Migrate Your Virtual Machines to Microsoft Azure

The cloud is built around virtual machines, and if your own data center is based around virtual machines, your migration to the cloud can be easier than if you run physical servers. Here are some things you should think about when planning to transition your virtual machines to the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Understand Your Applications

Any cloud migration begins by understanding the applications to be migrated to the cloud and the resources they require. You’ll need to assess the CPU requirements, the storage needed for the virtual machines, and the storage needed for application data.

Consider Migration Alternatives

The simplest strategy for migrating to the cloud, “lift and shift,” is particularly appealing with virtual machines. In this approach, you simply take the existing virtual machine and deploy it to a server in the cloud. This can allow your migration to complete quickly. However, you should consider the alternatives and make a conscious decision to take this approach rather than using it by default. The alternatives include:

  • refactor. In this approach, you make relatively minor changes to your existing architecture. For example, you might take advantage of a cloud database service instead of supporting your own database.
  • rearchitect. More extensive than refactoring, rearchitecting requires completely revisiting and revising your applications to enable them to take full advantage of cloud. For example, applications may be rewritten in a service-oriented architecture.

Perform the Migration

If you plan to migrate your virtual machines through lift and shift, you can manually upload a VHD, but that takes a bit of work. Plan to use Azure Site Recovery instead, which will let you replicate your virtual machines to your Azure account.

Complete Your Cloud Migration

Getting your VM deployed in Azure isn’t the last step of the migration process. You’ll need to update configuration settings to reflect the new environment. You should also do a test to verify the applications are working well with solid performance. Make sure your site is secure by verifying settings in the Azure Security Center, and set up Azure Backup and Site Recovery to protect data.

Once everything is solid in your new Azure environment, it’s time to shutdown the VMs in your on-premises site and remove those servers from your operational support procedures. Be sure to update your documentation to include the new Azure implementation.

Get help planning and executing your Azure cloud migration with support from Prescient Solutions. Our IT consulting and managed services help Chicago businesses and organizations make a smooth transition to the cloud. As a Microsoft Partner, we bring deep understanding and expertise to developing Azure migration strategies that enable a seamless transition. Contact us to learn more about getting started in Microsoft Azure.

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