Setting Up the Appliance VM
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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. At this point, we're ready to set up our appliance VM. This appliance is going to perform VM discovery and gather VM metadata and performance data for my on-prem VMware virtual machines.

To set up this appliance, I need to download the appliance OVA template file, and then I need to import that into my vCenter Server. Once I have it imported into vCenter, I can create the appliance and then confirm that it can connect to Azure Migrate: Server Assessment. Once I've confirmed connectivity, I can then configure the appliance and then register it with my Azure Migrate project.

So let's start by downloading the OVA template for my appliance. To do this, I need to browse to my Migration goals here, and then down to Servers. Now from here, I need to browse to Azure Migrate: Server Assessment and that's what we have here. Now, from within this Server Assessment, I need to click Discover. Now, when I'm asked if my machines are virtualized, I need to answer yes with VMware vSphere Hypervisor. If we select our drop down, we can see we have a couple of different options, VMware, Hyper-V, or not virtualized. So we'll leave it set to VMware here. And then what I can do is download my OVA template file.

We can see here this is a 12 gig file. So this is going to take a while to come down, so we'll launch this download, and then we'll come back when the download is complete.

Now that my OVA is downloaded, I need to import it into vCenter. This will allow me to create a VM from it. So, to do this, I'm going to switch over to my vSphere Client and then drill down to my ESX host here. Now, from this screen here, I can go into Actions and then deploy an OVF template. Let's browse to my downloaded file here and we can see the Microsoft Azure Migration OVA. Go ahead and click Next. And now in this name and location area, I need to give my VM a name and I need to tell VMware in my inventory that my VM should be hosted.

We'll accept the default Microsoft Azure migration virtual machine name here, and we'll deploy it to our default data center. Now, the compute resource I select is going to be my only host in my VMware lab so we'll next it and what it's going to do here is validate the OVA file. I can review the template details here and then click Next.

On this storage screen, I need to specify the storage destination for my VM. I only have one data store so that's where we're going to deploy it. We can also leave our virtual disk format and storage policies set at their defaults. We'll go ahead and click Next here. And in the network selection screen here, I need to specify the network that my appliance VM is going to connect to.

In my VMware lab, I only have the one VM Network so we'll leave that at its default setting and then click Next. We'll review the settings here and if everything looks good, I'll click Finish. 

Now, this process is going to take a while to complete since it's deploying a full VM from the OVA template. What I'll do here is pause the video and then when we come back, we'll go in and we'll configure the new appliance.

Alrighty then, so now that I have my appliance deployed, I need to power it on and do some configuration. So let's go ahead and power on our VM here. Once this VM comes up, I'm going to just configure the timezone and the username and password for the machine. Let's go ahead and accept the license terms here and set up a password for my local admin. And we'll finish here and we'll go in and check our time zone. And now, what I typically do is I ensure that my Internet Explorer Security is disabled. I've found that that gives me more problems than it solves so we'll turn off the enhanced security. And what I'm also going to do here is turn off my Windows Firewall. Some security folks are going to have a cow when I tell you to do this. But again, this is another setting that I feel causes me more problems than it solves.

Now, at this point, I need to confirm that I can connect to my appliance using the app URL. What I'm going to do is open up an incognito browser here in my browser on my workstation and I'm going to browse to Port 44368 on my appliance VM. The URL of my web app or my appliance web app, I should say, is 92168.1.123, and it's on port 44368. It's going to tell me my connection isn't private, that's fine. And then, I prompt it to sign in.

We'll go ahead and type in our information that we just set up when we deployed the VM. So when I launch the app here, I need to set up my prerequisites, I need to accept the license terms, and then go through this little prerequisite check. So we'll go ahead and accept the license terms. And then what this app is going to do is confirm that my VM has internet access, and that its time is in sync with the internet time server. If it's not, the discovery won't work right.

Then my appliance is also going to look to ensure it has all of the latest updates, which it does. And then it checks to make sure that the VDDK is installed or the VMware vSphere Virtual Disk Development Kit. We'll go ahead and verify that. We can see here that it's not. Now, I can't install this from my workstation because it gets installed on the appliance. So what I'm going to do is hop over to my actual appliance VM here and launch the Microsoft Azure appliance Configuration Manager from the desktop. And that's exact same application that we just ran, but this time I'm running it locally.

What this will do is go through the same test, and then I can actually download the VDDK to my appliance and then install it. This VDDK is important because Azure Migrate Server Migration uses the VDDK to replicate machines during migration to Microsoft Azure. And again, we'll do a verify and install, we can see it's not here, so we'll download it. And then to do that, I need to log into my VMware account.

So I've logged in here. And what I can do is download the VMware vSphere Virtual Disk Development Kit. We'll go ahead and download it, we'll agree to the license and accept, and then we'll save this. We'll open up the folder where it's at. And so now, we have VDDK files here. If we switch back over to our Azure Migrate, it tells me to extract this downloaded file and place the contents in Program Files\VMware\VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit.

What we're going to do is copy these files and then we'll browse to C, Program Files, VMware, VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit. And then we'll paste them in. And what we'll do is we'll verify and install, and we can see that we now have a green check box. At this point, we can continue on with our configuration of our appliance and at this stage, we're going to register it with Azure Migrate, so we'll go ahead and click Continue here.

Remember, I'm logged into my local server now, the actual local appliance, I'm not doing this from my workstation anymore. And then from here, we need to log in to Azure to proceed with the registration. I'm going to log in to Azure with my admin account that I'm using as part of this setup. 

Let's go ahead and log in. And we'll log in. Now, we can see here that we get a window that tells us, "You have signed in to the Microsoft Azure PowerShell application on your device. You may now close this window."

So we'll close our window and switch back to our application. And now from my registration screen here, I need to select my lab subscription and I need to select my migrate project. Remember the Azure Migrate RG that we created, the resource group and then the migrate VMs project? That's what we're selecting here. And then I need to give my appliance a name. If we hover over the question mark here, we can see that it can't start with a digit, it needs to contain alphanumeric characters or hyphens, no consecutive hyphens, the typical, nothing weird for the name, so we'll just call this MyAppliance, and then, we'll go ahead and register. And there you have it, we're now successfully registered.

Man, that was a lot of work. So let's take a break and we'll pick back up in the next lesson where we'll continue on by clicking Continue here. And what I'll do is I'll show you how to configure continuous discovery after we specify the vCenter Server.

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.