Replicating VMs
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1h 34m

With the push to the cloud accelerating, it’s critical to understand how to migrate on-premises servers to Microsoft Azure. As an IT professional, you are likely to encounter situations where you need to plan and execute such migrations.

This course provides an overview of the Azure Migrate offering and the various Azure Migrate integrations that are available, before moving on to assessing and migrating VMware virtual machines, Hyper-V machines, and physical machines.

After preparing for migration, this course will walk you through a guided demonstration of an actual assessment and migration of a VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Azure. By the time you finish this course, you should have a full understanding of the Azure Migrate Service and the different options that are available for using it to migrate servers to Microsoft Azure.

If you have any feedback, comments, or questions about this course, please write to us at

Learning Objectives

  • Assess and migrate VMware virtual machines, Hyper-V machines, and physical machines
  • Set up and prepare Azure and VMware for Azure Migrate
  • Learn about the Azure Migrate Server Migration tool, appliance VMs, and continuous discovery
  • Understand all the steps necessary to carry out the migration of a VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Azure

Intended Audience

  • IT professionals interested in becoming Azure cloud architects or preparing for Microsoft’s Azure certification exams
  • IT professionals tasked with managing and supporting Azure virtual machines


  • General knowledge of IT infrastructure
  • General knowledge of the Azure environment and VMware



Welcome back. We're coming down the homestretch here at this point. What we're going to do now is begin replication of my APPO1 VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Azure.

Although it's not going to be a problem for us in this exercise, I should point out that you can only replicate up to 10 machines together. If you need to replicate more than that, what you need to do is replicate them in batches of 10. For agentless migrations, you can run up to 100 simultaneous replications. We're only doing one VM here, so this is a non-issue for this demonstration.

So with that caveat out of the way, what I need to do here is browse to Servers under Azure Migrate Servers and we can see that's the page we're on right now. From this page, if I go down under Migration tools and I can see my Azure Migrate Server Migration, I can click the Replicate link here. And this page here is where I'm going to configure my replication.

In my Source settings here, when I'm asked if my machines are virtualized, I need to answer yes here with VMware vSphere because that's where we're running it. And then the on-prem appliance dropdown allows me to select the appliance that I set up earlier in the lab demonstration. Clicking Next here takes me to the next piece of my configuration here.

Now, under Virtual machines, I need to choose the machines that I want to replicate. Since I ran an assessment for my VMs, I can apply the VM sizing and disk type recommendations from the assessment results. Now, to do this, I simply select this dropdown for import migration settings and select yes to apply my migration settings from an Azure Migrate assessment. And then I need to select the VM group and the assessment itself.

Remember, we created a group called MyVMs. And the assessment was called MyAssessment. Now, under Virtual machines here, I can either search for my VM or I can select it from my list. I'm going to migrate APPO1, so we'll select APPO1. And then we'll configure our Target settings.

In Target settings here I need to specify a region and my subscription for my migration. I need to also specify the resource group where I want my VMs to reside. So what I'm going to here is leave this set at West US 2. And, of course, we're deploying into our lab subscription. And then I'll select the resource group that we created earlier.

In Virtual Network and Subnet here, I have to tell Azure which virtual network and subnet that my VM should connect to once it's been migrated. So I'll select my existing Azure VNet and what this does is populate the Subnet dropdown with the default subnet. So we'll use these for the migration. I'm not going to apply any Azure Hybrid Benefit here so I'll leave this set to No, and then just click Next to configure compute here.

In this Compute tab, I can review the name of the VM, the size, the OS disk type and any availability set that this migrated VM will go into. Because I'm using assessment recommendations, the VM size dropdown is going to show the recommended size from the assessment. Now I could pick a manual size here if I wanted to but I'll leave this as it is for now.

Under OS Disk, I need to specify the OS disk for my VM. This is the disk that includes the operating system, boot loader and installer. We only have one disk here, so there's really no selection to make. If my VM needs to be in an Azure availability set after migration, I can specify it here. Of course, the availability set that I specify must be in the target resource group that I specified for the migration. I don't have any availability sets defined here, so I'll leave this alone.

We'll click Next to look at our disks. And in Disks, I need to tell Azure if my VM disks should be replicated. If they do, I need to choose the disk type that Azure should use. I have a choice of Standard or Premium. Now the Standard options are two-flavored, HDD or SSD. What I'm going to do is tell my migration to replicate all disks. Again, we only have the one disk here. And then we'll go ahead and click Next to review our settings here.

From here, I can review all of my replication settings and then I can click Replicate to start my replication. This replication obviously can take a while.

Now, because this is the first VM that I'm replicating in the Azure Migrate project, Azure Migrate Server Migration is going to automatically provision several different resources in the same resource group as my project. It's going to provision Service Bus because Azure Migrate Server Migration uses the Service Bus to send replication orchestration messages to the appliance.

A gateway storage account is also going to be provisioned. This is because server migration uses the gateway storage account to store state information about the VMs being replicated. Another resource that will be deployed is a log storage account. The log storage account holds the replication logs that the Azure Migrate appliance uploads. And a key vault is also provisioned. The Azure Migrate appliance uses the key vault to manage connection strings for the Service Bus, as well as access keys for the storage accounts that are used in replication. And what we'll do is we'll bounce over to our Azure Migrate resource group. And we can see this stuff being created here. We can see the Key vault, Recovery Services vault, we can see the Service Bus, the Storage Account, all these resources being deployed.

During replication, a VM snapshot is created. Disk data from that snapshot is then replicated to replica-managed disks in Azure. After the initial replication completes, a delta replication then begins. The delta replication captures incremental changes to the on-prem disks and then periodically replicates those changes to the replicate disks in Azure.

I can monitor my replication status by going back over to my Azure Migrate and then refreshing. If we select Replicating Servers here, we can then click Overview. We can see we have no attention required, we have no failed jobs and we do have one replication in progress here. So what we'll do is we'll let this replication finish and this could take minutes or it can take hours depending on the size of the VM being replicated. In any event, we'll let this go and then what I'll do is I'll come back in the next demonstration where we'll actually run a test migration.

About the Author
Learning Paths

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.