Microsoft Azure: The ways to upload VHDs to Azure (v2)

  UPDATE 12-22-2016

This post is also applicable for Add-AzureRmVHD with Azure Powershell 1.0 for Azure Resource Manager


  • This post replaces my previous post Microsoft Azure: The ways to upload VHDs to Azure (Retired). The aim is to add an important information related to CLoudBerry Explorer
  • Described another utility in this post


Hi all,

More and more customers are moving to Azure, or at least moving some workloads to Azure, or even are starting using Azure. Anyway, in any of these cases, you may want to move some VMs to Azure, so you can start using them in a production or test scenario. Before I continue, If you plan to migrate a platform to Azure, uploading VHD by VHD is not suitable for you, you should look for a more automated and complete solution. Look for my blog here, I made a good description of that topic.

But if you want to upload some VHDs to Azure, and you are lost in googling and binging, I wish you will find your  answers here. So let’s begin:

To upload virtual hard disks to Azure, you can use several tools:

CloudBerry Explorer for Microsoft Azure Blob Storage

This is just and excellent  tool, and my favorite. CloudBerry Explorer offers a handsome UI where you can drag and drop VHDs between your local disks and the Azure Blob, and vise-versa. You can initiate many simultaneous uploads, pause and resume uploads and view the upload remaining time, all this for free. In fact, CloudBerry Explorer  provides a free action and PRO edition. The PRO edition will let do more things like creating upload rules, create analytic reports, multithread uploading, encryption, compression… But if you want just to upload some VHDs, the free version is really great. Update : Only VHDs on Page blobs are supported to work in Azure, CloudBerry copies by default  files as Block blobs, you should use the Copy As Page blob button on top of the Window. So, what are you waiting for ? Start now here


This is a PowerShell command provided by the Microsoft Azure PowerShell. Add-AzureVHD is great if you want to script several VHDs uploads. You can download the Azure Powershell here. Follow this blog to begin with the Add-AzureVHD command. Add-AzureVHD is a powerful way to upload VHDs to Azure, but to be honest you may hit some limits and drawbacks

Azure storage explorer

Azure Storage Explorer is a free utility for viewing and acting on Microsoft Azure Storage. Azure Storage allows you upload VHDs to Azure blobs and several additional operations. Azure Storage explorer can be downloaded here and is under a preview version. I will not rate this tool because I just used it for 5 minutes. The upload experience was awful (No upload status, no upload percentage…) and the UI freezes unexpectedly.

Azure Drive Explorer

Azure Drive Explorer is server/client tool that allows you not only to upload VHDs to Azure blobs, but also to upload files inside VHDs in Azure. Azure Drive Explorer requires that you install its server component in Azure (deploy packages into Azure), and then uses the client component to make the uploads. If you want to test it, just go here and good luck. PS: I did not tested or used this tool, so it will be to you to rate it.

Voila, I’m done here. If you want to follow my recommendations, use Cloud Berry explorer. If you want to automate, script and batch uploads, and if the disk(s) where your VHDs are located provides high read throughput, and your VHDs are dynamic, you can use the Azure PowerShell command.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Azure: The ways to upload VHDs to Azure (v2)

  1. Thank you for the CloudBerry recommendation, works like a charm and so much easier than fumbling through Azure PS cmdlets syntax.

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