Assess on-premises workloads for migration to Azure
This article shows how the fictional company Contoso assesses an on-premises app for migration to Azure. In the example scenario, Contoso's on-premises SmartHotel360 application currently runs on VMware. Contoso assesses the application VMs using the Azure Migrate service, and the SQL Server application database using Data Migration Assistant.
As Contoso considers migrating to Azure, the company needs a technical and financial assessment to determine whether its on-premises workloads are good candidates for cloud migration. In particular, the Contoso team wants to assess machine and database compatibility for migration. It wants to estimate capacity and costs for running Contoso's resources in Azure.
To get started and to better understand the technologies involved, Contoso assesses two of its on-premises apps, summarized in the following table. The company assesses for migration scenarios that rehost and refactor apps for migration. Learn more about rehosting and refactoring in the migration examples overview.
|App name||Platform||App tiers||Details|
(manages Contoso travel requirements)
|Runs on Windows with a SQL Server database||Two-tiered app. The front-end ASP.NET website runs on one VM (
||VMs run on a VMware ESXi host managed by vCenter Server.
You can download the sample app from GitHub.
(Contoso service desk app)
|Runs on a LAMP stack.||Two-tiered app. A front-end PHP website runs on one VM (
||The app is used by customer service apps to track issues for internal employees and external customers.
You can download the sample from GitHub.
This diagram shows the current Contoso on-premises infrastructure:
- Contoso has one main datacenter. The datacenter is located in the city of New York in the Eastern United States.
- Contoso has three additional local branches across the United States.
- The main datacenter is connected to the internet with a fiber optic Metro Ethernet connection (500 MBps).
- Each branch is connected locally to the internet by using business-class connections with IPsec VPN tunnels back to the main datacenter. The setup allows Contoso's entire network to be permanently connected and optimizes internet connectivity.
- The main datacenter is fully virtualized with VMware. Contoso has two ESXi 6.5 virtualization hosts that are managed by vCenter Server 6.5.
- Contoso uses Active Directory for identity management. Contoso uses DNS servers on the internal network.
- The domain controllers in the datacenter run on VMware VMs. The domain controllers at local branches run on physical servers.
Contoso's IT leadership team has worked closely with the company's business partners to understand what the business wants to achieve with this migration:
- Address business growth. Contoso is growing. As a result, pressure has increased on the company's on-premises systems and infrastructure.
- Increase efficiency. Contoso needs to remove unnecessary procedures and streamline processes for its developers and users. The business needs IT to be fast and to not waste time or money, so the company can deliver faster on customer requirements.
- Increase agility. Contoso IT needs to be more responsive to the needs of the business. It must be able to react faster than the changes that occur in the marketplace for the company to be successful in a global economy. IT at Contoso must not get in the way or become a business blocker.
- Scale. As the company's business grows successfully, Contoso IT must provide systems that can grow at the same pace.
The Contoso cloud team has identified goals for its migration assessments:
- After migration, apps in Azure should have the same performance capabilities that apps have today in Contoso's on-premises VMware environment. Moving to the cloud doesn't mean that app performance is less critical.
- Contoso needs to understand the compatibility of its applications and databases with Azure requirements. Contoso also needs to understand its hosting options in Azure.
- Contoso's database administration should be minimized after apps move to the cloud.
- Contoso wants to understand not only its migration options, but also the costs associated with the infrastructure after it moves to the cloud.
Contoso uses Microsoft tools for its migration assessment. The tools align with the company's goals and should provide Contoso with all the information it needs.
|Data Migration Assistant||Contoso uses Data Migration Assistant to assess and detect compatibility issues that might affect its database functionality in Azure. Data Migration Assistant assesses feature parity between SQL sources and targets. It recommends performance and reliability improvements.||Data Migration Assistant is a free downloadable tool.|
|Azure Migrate||Contoso uses the Azure Migrate service to assess its VMware VMs. Azure Migrate assesses the migration suitability of the machines. It provides sizing and cost estimates for running in Azure.||Azure Migrate is available at no additional charge. However, you may incur charges depending on the tools (first-party or ISV) you decide to use for assessment and migration. Learn more about Azure Migrate pricing.|
|Service Map||Azure Migrate uses Service Map to show dependencies between machines that the company wants to migrate.||Service Map is part of Azure Monitor logs. Currently, Contoso can use Service Map for 180 days without incurring charges.|
In this scenario, Contoso downloads and runs Data Migration Assistant to assess the on-premises SQL Server database for its travel app. Contoso uses Azure Migrate with dependency mapping to assess the app VMs before migration to Azure.
- Contoso is a fictional name that represents a typical enterprise organization.
- Contoso has an on-premises datacenter (
contoso-datacenter) and on-premises domain controllers (
- VMware VMs are located on VMware ESXi hosts running version 6.5 (
- The VMware environment is managed by vCenter Server 6.5 (
vcenter.contoso.com, running on a VM).
- The SmartHotel360 travel app has these characteristics:
- The app is tiered across two VMware VMs (
- The VMs are located on VMware ESXi host
- The VMs are running Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter with SP1.
- The app is tiered across two VMware VMs (
- The VMware environment is managed by vCenter Server (
vcenter.contoso.com) running on a VM.
- The osTicket service desk app:
- The app is tiered across two VMs (
- The VMs are running Ubuntu Linux Server 16.04-LTS.
OSTICKETWEBis running Apache 2 and PHP 7.0.
OSTICKETMYSQLis running MySQL 5.7.22.
- The app is tiered across two VMs (
Contoso and other users must meet the following prerequisites for the assessment:
- Owner or Contributor permissions for the Azure subscription, or for a resource group in the Azure subscription.
- An on-premises vCenter Server instance running version 6.5, 6.0, or 5.5.
- A read-only account in vCenter Server, or permissions to create one.
- Permissions to create a VM on the vCenter Server instance by using an .ova template.
- At least one ESXi host running version 5.5 or later.
- At least two on-premises VMware VMs, one running a SQL Server database.
- Permissions to install Azure Migrate agents on each VM.
- The VMs should have direct internet connectivity.
- The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the VM running the SQL Server instance, for database assessment.
- Windows Firewall running on the SQL Server VM should allow external connections on TCP port 1433 (default). This setup allows Data Migration Assistant to connect.
Here's how Contoso performs its assessment:
- Step 1: Download and install Data Migration Assistant. Contoso prepares Data Migration Assistant for assessment of the on-premises SQL Server database.
- Step 2: Assess the database by using Data Migration Assistant. Contoso runs and analyzes the database assessment.
- Step 3: Prepare for VM assessment by using Azure Migrate. Contoso sets up on-premises accounts and adjusts VMware settings.
- Step 4: Discover on-premises VMs by using Azure Migrate. Contoso creates an Azure Migrate collector VM. Then, Contoso runs the collector to discover VMs for assessment.
- Step 5: Prepare for dependency analysis by using Azure Migrate. Contoso installs Azure Migrate agents on the VMs, so the company can see dependency mapping between VMs.
- Step 6: Assess the VMs by using Azure Migrate. Contoso checks dependencies, groups the VMs, and runs the assessment. When the assessment is ready, Contoso analyzes the assessment in preparation for migration.
Assessments shouldn't just be limited to using tooling to discover information about your environment. You should also schedule time to speak to business owners, end users, and other members of the IT department to fully understand of what is happening in the environment and understand factors that tooling cannot tell you.
Step 1: Download and install Data Migration Assistant
- Contoso downloads Data Migration Assistant from the Microsoft Download Center.
- Data Migration Assistant can be installed on any machine that can connect to the SQL Server instance. Contoso doesn't need to run it on the SQL Server machine.
- Data Migration Assistant shouldn't be run on the SQL Server host machine.
- Contoso runs the downloaded setup file (DownloadMigrationAssistant.msi) to begin the installation.
- On the Finish page, Contoso selects Launch Microsoft Data Migration Assistant before finishing the wizard.
Step 2: Run and analyze the database assessment for SmartHotel360
Now, Contoso can run an assessment to analyze its on-premises SQL Server database for the SmartHotel360 app.
In Data Migration Assistant, Contoso selects New > Assessment, and then gives the assessment a project name.
For Source server type, Contoso selects SQL Server and for Target Server type, Contoso selects SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines
Currently, Data Migration Assistant doesn't support assessment for migrating to Azure SQL Managed Instance. As a workaround, Contoso uses SQL Server on an Azure VM as the supposed target for the assessment.
In Select Target Version, Contoso selects SQL Server 2017 as the target version. Contoso needs to select this version because it's the version that's used by the SQL Managed Instance.
Contoso selects reports to help it discover information about compatibility and new features:
- Compatibility issues note changes that might break migration or that require a minor adjustment before migration. This report keeps Contoso informed about any features currently in use that are deprecated. Issues are organized by compatibility level.
- New feature recommendation notes new features in the target SQL Server platform that can be used for the database after migration. New feature recommendations are organized under the headings Performance, Security, and Storage.
In Connect to a server, Contoso enters the name of the VM that's running the database and credentials to access it. Contoso selects Trust server certificate to make sure the VM can access SQL Server. Then, Contoso selects Connect.
In Add source, Contoso adds the database it wants to assess, then selects Next to start the assessment.
The assessment is created.
In Review results, Contoso views the assessment results.
Analyze the database assessment
Results are displayed as soon as they're available. If Contoso fixes issues, it must select Restart assessment to rerun the assessment.
In the Compatibility issues report, Contoso checks for any issues at each compatibility level. Compatibility levels map to SQL Server versions as follows:
- 100: SQL Server 2008/Azure SQL Database
- 110: SQL Server 2012/Azure SQL Database
- 120: SQL Server 2014/Azure SQL Database
- 130: SQL Server 2016/Azure SQL Database
- 140: SQL Server 2017/Azure SQL Database
In the Feature recommendations report, Contoso views performance, security, and storage features that the assessment recommends after migration. A variety of features are recommended, including In-Memory OLTP, columnstore indexes, Stretch Database, Always Encrypted, dynamic data masking, and transparent data encryption.
Contoso should enable transparent data encryption for all SQL Server databases. This is even more critical when a database is in the cloud than when it's hosted on-premises. Transparent data encryption should be enabled only after migration. If transparent data encryption is already enabled, Contoso must move the certificate or asymmetric key to the
masterdatabase of the target server. Learn how to move a transparent data encryption-protected database to another SQL Server instance.
Contoso can export the assessment in JSON or CSV format.
For large-scale assessments:
Step 3: Prepare for VM assessment by using Azure Migrate
Contoso needs to create a VMware account that Azure Migrate can use to automatically discover VMs for assessment, verify rights to create a VM, note the ports that need to be opened, and set the statistics settings level.
Set up a VMware account
VM discovery requires a read-only account in vCenter Server that has the following properties:
- User type: At least a read-only user.
- Permissions: For the datacenter object, select the Propagate to Child Objects checkbox. For Role, select Read-only.
- Details: The user is assigned at the datacenter level, with access to all objects in the datacenter.
- To restrict access, assign the No access role with the Propagate to child object to the child objects (vSphere hosts, data stores, VMs, and networks).
Verify permissions to create a VM
Contoso verifies that it has permissions to create a VM by importing a file in .ova format. Learn how to create and assign a role with privileges.
The Contoso assessment uses dependency mapping. Dependency mapping requires an agent to be installed on VMs that will be assessed. The agent must be able to connect to Azure from TCP port 443 on each VM. Learn about connection requirements.
Step 4: Discover VMs
To discover VMs, Contoso creates an Azure Migrate project. Contoso downloads and sets up the collector VM. Then, Contoso runs the collector to discover its on-premises VMs.
Create a project
Set up a new Azure Migrate project as follows.
In the Azure portal > All services, search for Azure Migrate.
Under Services, select Azure Migrate.
In Overview, under Discover, assess and migrate servers, select Assess and migrate servers.
In Getting started, select Add tools.
In Migrate project, select your Azure subscription, and create a resource group if you don't have one.
In Project Details, specify the project name, and the geography in which you want to create the project. United States, Asia, Europe, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Japan are supported.
- The project geography is used only to store the metadata gathered from on-premises VMs.
- You can select any target region when you run a migration.
In Select assessment tool, select Azure Migrate: Server Assessment > Next.
In Select migration tool, select Skip adding a migration tool for now > Next.
In Review + add tools, review the settings, then select Add tools.
Wait a few minutes for the Azure Migrate project to deploy. You'll be taken to the project page. If you don't see the project, you can access it from Servers in the Azure Migrate dashboard.
Download the collector appliance
In Migration Goals > Servers > Azure Migrate: Server Assessment, select Discover.
In Discover machines > Are your machines virtualized?, select Yes, with VMware vSphere hypervisor.
Select Download to download the .OVA template file.
Verify the collector appliance
Before deploying the VM, Contoso checks that the OVA file is secure:
On the machine on which the file was downloaded, Contoso opens an administrator Command Prompt window.
Contoso runs the following command to generate the hash for the OVA file:
C:\> CertUtil -HashFile <file_location> [Hashing Algorithm]
C:\> CertUtil -HashFile C:\AzureMigrate\AzureMigrate.ova SHA256
Create the collector appliance
Now, Contoso can import the downloaded file to the vCenter Server instance and provision the collector appliance VM:
In the vSphere Client console, Contoso selects File > Deploy OVF template.
In the Deploy OVF Template Wizard, Contoso selects Source, and then specifies the location of the OVA file.
In Name and Location, Contoso specifies a display name for the collector VM. Then, it selects the inventory location in which to host the VM. Contoso also specifies the host or cluster on which to run the collector appliance.
In Storage, Contoso specifies the storage location. In Disk Format, Contoso selects how it wants to provision the storage.
In Network Mapping, Contoso specifies the network in which to connect the collector VM. The network needs internet connectivity to send metadata to Azure.
Contoso reviews the settings, then selects Power on after deployment > Finish. A message that confirms successful completion appears when the appliance is created.
Run the collector to discover VMs
Now, Contoso runs the collector to discover VMs. Currently, the collector currently supports only English (United States) as the operating system language and collector interface language.
In the vSphere Client console, Contoso selects Open Console. Contoso specifies the accepts the licensing terms, and password preferences for the collector VM.
On the desktop, Contoso selects the Microsoft Azure Appliance Configuration Manager shortcut.
In the Azure Migrate Collector, Contoso selects Set up prerequisites. Contoso accepts the license terms and reads the third-party information.
The collector checks that the VM has internet access, that the time is synced, and that the collector service is running. (The collector service is installed by default on the VM.) Contoso also installs the VMware vSphere Virtual Disk Development Kit.
It's assumed that the VM has direct access to the internet without using a proxy.
Sign into your Azure account and select the subscription and Migrate project you created earlier. Also enter a name for the appliance so you can identify it in the Azure portal.
In Specify vCenter Server details, Contoso enters the name (FQDN) or IP address of the vCenter Server instance and the read-only credentials used for discovery.
Contoso selects a scope for VM discovery. The collector can discover only VMs that are within the specified scope. The scope can be set to a specific folder, datacenter, or cluster.
The collector will now start to discovery and collect information about the Contoso environment.
Verify VMs in the portal
When collection is finished, Contoso checks that the VMs appear in the portal:
In the Azure Migrate project, Contoso selects Servers servers**. Contoso checks that the VMs that it wants to discover are shown.
Currently, the machines don't have the Azure Migrate agents installed. Contoso must install the agents to view dependencies.
Step 5: Prepare for dependency analysis
To view dependencies between VMs that it wants to assess, Contoso downloads and installs agents on the app VMs. Contoso installs agents on all VMs for its apps, both for Windows and Linux.
Take a snapshot
To keep a copy of the VMs before modifying them, Contoso takes a snapshot before the agents are installed.
Download and install the VM agents
In Machines, Contoso selects the machine. In the Dependencies column, Contoso selects Requires installation.
In the Discover machines pane, Contoso:
- Downloads the Microsoft Monitoring Agent and the Microsoft Dependency Agent for each Windows VM.
- Downloads the Microsoft Monitoring Agent and Microsoft Dependency Agent for each Linux VM.
Contoso copies the workspace ID and key. Contoso needs the workspace ID and key when it installs the Microsoft Monitoring Agent.
Install the agents on Windows VMs
Contoso runs the installation on each VM.
Install the MMA on Windows VMs
Contoso double-clicks the downloaded agent.
In Destination Folder, Contoso keeps the default installation folder, and selects Next.
In Agent Setup Options, Contoso selects Connect the agent to Azure Log Analytics > Next.
In Azure Log Analytics, Contoso pastes the workspace ID and key that it copied from the portal.
In Ready to Install, Contoso installs the MMA.
Install the Microsoft Dependency Agent on Windows VMs
Contoso double-clicks the downloaded agent.
Contoso accepts the license terms and waits for the installation to finish.
Install the agents on Linux VMs
Contoso runs the installation on each VM.
Install the MMA on Linux VMs
Contoso installs the Python ctypes library on each VM by using the following command:
sudo apt-get install python-ctypeslib
Contoso must run the command to install the MMA agent as root. To become root, Contoso runs the following command, and then enters the root password:
Contoso installs the MMA:
Contoso enters the workspace ID and key in the command.
Commands are for 64-bit.
The workspace ID and primary key are located in the Log Analytics workspace in the Azure portal. Select Settings, and select the Connected Sources tab.
Run the following commands to download the Log Analytics agent, validate the checksum, and install and onboard the agent:
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Microsoft/OMS-Agent-for-Linux/master/installer/scripts/onboard_agent.sh && sh onboard_agent.sh -w 6b7fcaff-7efb-4356-ae06-516cacf5e25d -s k7gAMAw5Bk8pFVUTZKmk2lG4eUciswzWfYLDTxGcD8pcyc4oT8c6ZRgsMy3MmsQSHuSOcmBUsCjoRiG2x9A8Mg==
Install the Microsoft Dependency Agent on Linux VMs
After the Microsoft Monitoring Agent is installed, Contoso installs the Microsoft Dependency Agent on the Linux VMs:
The Microsoft Dependency Agent is installed on Linux computers by using
InstallDependencyAgent-Linux64.bin, a shell script that has a self-extracting binary. Contoso runs the file by using
sh, or it adds execute permissions to the file itself.
Contoso installs the Linux dependency agent as root:
wget --content-disposition https://aka.ms/dependencyagentlinux -O InstallDependencyAgent-Linux64.bin && sudo sh InstallDependencyAgent-Linux64.bin -s
Step 6: Run and analyze the VM assessment
Contoso can now verify machine dependencies and create a group. Then, it runs the assessment for the group.
Verify dependencies and create a group
To determine which machines to analyze, Contoso selects View Dependencies.
For SQLVM, the dependency map shows the following details:
- Process groups or processes that have active network connections running on SQLVM during the specified time period (an hour, by default).
- Inbound (client) and outbound (server) TCP connections to and from all dependent machines.
- Dependent machines that have the Azure Migrate agents installed are shown as separate boxes.
- Machines that don't have the agents installed show port and IP address information.
For machines that have the agent installed (
WEBVM), Contoso selects the machine box to view more information. The information includes the FQDN, operating system, and MAC address.
Contoso selects the VMs to add to the group (
WEBVM). Contoso holds the
Ctrlkey while selecting multiple VMs.
Contoso selects Create Group, and then enters a name (
To view more granular dependencies, you can expand the time range. You can select a specific duration or select start and end dates.
Run an assessment
In Groups, Contoso opens the group (
smarthotelapp), then selects Create assessment.
To view the assessment, Contoso selects Manage > Assessments.
Contoso uses the default assessment settings, but you can customize settings.
Analyze the VM assessment
An Azure Migrate assessment includes information about the compatibility of on-premises with Azure, suggested right-sizing for Azure VM, and estimated monthly Azure costs.
Review confidence rating
An assessment has a confidence rating of from 1 star to 5 stars (1 star is the lowest and 5 stars is the highest).
The confidence rating is assigned to an assessment based on the availability of data points that are needed to compute the assessment.
The rating helps you estimate the reliability of the size recommendations that are provided by Azure Migrate.
The confidence rating is useful when you are doing performance-based sizing. Azure Migrate might not have enough data points for utilization-based sizing. For as on-premises sizing, the confidence rating is always 5 stars because Azure Migrate has all the data points it needs to size the VM.
Depending on the percentage of data points available, the confidence rating for the assessment is provided:
Availability of data points Confidence rating 0%-20% 1 star 21%-40% 2 stars 41%-60% 3 stars 61%-80% 4 stars 81%-100% 5 stars
Verify Azure readiness
The assessment report shows the information that's summarized in the table. To show performance-based sizing, Azure Migrate needs the following information. If the information can't be collected, sizing assessment might not be accurate.
- Utilization data for CPU and memory.
- Read/write IOPS and throughput for each disk attached to the VM.
- Network in/out information for each network adapter attached to the VM.
|Azure VM readiness||Indicates whether the VM is ready for migration.||Possible states:
If a VM isn't ready, Azure Migrate shows some remediation steps.
|Azure VM size||For ready VMs, Azure Migrate provides an Azure VM size recommendation.||Sizing recommendation depends on assessment properties:
|Suggested tool||Because Azure machines are running the agents, Azure Migrate looks at the processes that are running inside the machine. It identifies whether the machine is a database machine.|
|VM information||The report shows settings for the on-premises VM, including operating system, boot type, and disk and storage information.|
Review monthly cost estimates
This view shows the total compute and storage cost of running the VMs in Azure. It also shows details for each machine.
- Cost estimates are calculated by using the size recommendations for a machine.
- Estimated monthly costs for compute and storage are aggregated for all VMs in the group.
Clean up after assessment
- When the assessment finishes, Contoso retains the Azure Migrate appliance to use in future evaluations.
- Contoso turns off the VMware VM. Contoso will use it again when it evaluates additional VMs.
- Contoso keeps the
Contoso Migrationproject in Azure. The project currently is deployed in the
ContosoFailoverRGresource group in the East US Azure region.
- The collector VM has a 180-day evaluation license. If this limit expires, Contoso will need to download the collector and set it up again.
In this scenario, Contoso assesses its SmartHotel360 app database by using the Data Migration Assistant tool. It assesses the on-premises VMs by using the Azure Migrate service. Contoso reviews the assessments to make sure that on-premises resources are ready for migration to Azure.
After Contoso assesses this workload as a potential migration candidate, it can begin preparing its on-premises infrastructure and its Azure infrastructure for migration. See the deploy Azure infrastructure article in the Cloud Adoption Framework migrate best practices section for an example of how Contoso performs these processes.