Azure migration guide: Before you start

Before you start

Before you migrate resources to Azure, you need to choose the migration method and the features you'll use to govern and secure your environment. This guide leads you through this decision process.


For an interactive experience, view this guide in the Azure portal. Go to the Azure Quickstart Center in the Azure portal, select Migrate your environment to Azure, and then follow the step-by-step instructions.

This guide walks you through the basics of migrating applications and resources from your on-premises environment to Azure. It is designed for migration scopes with minimal complexity. To determine the suitability of this guide for your migration, see the When to use this guide tab.

When you migrate to Azure, you may migrate your applications as-is using IaaS-based virtual machine solutions (known as a rehost or lift and shift migration), or you may have the flexibility to use managed services and other cloud-native features to modernize your applications. See the Migration options tab for more information on these choices. As you develop your migration strategy, you might consider:

  • Will my migrating applications work in the cloud?
  • What is the best strategy (with regard to technology, tools, and migrations) for my application? See the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework's Migration tools decision guide for more information.
  • How do I minimize downtime during the migration?
  • How do I control costs?
  • How do I track resource costs and bill them accurately?
  • How do I ensure we remain compliant and meet regulations?
  • How do I meet legal requirements for data sovereignty in certain countries?

This guide helps answer these questions. It suggests the tasks and features to consider as you prepare to deploy resources in Azure, including:

  • Configure prerequisites. Plan and prepare for migration.
  • Assess your technical fit. Validate the technical readiness and suitability for migration.
  • Manage costs and billing. Look at the costs of your resources.
  • Migrate your services. Perform the actual migration.
  • Organize your resources. Lock resources critical to your system and tag resources to track them.
  • Optimize and transform. Use the post-migration opportunity to review your resources.
  • Secure and manage. Ensure that your environment is secure and monitored properly.
  • Get assistance. Get help and support during your migration or post-migration activities.

To learn more about organizing and structuring your subscriptions, managing your deployed resources, and complying with your corporate policy requirements, see Governance in Azure.