hamburger icon close icon
Azure Migration

Azure Migrate: Key Components and a 4-Step Migration Plan

What Is Azure Migrate?

Azure Migrate is an Azure migration program that helps organizations assess and automate migration of on-premises infrastructure, data and applications to the public cloud. This includes assessing the hosting costs and expected performance in the Azure cloud.

Azure Migrate offers the following features:

  • Centralized migration hub—a unified platform that lets you plan, implement and track your migration strategy.
  • Varied toolkits—including tools for assessing an existing server for migration (Server Assessment) and carrying out migration (Server Migration). Azure Migrate integrates with multiple Azure services and third-party tools.
  • Assessment and migration of workloads—you can assess and migrate a variety of components, including servers, databases (i.e., Azure SQL Database), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and moving web applications to Azure App Service.
  • Fast and cost-effective migration—you can use Azure Data Box products to quickly and cost-effectively migrate a large amount of data to Azure.

In this article, you will learn:

7 Key Components of Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate offers several tools that can help you plan, manage and implement migrations.

1. Azure Migrate: Discovery and Assessment

This tool enables the discovery of servers running on-premises or in other clouds, including databases, virtual machines based on VMware or Hyper-V, and bare metal servers. You can use it to evaluate what is required to move these workloads to Azure.

2. Azure Migrate: Server Migration

This tool allows you to automatically migrate all of the above workloads to the Azure cloud. In some cases, you will need to address compatibility issues by applying fixes to the existing servers.

3. Data Migration Assistant

This is a stand-alone tool for assessing Microsoft SQL Server for cloud migration. You can migrate SQL Server to several destinations on Azure, including regular Azure VMs, the Azure SQL Database managed service, and Azure SQL Managed Instances. It allows you to identify potential issues that may prevent successful migration, highlights unsupported features, identifies new features you might want to adopt upon migration, and helps you plan an appropriate database migration path.

4. Azure Database Migration Service

This fully managed service can help you automatically migrate on-premise SQL Server databases to the same destinations on Azure. It minimizes downtime by automating the entire migration process and enabling smooth rollback in case of a problem.

Learn more in our detailed guide to Azure data migration tools

5. Movere

This software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform provides business intelligence for servers and workloads, by mapping out and analyzing an entire IT environment. It provides information that allows organizations to maintain visibility and control over environments as they partake in migration projects.

6. Web App Migration Assistant

This tool is designed to assess on-premises web applications or websites in preparation for migration to the Azure App Service. This includes .NET and PHP web applications.

7. Azure Data Box

Azure Data Box products are physical appliances that help you migrate large amounts of data from offline storage to Azure. The Data Box series includes an SSD disk with 8 TB of storage, a larger appliance with 100 TB of storage, and a Heavy Data Box that can store up to 1 PB of data and ship it to the Azure cloud.

Learn about additional migration tools and technologies provided by Azure in our our guide to Azure migration tools

4-Step Migration Plan with Azure Migrate

The following process can help you carry out a successful migration project using Azure Migrate.

1. Define Your Goals

You need to understand why you want to move to the cloud and articulate your business goals. You can then identify the best migration strategy for achieving those goals. Azure Migrate: Discovery and Assessment can help you assess your on-premises workloads and the best path for migrating them.

2. Understand your Digital Assets

Identify resources such as on-premises infrastructure, software and dependencies that you have in use. This allows you to optimize your workloads and costs.

The Discovery and Assessment tool can help you identify:

  • Existing workloads—the tool performs agentless discovery of physical servers and virtualized servers such as VMware and Hyper-V VMs, and collects server configuration, performance and application data.
  • Dependencies—the tool identifies and analyzes cross-server dependencies between workloads, informing migration and optimization strategies for interdependent servers. This helps you understand which servers are necessary or can be decommissioned, so you can avoid unexpected outages during migration.

3. Assess Migration Readiness/Suitability

This phase involves the following steps:

  • Server readiness analysis—an assessment report informs you of the Azure readiness of existing servers. If a server is deemed ready for Azure, it can be migrated without change. Otherwise, the analysis will inform you what level of changes are needed for the server to be migrated. Database assessments show the readiness of your database instances as status percentages.
  • Sizing recommendations—if a server is ready for Azure, the Discovery and Assessment tool offers sizing recommendations, identifying the disk type, Azure VM SKU, and pricing plan recommended for the server. Sizing recommendations can be based on performance history, or your on-premises server settings.
  • Data visualization—you can view your migration plan and drill down to Discovery and Assessment reports in the Azure Migrate portal.
  • Workload prioritization—a detailed inventory of existing assets lets you identify the applications and workloads you will migrate first, based on factors like business urgency, complexity, security, and compliance requirements.

4. Migrate

Try a test run in Azure Migrate before you implement the full migration. A test migration will help you understand the time involved and discover any potential problems so you can fix them first.

To implement a seamless full-scale migration, you can use these tools:

  • Azure Migrate: Server Migration—enables migration of VMs and on-premises servers with near-zero downtime.
  • Azure Data Migration Service (DMS)—enables migration from multiple databases with minimal downtime.

Learn more in our other articles about Azure migration processes:

Azure Migrate with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP capacity can scale into the petabytes, and it supports various use cases such as file services, databases, DevOps or any other enterprise workload, with a strong set of features including high availability, data protection, storage efficiencies, Kubernetes integration, and more.

In particular, Cloud Volumes ONTAP assists with lift and shift cloud migration while NetApp’s data replication tools SnapMirror® and Cloud Sync service will get your data to the cloud.

Learn more about how Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps to address the challenges of cloud migration in these Cloud Migration Case Studies.

New call-to-action

Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager