Cloud Migration with Azure Migrate | HCLTech

Cloud Migration with Azure Migrate

Cloud Migration with Azure Migrate
September 15, 2021

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving existing applications and data from the premises to the cloud. Migration can be partial or complete depending upon the business strategy of the enterprise.

Why Cloud Migration?

There can be several reasons that drive the need for cloud migration, such as the lack of:

  • High availability
  • Speed and agility in cloud environment setup
  • Ease in scalability of resources
  • Efficient operations and enablement of a collaborative environment for the team
  • Cost-effectiveness with options like a “pay-as-you-use” model

Generic Approach for Cloud Migration

All workload migrations to the cloud— including databases— typically follow a six-step process. Factors such as the types of workloads, the complexity of the existing digital estate, and industry or governmental compliance requirements might require special planning and tools, but the six steps are almost always the same:

  • Define strategy: Define your business justification and expected outcomes.
  • Plan: Align actionable adoption plans to business outcomes.
  • Ready: Prepare your environment for your planned cloud adoption changes.
  • Adopt: Move your workloads to the cloud environment.
  • Govern: Benchmark and implement governance best practices for your environment and workloads.
  • Manage: Use proven methodologies to manage your cloud and hybrid solutions.

Azure Migrate Overview

Azure Migrate provides a centralized hub to assess and migrate to Azure on-premises servers, infrastructure, applications, and data.

Where Azure Migrate Can Be Applied

Azure Migrate provides a centralized hub to assess and migrate to Azure on-premises servers, infrastructure, applications, and data.

Azure Migrate features tools and services that support the assessment and migration steps of your cloud migration journey. Azure Migrate supports the assessment and migration for the below workloads:

  • Server Migration
  • Database Migration
  • Web Application Migration
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Migration
  • Large-Scale Data Migration
  • Linux and Open-Source Database Migration
  • SAP Migration
  • Specialized Workloads like Azure NetApp Files, Oracle on Azure, Cray in Azure

Migration Process Using Azure Migrate

helps you discover, assess, and migrate on-premises servers, apps, and data to Microsoft Azure Cloud. Below is the process to be followed:

  • Discovery and Assessment

    The Azure Migrate: Discovery and assessment tool discovers and assesses on-premises VMware VMs, Hyper-V VMs, and physical servers for migration to Azure.

    Here's what it does:

    1. Azure readiness: Assesses whether on-premises servers are ready for migration to Azure.
    2. Azure sizing: Estimates the size of Azure VMs/Azure SQL configuration/number of Azure VMware Solution nodes after migration.
    3. Azure cost estimation: Estimates costs for running on-premises servers in Azure.
    4. Dependency analysis: Identifies cross-server dependencies and optimization strategies for moving interdependent servers to Azure.

    Discovery and assessment use a lightweight Azure Migrate appliance that you deploy on-premises.

    1. The appliance runs on a VM or physical server. You can install it easily using a downloaded template.
    2. The appliance discovers on-premises servers. It also continually sends server metadata and performance data to Azure Migrate.
    3. Appliance discovery is agentless. Nothing is installed on discovered servers.
    4. After appliance discovery, you can gather discovered servers into groups and run assessments for each group.
  • Migrate: Upon completion of discovery and assessment, use the Azure Migrate Server Migration tool and the Azure Data Migration Service (DMS) for a seamless and integrated migration with end-to-end tracking.
    1. With the Server Migration tool, you can migrate on-premises VMs and servers, or VMs located in other private or public cloud (including AWS, GCP) with around zero downtime.
    2. Azure DMS provides a fully managed service that's designed to enable seamless migrations from multiple database sources to Azure Data platforms, with minimal downtime.
  • Manage: Manage Azure Migrate projects at scale. Azure Lighthouse integration with Azure Migrate lets service providers discover, assess, and migrate workloads for different customers at scale, while allowing customers to have full visibility and control of their environments.

Detailed steps to be performed for migration using Azure Migrate:

For ISV tools and Azure Database Migration Assistant, allow access to the public cloud URLs summarized in the table. If you're using a URL-based proxy to connect to the internet, make sure that the proxy resolves any CNAME records received while looking up the URLs.

The Azure Migrate App Containerization tool helps you to:

  1. Create an Azure Migrate Project.

    Project is used to store discovery, assessment, and migration metadata collected from the environment you're assessing or migrating. In a project, you can track discovered assets, create assessments, and orchestrate migrations to Azure.


  2. Select “Assessment tool”. Available “Assessment tool” options include:
    2. Movere (Microsoft-Acquired)
    4. Corent Technology
    5. Device42
    6. Turbonomic
    7. UnifyCloud


  3. Discover and assess your environment with “Assessment tool”.


  4. Use details from discovery to assess essential migration issues..


  5. Select migration tools like Azure Migrate, or Movere, or Carbonite, or RackWare, or Zerto, etc.
    1. If you use Azure Migrate Server Migration, you can set up and run migrations directly in the Azure Migrate project.
    2. If you use a third-party assessment tool, navigate to the link provided for the independent software vendor (ISV), and run the migration in accordance with the instructions provided by the third party.

    If you've added an ISV tool or Movere to an Azure Migrate project, there are a few steps to follow before you link the tool and send data to Azure Migrate.

    Your Azure user account needs these permissions:

    1. Check Azure Active Directory permissions
      1. Permission to register an Azure Active Directory app with your Azure tenant
      2. Permission to allocate a role to the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) app at the subscription level
    2. Set permissions to register an Azure AD app
    3. Set permissions to assign a role to an Azure AD app
    4. Allow access to URLs

    For ISV tools and Azure Database Migration Assistant, allow access to the public cloud URLs summarized in the table. If you're using a URL-based proxy to connect to the internet, make sure that the proxy resolves any CNAME records received while looking up the URLs.




    Navigate to the Azure portal.


    Sign into your Azure subscription.


    Create Azure Active Directory (AD) apps for the appliance to communicate with Azure Migrate.

    Make Azure Resource Manager calls to the Azure Migrate Project.


    Communication between the appliance and EventHub for sending the messages.

  6. Migrate assets to Azure with “Migration tool”.


  7. Containerize the application using the Azure Migrate App Containerization Tool and deploy them on Azure Kubernetes Service or Linux Containers.
    1. Discover your application: The tool remotely connects to the application servers running your ASP.NET application and discovers the application components. The tool creates a Docker file that can be used to create a container image for the application.
    2. Build the container image: You can inspect and further customize the Docker file as per your application requirements and use that to build your application container image. The application container image is pushed to an Azure Container Registry you specify.
    3. Deploy to Azure Kubernetes Service: The tool then generates the Kubernetes resource definition YAML files needed to deploy the containerized application to your Azure Kubernetes Service cluster. You can customize the YAML files and use them to deploy the application on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

      Steps to Containerize:

      1. Set up an Azure account.
      2. Install the Azure Migrate: App Containerization tool.
      3. Discover your ASP.NET application.
      4. Build the container image.
      5. Deploy the containerized application on AKS.
  8. Manage using Azure Lighthouse: Azure Lighthouse integration with Azure Migrate simplifies the migration process, enabling service providers to discover, assess, and migrate workloads for different customers at scale while customers still have full visibility and control of their environments.

    Two commonly used scenarios to perform migrations via Azure Lighthouse:

    • Option 1: Create Azure Migrate project in the customer tenant

      In this scenario, no resources will be created or stored in the managing tenant.

      Discovery, assessment, and migration can be initiated from the managing tenant and set the customer tenant/subscription as target for the migrated resources.

      This approach minimizes context switching for service providers working across multiple customers, while letting customers keep all their resources in their own tenants.

    • Option 2: Create Azure Migrate project in the managing tenant

      In this scenario, Azure Migrate project and related resources for the project, including discovery and assessment data, will reside in the managing tenant. The assessments can be exported and shared with customers.

      Required actions will be initiated from the managing Azure tenant while setting customer tenant/subscription as the target for migration resources.

      This approach enables services providers to start migration discovery and assessment projects quickly, abstracting away those initial steps from customer subscriptions and tenants.

Summary of Services Offered by Azure Migrate

  • Discovery, assessment, and dependency analysis of agent-less applications using Movere (Microsoft-Acquired).
  • On-premises VMware VMs, Hyper-V VMs, and physical server migration
  • SQL Server (2005-2019) and Amazon RDS for SQL server migration
  • .Net, PHP, Java, Linux Web apps migration
  • Import/export terabytes of data offline using Azure Data Box
  • Performance-based rightsizing, cost planning, import-based assessments.
  • ISV integration support for assessment/migration
  • Containerization of applications using the Azure Migrate App Containerization tool
  • Support across different geographies like Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland, UAE, UK and US.
  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) as the default identity and access management service

A case in point

AIA Singapore is a subsidiary of AIA Group Limited, a leader in life insurance and financial services with branches and subsidiaries across 18 Asia-Pacific markets. Since 1931, AIA Singapore has been serving generations of Singaporeans, supporting them throughout their lives. Always innovating, the company made headlines a few years ago when it launched a mobile first for the industry— an interactive point-of-sale (iPoS) system. The app helps AIA Insurance representative’s speed-up policy applications and get customers covered. But with unpredictable spikes in traffic and underutilized on-premises servers, the company wanted cloud efficiencies and a more modern platform. Using the latest event-driven architecture (EDA), for example, AIA Singapore could further improve the scalability of the system.

The iPoS app is just one of many vital, Java-based workloads that the company had moved to Azure. A new hybrid architecture benefits from open-source components, platform as-a-Service (PaaS) including Azure Kubernetes Service, and the migration of a legacy Sybase database to an Azure SQL Managed Instance. This cloud transformation provides a more cost-effective way for AIA Singapore to deliver more innovation to its customers and encapsulates an exciting environment that attracts high-quality talent and aims to build an open technology culture with the latest tech stack.

Cloud migration is a major step in our digital transformation and cloud transformation journey. It has allowed us to accelerate the delivery of new and more innovative services to our customers while further increasing the productivity of our AIA Insurance Representatives with the latest Microsoft Azure cloud-native technologies. 

Bao Wen Qing: Head of Infrastructure Engineering and Services

AIA Singapore

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