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Migration to Azure with Azure Migrate using Lift and Shift

20-Oct, 2021
Migration to Azure with Azure Migrate using Lift and Shift

Tags: Azure migration, azure migrate, lift and shift, migration with lift and shift, azure migration using lift and shift, on-premise to cloud.
Abstract: This blog gives detailed information about Azure Migrate tools and services and migration with Azure migrate with Lift and Shift method. 

Cloud computing is the need of the hour. It enables the business or organization to access the application and data quickly than the traditional on-premise setup of applications and databases. Cloud computing enables businesses to view, access, and work on data & applications in real-time. The reason cloud computing has become so crucial is running applications or programs on a physical computer or server creates inconvenience.

Cloud computing has eliminated the need of keeping the applications and data on physical computers or servers, as everything including the data and application can all be installed on the cloud, where multiple users can access the same application simultaneously in real-time. This gives cloud computing an edge in improving the overall efficiency of business processes. Cloud computing is extremely flexible and scalable, hence the increase in demands and traffic can be easily met. 

Migration to the cloud enables the business to operate with improved security, provides data and app modernization, and decreases the cost of IT operations with improved performance. The disparity between cloud and on-premise is huge, and everyday cloud platforms are striving hard to modernize their data platforms to leverage new-age applications. Migration to the cloud with third-party organizations helps the companies to cut the cost of security and management of cloud platforms on their own. 

Lift and Shift migration to cloud

Lift and shift migration is the method that refers to the migration onto the cloud with minimum or no redesigning of applications. Enterprises migrating to the cloud are looking for modernization, innovation, and explore new business benefits. Lift and shift migration is the easiest and most cost-effective migration approach or method while migrating applications and databases to cloud computing platforms. The key advantage of lift and shift is no change or minuscule change in application architecture is required after migration. 
The lift and shift method of migration is also known as rehosting. In the case of legacy applications, rehosting is the best approach for enterprises to cut operational and IT cost. Replicating the application and database in the cloud environment, the organizations or enterprises can take full advantage of benefits like auto-scaling, improved agility, security, and pay per consumption. Furthermore, rehosting or replicating the application on a cloud environment needs no deep knowledge of cloud computing. Lift and shift is the fastest way to move on the cloud from on-premise.

Fig 1. Life and Shift migration strategy

There are plethora of benefits of moving to the cloud using lift and shift. Here are some of the benefits listed below to get a glimpse of why the lift and shift method is better:

  • Lift and shift let the enterprise move on the cloud quickly and easily without spending much on migration and no interruption in service. 
  • With the migration of applications and databases on the cloud, the enterprise gains much-improved performance due to better performing hardware.
  • Pay per consumption in lift and shift gives better control over compute, additional hardware, and network bandwidth.
  • Lift and shift facilitate the organization to scale an application without purchasing and installing new servers during peak traffic periods. 
  • Migration of application and database using lift and shift enables the organization to move replica of application on the cloud without any change. 

What is Azure Migrate?

Azure Migrate is the service provided by Microsoft that assists the organization or enterprise in assessing the performance of their on-premises workload, and the cost of moving the workload on the Azure public cloud. Azure Migrate only provides the services that help the organization in planning migration to the Azure public cloud, but it does not transfer the on-premises workload onto the cloud environment. 

Migration to Azure public cloud environment can be achieved with Azure Site Recovery or Azure Database Migration Service. Azure Migrate services include discovery, assessment, and Server Migration. Servers, databases, web applications, virtual machines, and data can be transferred from an on-premise to cloud environment with a range of tools and services provided by Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate also helps an enterprise in dependency mapping to visualize resource dependencies for a single or group of Virtual Machines (VMs).        

To use the Azure Migrate service, an organization needs to create an Azure Migrate Project via Azure Portal. After creating the Azure Migrate project, it needs to download Open Virtualization Appliance —. ova — file, and import the file .ova file on Virtual Machine called Collector Appliance. That collector appliance will collect the metadata about all the on-premises VMs and supply that information to Azure Migrate Service. To enable dependency mapping, the organization needs to install agents. After collecting the metadata, Azure Migrate will determine the type and size of VM in the Azure public cloud that offers the best performance to handle the on-premises workload. 

Migration to Azure public cloud using Lift and Shift method with Azure Migrate

Lift and shift migration to cloud from on-premises has been simplified with Azure Migrate. Migration to Azure public cloud became easy without any downtime in operations with lift and shift method. Microsoft also provides assessment tools to calculate the cost of VMs and dependencies. Azure Site Recovery enables the enterprise to test the workloads before going live on a test virtual network separate from production. 

To migrate applications and databases from on-premises to Azure public cloud using Azure Migrate services, follow the steps given below. 

Step 1: Prepare Azure for Azure Migrate: Server Migration

  • From Azure Migrate, download the OVA image and then import it into Virtual Machines
  • Start the imported image and then configure the tool with the following steps.

           -    Set up the prerequisites 
           -    Point tool to the Azure Subscription
           -    Set VMware vCenter credentials
           -    Add any windows-based credentials for the discovery/ assessment 

After the successful completion of configuration, the tool will take some time to evaluate all the Virtual Machines. When the process completes, the VMs will populate in the Azure Migrate Tool in Azure.

Download the Azure Windows Agent to enable dependency mapping.

Step 2: Replicate on-premises Virtual Machines

  • In Azure Migrate project, go to Servers, then Azure Migrate: Server Migration. Then select Replicate.
  • In Replicate, select Source Setting. Select Yes, with VMware vSphere from Are your machines virtualized dropdown. 
  • Select the Azure Migrate appliance that you have set up in an On-premise appliance. Click on Next: Virtual Machines.
  • Select the machines you want to replicate in Virtual Machines. To apply VM sizing and disk type assessment if you have run the assessment, then select Yes, from Import migration settings from an assessment? otherwise, select No.
  • In Virtual Machines, search for the Virtual Machine you want to migrate and click check each VM that you want to migrate. Then select Next: Target Settings.
  • In Target settings, select the target region and subscription. Specify the resource group in which the Virtual Machines will reside after migration. 
  • Select the Azure VNet/subnet which the Azure VMs join after migration in Virtual Network. 
  • In Azure Hybrid Benefit, Select No if you don’t want to apply for Azure Hybrid benefit, then click Next: Compute. If you have Windows Server machines that are covered with active Software Assurance or Windows Server Subscription, and to apply Azure Hybrid Benefit to the machines you are migrating, then select Yes, then click Next: Compute.
  • In Compute, review VM name, size, availability set, and OS disk type. Virtual Machines should conform with the Azure requirements.

           - VM size: VM size dropdown will show recommended VM size if you are using the assessment recommendation. Otherwise, Azure Migrate will pick the closest size based on the Azure subscription. You can also pick the VM size manually. 
           - OS disk: OS disk is the disk that contains the operating system bootloader and installer. Specify the OS (boot) disk for the Virtual Machine in OS disk.
           - Availability Set: If the Virtual Machine will reside in the Azure availability set post-migration, specify the availability set. The specified set must be in the target resource group that is specified for the migration.

  • In Disk, specify whether the Virtual Machine disks should be replicated to Azure, and then select the disk type. Click Next.
  • In Review and state replication, review the settings once, and then click Replicate to commence the initial replication for the servers. 

Step 3: Run a test migration

As the replication process begins, run a test migration for the Virtual Machines, before running a full migration on Azure.

Test migration checks that the migration is working as expected without affecting and interrupting the on-premise operations, and continues to replicate. 

To perform a test migration, follow the steps as follows:

  • As the migration job finishes, click on Test Migration.
  • Post selecting the Test Migration, select Azure Vnet in which Azure VM will be located after migration. 
  • The test migration job will state. Monitor the job in the portal notifications. 
  • After the migration completes, view the migrated Azure Virtual Machines in Azure Portal. The machine name has a suffix -test.
  • After testing is done, right-click the Azure Virtual Machine Replication Machines, and click on Clean up test migration.

Migrate the Virtual Machines

If the test migration runs as expected after the test migration, it is time for migration.

  • In the Azure Migrate project, select Servers, then select Azure Migrate: Server Migration, click on Replicating Servers.
  • In Replicating Machines, right-click on the VM, and then Migrate.
  • In Migrate, click on Shut down virtual machines and perform a planned migration with no data loss, select Yes, and then click OK.

Complete the migration process

  • After the migration process completes, right on VM, and click on Stop replication. This will stop the replication for the on-premise machine, clean up replication state information for the VM.
  • Perform the remaining post-migration app tweaks, like updating the database connection strings, and web server configuration. 
  • Perform final application and migration acceptance testing on the migrated applications running on Azure. 
  • Remove on-premise Virtual Machines from local VM inventory. 
  • Remove local VM backups. 
  • Update the internal documentation to show the new location and IP addresses of the Azure virtual machines. 

Migrating the Application on Azure cloud with Azure Migrate

Migrating the application with Azure Migrate enables the application to run in a cloud environment which makes it agile, fast, and improves security. Increased speed and simultaneous access to the application on the cloud give the application an edge in performance. 

To migration the application with Azure Migration, follow the steps given below:

  • Login to Azure accounts with a subscription before starting the migration process. Click on Copy Code and Open Browser.
  • Azure will create the necessary Azure resources to create and migrate content to the new application. Fill in all the information and click on Migrate.
  • Wait until the migration process completes. It may take few minutes to complete. Once the process is complete, proceed to the next step. 
  • After the successful completion of the migration process, the application is ready to run on Azure.

It is necessary to change the on-premise SQL database connection string to migrated Azure database connection string in the config.json file of the application. 

  • Login in the Azure portal, search for App Services, click on the App Services and select the web application name you have just migrated previously. 
  • Then click on Advanced Tools and then click on Go.
  • Kudu will open.

           -To view the folder structure of the published web application, simply click on Debug Console and select CMD.
           -Go to the path where the config file is present. 
           -On-premise database connection string.
           -Update the Azure database connection string and click Save.
           -Go to Resource Group where the web application is migrated.
           -Click on Web App and click on Restart.
           -The database connection string is successfully updated, now check the migrated application is working and running on Azure. 

Benefits of Azure Migrate

  • Azure Migrate helps in reducing resources, maintenance, and real-estate cost, and also optimizes the workload. 
  • An enterprise that opts for Azure Migrate services gains flexibility and scalability. Whenever demand spikes, an enterprise can alter its resources instantly on-demand. 
  • Clouds have enhanced built-in security features and specialized security tools to ensure that organization resources, data, and applications are protected. 
  • Clouds have specialized and customized offerings to seamlessly meet the compliance requirements—ideally suited for the industries like finance, healthcare, and government. 
  • One-click backup the data and applications and recovery capability. 

Fig 2. Benefits of Azure Migrate

Click2Cloud’s contribution towards Microsoft Azure Migration

Click2Cloud is one of the leading cloud solutions and service providers. Click2Cloud provides various services in Microsoft Azure Migrate and Azure Migration. They provide end-to-end support in migration with Azure Migrate. Click2Cloud enables the enterprise to in simple migration with Azure Migrate and assists in the process, with support and service. Click2Cloud being a gold partner with Microsoft and Microsoft Azure provides unique and flexible solutions in Azure Migration with Azure Migrate. 
Above mentioned steps to perform Migration using Lift and Shift via Clouds Brain can be viewed in this video. Go through this video to know in details about the steps of migration.

Also get the attached Git link for more updates on Azure Migrate using Lift and Shift approach.

Conclusion

To summarize, Microsoft Azure Migrate provides flexible options to migrate to cloud environments with the Lift and Shift method for moving on the cloud. Lift and shift is a cost-effective solution for shifting to the cloud without redesigning the entire application and provides a viable solution for applications and databases to run on the cloud. 

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