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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Choose the OVA file for Azure Migrate

Download Banner

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Name the Azure Migrate appliance and choose the resulting vSphere inventory location

Next, choose the compute resource to house the Azure Migrate virtual appliance.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Choose Azure Migrate virtual machine compute resource

Review the initial details of the Azure Migrate virtual machine deployment.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Review initial details of the Azure Migrate OVA deployment

Select storage including the datastore and the type of disk provisioning you want to make use of.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Select storage for the Azure Migrate appliance on your VMware vSphere compute host

Select the virtual network to connect the Azure Migrate appliance.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Select the virtual network for the Azure Migrate appliance

Ready to complete the Azure Migrate appliance deployment.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Finish the deployment of the Azure Migrate appliance

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Accept the Windows EULA

Next, configure the password for the built-in administrator account.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Configure the administrator password

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Set discovery for Azure Migrate

The setup discovery proceeds.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Azure Migrate set up 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

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Download and extract the VMware vSphere 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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Downloading the Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK)

After you have downloaded the VDDK, the Azure Migrate Prerequisites should then be met. Click Continue.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Prerequisites met and ready to proceed

The next step is to login to Microsoft Azure. Click the Login button.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Specify your Microsoft Azure account details

You will see the normal Azure login dialog box pop up for entering your Azure credentials.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Enter your email address for associating with Microsoft Azure PowerShell

After you login to your Azure portal, you will need to register your appliance with Azure Migrate.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Register your appliance with Azure Migrate

The appliance is successfully registered with Azure Migrate and you are ready to continue.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Registered with Azure Migrate and 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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Registering Azure Migrate appliance with vCenter Server

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Choosing application discovery options for your vSphere virtual machines

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Initiating discovery and configuring the Azure Migrate appliance begins

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Discovery completes and you are ready to review in Azure Migrate

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Creating an Azure Migrate Assessment

The assessment is created and can be view under the Assessments blade.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Completed Azure Migrate assessments

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Replicating your VMware vSphere VMs with Azure Migrate

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Configuring source settings on the replicate wizard in Azure Migrate

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Choose the assessment and the VMs contained in the assessment for replication

Next, you configure the Target settings for your Azure environment. This includes:

  • Region
  • Subscription
  • Resource group
  • Virtual Network
  • Subnet

Additionally, you can choose if you have the Azure Hybrid Benefit as well.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Configuring target settings for the Azure Migrate replication process in Azure

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Compute configuration in Azure Migrate replication process

Next, the disk configuration is matched between Azure and the on-premises configuration.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Azure disk configuration with Azure Migrate

Finally, you are ready to Review + Start replication.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Review and start replication in the Azure Migrate replicate blade

Replication begins in Azure as you can see and monitor in the Notifications panel.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Replication begins in Azure with Azure Migrate

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Azure Migrate workflow including replication, testing migration, and migration

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Running the Test migration process in Azure Migrate for a replicated virtual machine

You can monitor the progress of the test migration steps.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Test migration underway for a replicated virtual machine

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

After test migration is successful the clean up test migration step is needed

Below, you can see the resulting virtual machine with the “-test” suffix appended. This is before we run the cleanup test process.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

A look at the test virtual machine that is created with the test migration process

You can monitor the progress of the clean up of the test migration via the notification panel.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Cleanup test migration kicked off and progressing

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Beginning the Migrate process in Azure Migrate

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

Choose shutdown options and the VMs 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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

The vSphere virtual machines will be powered off during the Azure Migrate migration process

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

The migrate process job and subtasks begin and complete

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.

Migrating from VMware to Azure

The Azure Migrate process completes successfully and the on-premises vSphere virtual machine is successfully migrated to your Azure environment.

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.

Wrapping Up

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.

Follow our Twitter and Facebook feeds for new releases, updates, insightful posts and more.

Like what you read? Rate us