • A prefix selects and filters to multiple blobs or multiple files.

    Selector Blob Path/Prefix Description
    Starts With / Exports all blobs in the storage account
    Starts With /$root/ Exports all blobs in the root container
    Starts With /book Exports all blobs in any container that begins with prefix book
    Starts With /music/ Exports all blobs in container music
    Starts With /music/love Exports all blobs in container music that begin with prefix love
    Equal To $root/logo.bmp Exports blob logo.bmp in the root container
    Equal To videos/story.mp4 Exports blob story.mp4 in container videos

Sample output

Here is an example of the output, with informational logs omitted:

Number of unique blob paths/prefixes:   3
Number of duplicate blob paths/prefixes:        0
Number of nonexistent blob paths/prefixes:      1

Drive size:     500.00 GB
Number of blobs that can be exported:   6
Number of blobs that cannot be exported:        2
Number of drives needed:        3
        Drive #1:       blobs = 1, occupied space = 454.74 GB
        Drive #2:       blobs = 3, occupied space = 441.37 GB
        Drive #3:       blobs = 2, occupied space = 131.28 GB

Next steps