Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate is a Microsoft service that helps an enterprise assess how its on-premises workloads will perform, and how much they will cost to host, in the Azure public cloud.

While Azure Migrate helps with planning a cloud migration, it does not actually transfer on-premises virtual machines (VMs) to the Azure cloud. For this, Microsoft suggests using either its Azure Site Recovery or Azure Database Migration service.

Azure Migrate capabilities

An enterprise can use Azure Migrate to discover information about the VMware VMs running within its own data center, including CPU and memory usage, as well as performance history. As part of the discovery process, Azure Migrate can also perform dependency mapping to help an enterprise visualize the resource dependencies of a single or group of VMs.

To get started, an organization needs to create an Azure Migrate project via the Azure portal. Then, it needs to download an Open Virtualization Appliance (.ova) file and import it as a VM, called the "Collector Appliance," that runs on its on-premises vCenter Server. That VM then collects metadata about other on-premises VMs and feeds that information to the Azure Migrate service.

Convert existing AWS EC2 instances using Azure Migrate

While the use of this Collector Appliance does not require the installation of any agents, a user does need to install agents on premises in order to enable the dependency mapping features mentioned above. Based on the metadata collected during the discovery process, Azure Migrate then helps an enterprise determine the type and size of VM in the Azure public cloud that would offer the best performance for their on-premises workloads. It also helps an enterprise estimate how much it would cost, on a monthly basis, to run those workloads on Azure. This information is displayed in the Azure portal.

Azure Migrate limitations

As of June 2018, Azure Migrate has the following limitations:

  • It can only assess VMware VMs that are managed by vCenter Server versions 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5 -- however, Microsoft says support for Hyper-V will be available in the future.
  • Azure Migrate can help plan migrations to a variety of Azure geographic locations, but a user can only create an Azure Migrate project, and store the metadata that the tool collects, in the East US or West Central US regions.
  • Azure Migrate can discover and assess up to 1,500 VMs during a single discovery/assessment process.
This was last updated in June 2018

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