Migration to the Cloud

Migration to the Cloud

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Microsoft added functionality to easily convert VMware VMs and migrate them to a Microsoft Azure account using a simple wizard. Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) 2.0 enables this functionality and more, paving the way for VMware administrators to give Azure a try.

The new version of MVMC works with the latest versions of VMware 5.5 and supports virtual hardware versions 4 through 10. In addition, Microsoft added support in the tool for Linux guests, including CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Red Hat Enterprise, SuSE Enterprise and Ubuntu.

The ability to migrate VMware VMs to Azure is not new, but in previous releases of MVMC, the process was very manual and required an admin to have some PowerShell skills to upload and create the VM in Azure after a conversion. With version 2.0, there are only a few questions in the wizard regarding the Azure subscription and this largely simplifies the task.

Here are some tips for the conversion:

  • You will need enough local space on the machine where you run MVMC to store a copy of the VHDs before they are uploaded to Azure.
  • The process will require some downtime on the guest being converted. MVMC will take a snapshot of the VM and uninstall VMware tools before shutting it down for the duration of the copy/conversation — which is actually an export of an OVF template within Vcenter. Once that has completed, it will restore the snapshot and start the VM again if you designate it to do so.
  • You must have Remote Desktop enabled on the VM in order to access it once it has been migrated to Azure.
  • You want to make sure DHCP is enabled on the VM so it can receive an IP address when started in Azure.

The MVMC tool has additional functionality not related to Azure migrations. This is nice, but one feature that is notably missing is the ability to do a Physical to Virtual (P2V) conversion.  This is expected to be in the next version of the product. I am hoping that the P2V feature will have the ability to migrate straight to Azure as well.

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