This post on Migrating from VMware to Azure Using Azure Migrate is a two-part series.
In the previous post – the first part, we discussed what is Azure Migrate, its advantages, and limitations. We also looked at the Prerequisites of Azure Migrate Server Assessment and Migration along with the procedure to choose & add assessment and migration tool
In this second part, we will discuss the following:
- Deploying the Azure Migrate Virtual Appliance
- Replicating and Migrating VMware vSphere VMs with Azure Migrate
- Post Migration Best Practices
Deploying the Azure Migrate Virtual Appliance
Deploying the Azure Migrate virtual appliance is a straightforward OVA deployment process in vSphere. Let’s look at the screens nonetheless. First, choose the OVA file you downloaded for the Azure Migrate virtual appliance.
Next, name the virtual machine in the inventory and select the location in your vSphere infrastructure you want the resulting virtual machine to be housed.
Next, choose the compute resource to house the Azure Migrate virtual appliance.
Review the initial details of the Azure Migrate virtual machine deployment.
Select storage including the datastore and the type of disk provisioning you want to make use of.
Select the virtual network to connect the Azure Migrate appliance.
Ready to complete the Azure Migrate appliance deployment.
There is only a minor bit of configuration left to do once you deploy the Azure Migrate virtual appliance and power it on. First, accept the EULA for Windows.
Next, configure the password for the built-in administrator account.
Once you configure the password and the Azure Migrate server logs in, it will launch the Azure Migrate Appliance Set up discovery for Azure Migrate. This involves several steps we will cover. Initially, it will check a few basic things such as Internet connectivity and updates that may be available for Azure Migrate.
The setup discovery proceeds.
Next, you will need to manually download and install the VMware vSphere Virtual Disk Development Kit for use with Azure Migrate. The link is provided in the dialog box. Additionally, you will need to extract it to the folder you are directed. This folder is: C:\program files\VMware\VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit
The link will take you to a VMware vSphere download page for the vSphere Virtual Disk Development Kit. You will need a VMware login, although these are free to create.
After you have downloaded the VDDK, the Azure Migrate Prerequisites should then be met. Click Continue.
The next step is to login to Microsoft Azure. Click the Login button.
You will see the normal Azure login dialog box pop up for entering your Azure credentials.
After you login to your Azure portal, you will need to register your appliance with Azure Migrate.
The appliance is successfully registered with Azure Migrate and you are ready to continue.
Next, intuitively, we need to associate the Azure Migrate appliance with the vCenter Server that houses the virtual machines you want to migrate. This will include entering the FQDN or IP of your vCenter Server as well as credentials to access vCenter.
You can also discover applications and dependencies on your vSphere virtual machines if you want. To do that you will need to enter your Windows credentials for that operation. If you don’t, you can place a check in the skip addition of VM credentials.
After the discovery of the virtual machines in your VMware vSphere environment is complete, you are directed to navigate to Azure Migrate in your Azure portal to see the discovered workloads that are candidates for migrating.
Navigate to Azure Migrate – Servers >> Assess Servers to begin the assessment of the vSphere VMs. You will need to create an Assessment Name, an Assessment Group, and also select the discovered VMs you want to add as part of the assessment.
Then, click Create assessment.
The assessment is created and can be view under the Assessments blade.
Once you have an Assessment in place, you are ready to replicate the virtual machine data. This is found under Azure Migrate: Server Migration box.
Replicate and Migrate VMware vSphere VMs with Azure Migrate
The Replicate wizard dialog box opens. There are a few steps with the Replicate process that are intuitive and easy to step through. On the first Source settings page, you select the source hypervisor as well as the on-premises Azure Migrate appliance that is registered.
Notably, after you select the source on-premises Azure Migrate appliance, you can then choose the Assessment you want to work from. Once you choose your assessment, you can choose the VMs that are contained in the assessment.
Next, you configure the Target settings for your Azure environment. This includes:
- Resource group
- Virtual Network
Additionally, you can choose if you have the Azure Hybrid Benefit as well.
With the assessment, Azure Migrate will automatically attempt to determine the size of the resulting Azure virtual machine that is the closest match with the on-premises configuration.
Next, the disk configuration is matched between Azure and the on-premises configuration.
Finally, you are ready to Review + Start replication.
Replication begins in Azure as you can see and monitor in the Notifications panel.
Azure Migrate considers the replication of virtual machines Step 1. If you follow the workflow, Step 2 is Test migration and Step 3 is Migrate.
When you click the Test migration button in the Step 2 box, you will be taken to the Azure Migrate: Server Migration >> Migrating machines blade where you can click Test migration to begin testing the migration process.
In the test migration process, your on-premises vSphere virtual machines are unaffected by the test as the Azure Migrate appliance does not power off the source VM or any other disruptive tasks. It literally provisions a test VM and adds a “-test” suffix to the name to test the validity of the replicated virtual machine data.
You can monitor the progress of the test migration steps.
The test migration is successful and the process is prompting to Clean up test migration. This will power off and delete the test VM that was created in Azure with the test migration process.
Below, you can see the resulting virtual machine with the “-test” suffix appended. This is before we run the cleanup test process.
You can monitor the progress of the clean up of the test migration via the notification panel.
Once the test migration has been completed, you are ready to move to Step 3 which is to Migrate your replicated virtual machines. Click the Migrate button in the Step 3 box to begin this process.
This launches the Migrate blade. The first question asks if you want to shutdown machines before migration to minimize data loss. If a vSphere VM is left running, there is the potential for data loss since on-premises users could still be making changes to data after the migration snapshot is taken.
The default choice here is Yes which means the on-premises vSphere VM will be shutdown. The Azure Migrate appliance will take care of this for you. Also, place a checkbox beside the virtual machine(s) you want to migrate.
If you monitor your vCenter Server Recent tasks pane, you will see the operations begin on the VMs that you choose to migrate. The final step is the Power Off virtual machine task.
The migration process begins working through the steps required to migrate your VMware vSphere virtual machine from on-premise to your Azure virtual machine inventory.
After the migration process of the on-premises VMware vSphere virtual machine completes, you will see the resulting virtual machine created and powered on without the “test” suffix.
Azure Migration – Post Migration Best Practices
Once you get on-premises VMware vSphere and other virtual machines to your Azure environment by way of Azure Migrate, you want to perform all the post-migration best practices as recommended by Microsoft. This includes the following:
- Setup backups of migrated virtual machines to Azure by using the Azure Backup Service
- Replicate your workloads to a secondary region with Site Recovery
- Use Azure Security Center to implement Just In Time Administration (JITA)
- Make use of Network Security Groups in Azure to restrict and micro-segment your traffic
- Use Azure Disk Encryption to encrypt your data contained in your disks hosted in Azure
- Make use of Azure Cost Management which is a great tool to help monitor costs and spending in your Azure environment.
The topic of cloud migrations for most businesses is heating up. There has never been a better time to migrate on-premises workloads to the cloud as there are now many new and really great tools that can be utilized like Azure Migrate.
As we have covered, Azure Migrate is a central hub that allows you to manage, monitor, test, and execute the migration of your VMware vSphere virtual machines up to the Azure public cloud. The process is simple, intuitive, and provides a lot of capabilities to easily get your vSphere workloads into Azure. You can check out Azure Migrate here.