Azure Migrate Overview

Azure Migrate is free for 180-days and can be used to right-size on-premise VMware vCenter VMs for migration to Azure. This is not used to perform actual migrations but rather a right-sizing and planning tool only. Use Azure Site Recovery to migrate VMs to Azure.

Azure Migrate has quite a few good features especially the dependency mapping, right-sizing based on performance, and ability to set different costing options (limit Azure VM type, select region, select reservation instance, change currency, etc). The dependency mapping is optional but a good tool to help select which machines to migrate to Azure together as to not break application dependencies.

Migrations to Azure requires lots of planning and application changes especially due to re-IP of the VMs, the costs of this exercise can run up to the thousands especially when external consultants needs to be brought in to make changes to the applications. This is typically due to the fact that connectivity from on-premise to Azure is only routed via VPNs or by using ExpressRoute.

I don’t usually mention my organization but Macquarie Cloud Services (http://www.macquariecloudservices.com) can assist in “stretching” your on-premise network to Azure so that these application changes and re-IP of servers are no longer necessary, enabling a saving of up to tens of thousands of dollars in external consultant fees or in-house changes to applications. Look me up in LinkedIn if you are interested.

Deployment

Pre-requisite: Azure subscription is required. For customers who do not already have an Azure subscription, you can get a free trial subscription or get an Azurepass subscription from http://www.microsoftazurepass.com

  • Login to the Azure subscription and create an Azure Migrate project. Create a new Azure Resource Group for each migration project.
  • Deploy the Azure Migrate OVA to VMware vCenter and install any updates. The latest update can be downloaded from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/migrate/concepts-collector-upgrade.
  • Create a new domain user and grant the new account Read-Only access to the vCenter.
  • The OVA is a VM that runs Windows Server 2016 under a 180-day evaluation license. After deployment of the Azure Migrate OVA, configure a static IP address (optional) and ensure that internet outbound access is available.
  • From the Azure Portal → Azure Migrate project → Discover and assess → Discover machines, note the project ID and project key.
  • Login to the Azure Migrate Windows OVA, start the collector tool and go through the wizard providing the required credentials for the vCenter and user account that was created in step 3 above. Enter the project ID and project key obtain from the previous step.
  • Start the discovery process and wait one hour for data to be populated into the Azure Migrate project. It is best to wait at least 1 day for performance statistics to be populated as well.
  • Click on the Machines section in the Azure Portal. An assessment cannot be created until the discovery process has completed and uploaded the data to Azure.

Visual Dependency Mapping (Optional – Not required for costing exercise)

Visual dependency mapping is based on Azure Service Map and is free for 180-days from the day of associating the Log Analytics workspace with an Azure Migrate project.

  • Once discovery is complete, a visual dependency mapping can be created to assist in grouping machines together for migration to Azure.
  • Select Machines and click on “Requires configuration” on any of the VMs.
  • Configure an OMS workspace then download the install the monitoring agent and dependency agent on all the VMs according to instructions.
  • (Optional) Install a OMS Gateway with internet access if there are any VMs which do not have internet outbound connectivity. The OMS Gateway installation is very light (2.5Mb installation). I installed in on the Azure Migrate OVA since it is essentially a Windows 2016 server which means that I don’t have to dedicate another VM just for this purpose. Install the MMA and Dependency agent on the OMS Gateway server.

The OMS Gateway essentially acts as a proxy for the MMA agent. You will need to specify the OMS Gateway server as a proxy (eg. https://<OMS_Gateway_IP>:<Port>) when installing the MMA agent.

  • Create a temporary group for all VMs which have the MMA and dependency agent installed. VMs can be removed later or split into separate groups if required.
  • It may take 15 minutes for the dependency data to be available in Azure. Note: The refresh button does not refresh the status. Select a different section and move back to groups to refresh the page.
  • Once the VMs shows status of “Installed” in the dependencies column, click on “View Dependencies”.
  • Click on any of the boxes to see more detailed information. The arrows shows the traffic flows and connections between clients/servers. 
  • Remove or split VMs from the group to another group if required based on it’s dependencies.

Assessment

  • Click on the “Create Assessment” button.
  • Select the newly create assessment and select “Edit properties”.
  • Change the currency to the appropriate currency, set “Reserved instances”, VM series (to exclude certain VM types), sizing criterion (based on on-premise size or actual performance), etc then click Save.
  • Review the Azure readiness section to determine if any VMs cannot be migrated to Azure and remove them from the group if required. Certain VM appliances with unknown Linux operating systems are not supported in Azure.
  • Click on “Cost details” to get the estimate costs of hosting these VMs in Azure.
  • Once completed, the assessment can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet by clicking on “Export assessment”.

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