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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Announces Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery Enhancements

Microsoft Announces Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery Enhancements

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Last week, Microsoft announced several enhancements to their Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery services. The changes in the announcement include additional geographies for storing discovery and assessment metadata, along with additional supported options for migrations.

In conjunction the Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery services can support an implementation of a lift and shift strategy, which is often one of the first steps in the move to the cloud. However, it is always essential to consider if rehosting is the best approach, instead of implementing a more cloud-native solution, as explained by Margaret Rouse, technical writer, and director of WhatIs.com.

The lift-and-shift approach is a common option for replicating on-premises apps in the cloud while avoiding costly, time-consuming re-design. However, legacy colocation applications that are lifted and shifted to the cloud may not be able to take full advantage of the cost-efficiencies of native cloud features such as ephemeral compute and autoscaling.

Azure Migrate assesses on-premises environments to advise on a migration strategy to Azure. The service takes into consideration the suitability and performance of existing machines and provides recommendations around the optimal choice for substituting virtual machines in Azure. Subsequently, Azure Migrate creates a report indicating the effort and consequences of moving the workload to Azure, as found in the documentation.

  • Assess Azure readiness: Assess whether your on-premises machines are suitable for running in Azure.
  • Get size recommendations: Get size recommendations for Azure VMs based on the performance history of on-premises VMs.
  • Estimate monthly costs: Get estimated costs for running on-premises machines in Azure.
  • Migrate with high confidence: Visualize dependencies of on-premises machines to create groups of machines that you will assess and migrate together.

With this announcement, it is now possible to store the discovery and assessment metadata produced in additional geographies. Besides the already available West Central US and East US regions, the choice is now also available to store this data in North Europe, West Europe, and U.S. Gov Virginia. Important to realize, however, is that by default it is only possible to select the geography, either United States, Europe, or Azure Government, which stores the data in one of the associated regions. If the storage of the data needs to be in a specific region, this is possible through the REST API.

Azure Site Recovery is one of the services which can take the output of Azure Migrate's assessment to execute the migration of the discovered servers, in addition to providing disaster recovery as a service. Essentially, the service offers backup and site recovery services for on-premises, Azure, and Azure Stack VMs, and physical machines.

  • Site Recovery service: Site Recovery helps ensure business continuity by keeping business apps and workloads running during outages. Site Recovery replicates workloads running on physical and virtual machines (VMs) from a primary site to a secondary location. When an outage occurs at your primary site, you fail over to secondary location, and access apps from there. After the primary location is running again, you can fail back to it.
  • Backup service: The Azure Backup service keeps your data safe and recoverable by backing it up to Azure.

The enhancements of this service focus on bringing added options for workloads to migrate. For example, support is now available for physical servers with UEFI boot type, allowing to migrate these machines to Azure virtual machines. Additionally, Linux disk support is expanded, providing support for specific directories, like /(root), /boot and /usr, to be on different disks than the operating system disk, as well as supporting the /boot directory on an LVM volume. Finally, Azure Site Recovery now supports extra sources, including various OS versions on AWS, VMware and physical servers and Hyper-V.

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