Select a VMware migration option

You can migrate VMware VMs to Azure using the Azure Migrate Server Migration tool. This tool offers a couple of options for VMware VM migration:

  • Migration using agentless replication. Migrate VMs without needing to install anything on them.
  • Migration with an agent for replication. Install an agent on the VM for replication.

Compare migration methods

Use these selected comparisons to help you decide which method to use. You can also review full support requirements for agentless and agent-based migration.

Setting Agentless Agent-based
Azure permissions You need permissions to create an Azure Migrate project, and to register Azure AD apps created when you deploy the Azure Migrate appliance. You need Contributor permissions on the Azure subscription.
Replication A maximum of 300 VMs can be simultaneously replicated from a vCenter Server.
If you have more than 50 VMs for migration, create multiple batches of VMs.
Replicating more at a single time will impact performance.

In the portal, you can select up to 10 machines at once for replication. To replicate more machines, add in batches of 10.
Replication capacity increases by scaling the replication appliance.
Appliance deployment The Azure Migrate appliance is deployed on-premises. The Azure Migrate Replication appliance is deployed on-premises.
Site Recovery compatibility Compatible. You can't replicate with Azure Migrate Server Migration if you've set up replication for a machine using Site Recovery.
Target disk Managed disks Managed disks
Disk limits OS disk: 2 TB

Data disk: 32 TB

Maximum disks: 60
OS disk: 2 TB

Data disk: 8 TB

Maximum disks: 63
Passthrough disks Not supported Supported
UEFI boot Supported. Supported.

Compare deployment steps

After reviewing the limitations, understanding the steps involved in deploying each solution might help you decide which option to choose.

Task Details Agentless Agent-based
Deploy the Azure Migrate appliance A lightweight appliance that runs on a VMware VM.

The appliance is used to discover and assess machines, and to migrate machines using agentless migration.
Required.

If you've already set up the appliance for assessment, you can use the same appliance for agentless migration.
Not required.

If you've set up an appliance for assessment, you can leave it in place, or remove it if you're done with assessment.
Use the Server Assessment tool Assess machines with the Azure Migrate:Server Assessment tool. You can assess machines before you migrate them, but you don't have to. Assessment is optional Assessment is optional.
Use the Server Migration tool Add the Azure Migrate Server Migration tool in the Azure Migrate project. Required Required
Prepare VMware for migration Configure settings on VMware servers and VMs. Required Required
Install the Mobility service on VMs Mobility service runs on each VM you want to replicate Not required Required
Deploy the replication appliance The replication appliance is used for agent-based migration. It connects between the Mobility service running on VMs, and Server Migration. Not required Required
Replicate VMs. Enable VM replication. Configure replication settings and select VMs to replicate Required Required
Run a test migration Run a test migration to make sure everything's working as expected. Required Required
Run a full migration Migrate the VMs. Required Required

Next steps

Migrate VMware VMs with agentless migration.