Migrating Servers To Azure
Migrating a Physical Server from On-Prem to Azure with ASR
The course is part of these learning paths
With the push to the cloud accelerating, it’s critical to understand how to migrate on-prem servers to Microsoft Azure. As an IT professional, you are likely to encounter situations where you need to plan and execute such migrations.
In this course, you will learn how to evaluate migration scenarios by using Azure Migrate. We’ll cover the discovery and assessment of on-prem VMware environments and how to identify workloads that can and cannot be deployed. You’ll also learn about Azure Migrate port requirements and how to determine if the target environment is supported for a migration.
Later in the course, you will learn how to deploy and configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) and how to use it to migrate an on-prem server to Microsoft Azure. You’ll also learn how to configure storage, create a backup vault, and how to prepare the source and target environments ahead of a migration.
The topics covered in this Azure course map very closely to learning objectives covered in the Microsoft Azure certification exams. By mastering the topics covered in this course, the student not only learns skills necessary for assessing environments for migration suitability and for performing those migrations, but the student also learns skills necessary to prepare for certification exams.
- Discover and Assess On-Prem VMware Environment
- identify Workloads that Can and Cannot be Deployed
- Identify Port Requirements
- Identify Necessary Changes to Networks
- Account Setup
Migrate Servers to Azure
- Migrate with Azure Site Recovery (ASR)
- Configure Storage and Create a Backup Vault
- Prepare Source and Target Environments
- Deploy Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Agent
- Network Preparation
- IT Professionals interested in becoming Azure cloud architects
- IT Professionals preparing for Microsoft’s Azure certification exams
- General knowledge of IT infrastructure
- General knowledge of the Azure environment
The assessment includes information about the on-premises VMs and will indicate which ones are compatible with Microsoft Azure. The assessment will also indicate the right VM size for running the VM in Azure, along with estimated monthly Azure costs. The assessment's Azure readiness view shows the readiness status of each virtual machine. Additionally, depending on the properties of the VMs, each can be marked as ready for Azure, conditionally ready for Azure, not ready for Azure, or readiness unknown. For VMs that are marked as ready, Azure Migrate recommends a VM size in Azure. The size recommendation is based on the sizing criterion specified in the assessment properties. For virtual machines classified as not ready or conditionally ready for Azure, Azure Migrate provides explanations for the readiness issues and offers remediation steps. VMs that Azure Migrate cannot identify Azure readiness for are marked as readiness unknown. This is often due to data unavailability for those affected machines. Azure Migrate also provides the overall compute and storage cost of running the virtual machines in Microsoft Azure. It also provides details for each machine.
The cost estimates that Azure Migrate offers are based on the size recommendations it makes, however it's important to note that the cost estimates provided are for running the on-prem VMs as Azure Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS VMs. Azure Migrate doesn't consider Platform as a service or Software as a service costs. It bases it strictly on infrastructure VM costs and storage costs, which are aggregated for all VMs in the group. When it performs an assessment, Azure Migrate provides a confidence rating that ranges from one star to five stars. One star is the lowest rating while five stars is the highest. The confidence rating provided is assigned to an assessment and it's based on the availability of data points collected. Assessment confidence ratings help the administrator estimate the reliability of the size recommendations that are provided by Azure Migrate. As far as performance-based sizing goes, Azure Migrate requires the utilization data for CPU and memory for each VM. In addition, Azure Migrate needs the disk IOPS and throughput data for every disk attached to the virtual machines. It also needs the network in and out statistics for each network adaptor attached to a VM in order to offer performance-based sizing. If any of these statistics are not available in vCenter Server, it's possible that the size recommendations made by Azure Migrate may not be entirely reliable. As such, based on what data points are available the confidence rating for the assessment is provided as shown on your screen. There are several reasons why an assessment may not have all data points available.
For example, if the statistics setting in vCenter Server is not set to level 3, some data, including performance data for disk and network is not collected and will be missing. This causes Azure to make the recommendations for disk and network that are not utilization based. This is because without considering IOPS or disk throughput, Azure Migrate cannot identify if the disk will need to be a premium disk in Azure. As such, Azure Migrate simply recommends standard disks for all disks. Data points can also go missing if the statistics setting in vCenter Server was set to level 3 for a short duration. For example, if the statistics setting is changed from 1 to 3 20 minutes before kicking off a discovery, data points are obviously going to be missing. As such, it's best to ensure that the statistics settings are set to 3 at least a month before you perform the discovery and assessment of the environment. Another cause of missing data is the number of VMs created and shutdown during the period of assessment. For example, if you are capturing data for five virtual machines, but those virtual machines are shutdown every night, that's obviously going to impact what data is available to be captured. Similarly, if you're creating an assessment of performance history over the last month but have only just recently created a few VMs in the last couple days, the performance history of the new VMs will not be there for the entire duration.
As you can see, there are quite a few common reasons for missing data. As such, it's best to ensure that the statistics setting is set to 3 in vCenter long before you attempt an assessment. If you find that the confidence rating of any assessment is below four stars, Microsoft recommends ensuring the statistic setting is set to 3 and then waiting for the duration that you want to consider for assessment. If you want to perform an assessment for a month, wait a month before doing discovery and assessment. If these recommendations are not followed, performance-based sizing may not be reliable. In such cases, Microsoft recommends switching the assessment to on-prem sizing by changing the assessment properties prior to running the assessment.
About the Author
Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.
In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.
In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.