Azure Migration Center

Start your cloud migration process

Move your data and infrastructure to Azure using a proven cloud migration plan. Plus, find cloud migration tools and guidance to make the most of your new environment.

  • Involve stakeholders
  • Calculate your TCO
  • Discover and evaluate apps
  • Select a migration strategy
  • Apply the migration strategy
  • Find recommended tools
  • Analyse your costs
  • Save with offers
  • Reinvest to do more
Secure and manage
  • Security
  • Data protection
  • Monitoring

Cloud assessment


Create a cloud migration plan

By establishing your cloud migration priorities and objectives before you start planning, you can ensure a more successful migration. Automated cloud migration tools will also provide insights into your environment and dependencies to build out your cloud migration project plans.

Assess your environment now to build a template for future use that aligns with individual apps, locations or groups within your organisation. Start with applications that are expected to have few dependencies to get your migration moving quickly.


Involve stakeholders

Migrating to the cloud is a digital transformation for most businesses that requires broad organisational change and support. Get in touch with key people throughout the organisation – this should include representation from both IT and the involved business owners. Getting everyone’s engagement and support before you migrate will lead to a smoother, faster cloud migration process that meets everyone’s goals.


Calculate your TCO

Evaluate the potential cost savings of migrating to Azure by calculating and comparing your total cost of ownership (TCO) for Azure with that of a comparable on-premises deployment. Use the Azure TCO calculator to build a customised cloud assessment in a matter of minutes that will help create a personal business case to support an Azure migration.

Calculate your Azure TCO


Discover and evaluate apps

To start any migration, you need to compile an inventory of the physical and virtual servers in your environment. While your current management tools may provide a good representation of the hundreds – maybe thousands – of applications that your organisation is running, you need an inventory mechanism that can feed data into subsequent steps.

With cloud migration assessment tools from Azure, you’ll have a complete inventory of servers with metadata for each, including profile information and performance metrics, allowing you to build your cloud migration plan.

Using this information, map your servers to represent your on-premises applications. This will help identify dependencies or communication between servers so you can include all necessary application components in your cloud migration plan – helping reduce risks and ensure a smooth migration. Then group your servers logically to represent the applications, and select the best cloud migration strategy for each application based on its requirements and migration objectives.

With your application groups now mapped, evaluate how best to move each on-premises application. Again, use the cloud migration assessment tools for resource recommendations and migration strategies for your application servers.

Choose the right tools and partner for your cloud migration plan

Assess your on-premises environment with a no-cost tool from Azure, or get migration help from our partners. We recommend using Azure Migrate: Server Assessment when your environment is VMware, and use partner tools when you need some richer assessment capabilities.


Azure Migrate: Server assessment

  • Corent
  • Movere
  • Turbonomic
  • Cloudamize
No-cost tool Available Not available
Assessment of VMware and Hyper-V environments Available Not available
Assessment of VMware, Hyper-V and physical environments Not available Available
Agentless dependency visualisation Not available Available
Advanced cloud economics cost modelling Not available Available
Not available

More cloud migration assessment tools

Expedite the assessment phase by using automation and intelligence provided by a range of tools.

Data Migration Assistant

Find compatibility issues in your migration from SQL Server to Azure.

Azure Database Migration Guide

Create a plan for your database migration.

Azure App Service migration assessment

Assess your application’s readiness to migrate to App Service.

Learn how to use Microsoft tools to assess your environment and start your Azure migration

Get personalised help from Azure engineers to accelerate your migration – at no additional cost. If you meet the eligibility requirements, FastTrack assistance offers you support throughout your migration as part of the data centre migration solution.

Learn more

Cloud migration strategies – migrate and modernise

Learn about and guide your cloud migration plan using four widely adopted strategies: rehost or “lift and shift”, refactor, rearchitect and rebuild. Choose the right mix for your applications, such as rehosting less-strategic apps with no-code changes and rearchitect others that are more business-critical.


"Create a multifaceted application strategy to determine when rehosting, refactoring, rebuilding or replacing applications delivers value, and how new applications can be built using cloud-optimized and cloud-native design principles."

Gartner, “Devise an Effective Cloud Computing Strategy by Answering Five Key Questions”, David W. Cearley, November 2015, refreshed 23 June 2017

Select the cloud migration strategy that works best for you

Migrate & Modernise

Cloud native


Often referred to as “lift and shift” migration, this no-code option lets you migrate your existing applications to Azure quickly. Each application is migrated as is, which provides the benefits of the cloud without the risks or costs of making code changes.

Use for:

  • Moving applications from your data centre to the cloud quickly.
  • Apps that are architected to use Azure infrastructure as a server (IaaS) scalability.
  • Businesses that require the applications but don’t need to change app capabilities straight away.
  • Applications or database requirements that can only be met using an Azure IaaS virtual machine.
  • Moving the application with no-code changes.

Rehost sample path

Cloud migration steps

Rehost to IaaS

Rehost database


Step 1 of 4

Replicate VMs or physical servers to Azure

Use Azure Migrate to replicate servers in a few simple steps, including VMware virtual machines or physical servers running Windows or Linux. Replicate VMs to Premium or Standard storage accounts to meet your application’s performance and SLA requirements.

Step 2 of 4

Configure Azure Hybrid Benefit and Managed Disks

Save on costs as you migrate your Windows Server virtual machines to Azure using the Azure Hybrid Benefit. Before you migrate, apply the recommended configurations from your assessment, such as storage type, availability sets, VM size and network.

Step 3 of 4

Test and migrate applications to Azure

Baseline your application’s performance in Azure using a non-disruptive test failover with Azure Migrate. Then, perform application migration to Azure with confidence.

Step 4 of 4

Transfer large amounts of data

Use the Azure Data Box service when you want to transfer large amounts of data to Azure but are limited by time, network availability or costs. The Data Box is supported by an array of partners with deep experience helping customers to manage data resources.

Step 1 of 3

Migrate your database

Easily migrate your SQL Server, open-source and other relational databases to a fully managed Azure database solution with Azure Database Migration Service. Migrate your non-relational databases to Azure Cosmos DB using the Data Migration Tool.
Azure Database Migration Service and Data Migration Tool

Step 2 of 3

Scale your database migration

Migrate databases in parallel using the Database Migration Service.

Step 3 of 3

Complete the migration

When the migrated database is ready, just reconnect your app by updating your connection strings.

Step 1 of 4

Ensure compliance

Help meet company or regulatory requirements by using security policies that define the desired configuration of your workloads. Azure Machine Learning identifies missing data encryption and missing firewall rules.

Step 2 of 4

Back up your virtual machines

Back up your migrated Windows and Linux VMs from the Azure portal. With all your backup information in a central dashboard, you can quickly decide what you need to restore if you unexpectedly lose data.

Step 3 of 4

Manage compliance

Ensure proper governance by defining policies, and monitor compliance to your standards. Implement least privileged access using Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and just in time administrator access.

Step 4 of 4

Track virtual machine utilisation

Use Azure Cost Management to monitor CPU utilisation on your virtual machines to detect inefficiencies and optimise usage.

Cloud migration tools

Expedite the migration phase by using automation and intelligence provided by a range of tools.

Choose the right server migration tool

Use Microsoft tools or tools from our partner ecosystem that best meet your needs. Use Azure Migrate: Server Migration when you need to migrate common OS versions and use partner tools when you need richer migration capabilities.


Azure Migrate: Server Migration

No-cost tool Available Not available
Migration of Windows and Linux workloads (supporting popular versions/distributions) Available Available
Broader OS support (supporting less popular versions/distributions) Not available Available
Agentless migration solution Available Available
Not available

Azure Migrate: Server Migration

Migration partners

Tools for data workloads

Azure Database Migration Service

Migrate on-premises databases to Azure

Learn how to rehost your application using Microsoft tools for server and database migration.


Often referred to as repackage, this cloud migration strategy involves some change to the application design but no wholesale changes to the application code. Your application can take advantage of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) products, such as Azure App Service, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance and containers.

Why use:

  • When you have an existing codebase and development skills, and code portability is a concern.
  • A quick way to modernise your apps.
  • Driving continuous innovation by taking advantage of DevOps and containers.

Refactor sample path

Cloud migration steps

Optimise for the cloud

Database to Azure

Optimise operations

Step 1 of 2

Move to the cloud with App Service

Use existing applications to take advantage of Azure PaaS capabilities without managing underlying application infrastructure, middleware and other resources. Migrate your web, mobile and API apps to App Service.

Step 2 of 2

Repackage existing apps

Use existing applications, repackaged, to take advantage of Azure PaaS capabilities. Push your application to Azure Container Registry, where you can simplify container development by storing and managing container images for Azure deployments in a central registry.

Step 1 of 2

Migrate your database

Easily migrate your SQL Server, open-source and other relational databases to fully managed solutions, such as SQL Database managed instance, Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure Database for MySQL with Azure Database Migration Service. Migrate your non-relational databases using the Azure Cosmos DB Data Migration Tool.

Step 2 of 2

Migrate databases at scale

Migrate your databases in parallel using the Azure Database Migration Service. After a migrated database is ready to use, just reconnect it to get your app up and running.

Step 1 of 3

Migrate to Azure DevOps Services

Move your data from Team Foundation Server to Azure DevOps Services.

Step 2 of 3

Manage compliance

Help meet company or industry regulatory requirements with security policies that define the desired configuration of your workloads. Azure Security Center uses machine learning to identify missing data encryption and missing firewall rules.

Step 3 of 3

Monitor and visualise costs

Gain visibility into resource consumption and costs in a single, unified view. Your operational staff and business users can build custom dashboards to view data based on their needs.

Recommended technology services

Our technology partners offer a range of migration solutions to use when Azure migration services don’t support your specific scenario.


Modify or extend your application’s code base to scale and optimise it for the cloud. Modernise your app into a resilient, highly scalable, independently deployable architecture and use Azure to accelerate the process, scale applications with confidence and manage your apps with ease.

Use when you want to:

  • Take advantage of existing application investments.
  • Meet scalability requirements in a cost-effective way.
  • Bring new Azure capabilities to existing applications.
  • Improve agility by applying innovative DevOps practices.

Rearchitect sample path

Cloud migration steps

Evolve your app

Database to Azure

Release and optimise

Step 1 of 3

Rearchitect your code

Break apart a monolithic application into a set of loosely coupled modules that work together to take advantage of the Azure platform.

Step 2 of 3

Develop services independently

Each microservice is self-contained and independent and can be built, tested and deployed on its own.

Step 3 of 3

Build with tools, platforms and languages you love

Develop with your favourite tools and platforms using your preferred programming language, including Node.js, .NET and Java.

Step 1 of 2

Migrate databases at scale

Use Azure Database Migration Service to migrate databases in parallel.

Step 2 of 2

Complete the migration

The migrated database is ready to use. Just reconnect it to get your app up and running.

Step 1 of 2

Deploy to Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

AKS makes it simple to create, configure and manage a cluster of virtual machines that are preconfigured to run containerised applications.

Step 2 of 2

Push your application to Azure Container Registry

Store and manage images for all types of container deployments.

Recommended technology services

Our technology partners offer a range of migration solutions to use when Azure migration services don’t support your specific scenario.


Rebuild an application from scratch using cloud-native technologies. Azure platform as a service (PaaS) provides a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, without the expense and complexity of software licences, the need for underlying application infrastructure, or middleware and other resources. With this cloud migration strategy, you manage the applications and services you develop, and Azure manages everything else.

Use for:

  • Rapid development when the existing application is slowing you down due to limited functionality and lifespan.
  • Building new applications using cloud-native technologies.
  • Building innovative apps that take advantage of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Expediting business innovation.
  • Applying innovative DevOps practices.

Rebuild sample

Cloud migration steps

Rebuild database

Rebuild cloud-native apps

Release and optimise

Step 1 of 2

Create a database for storing your data

Azure Cosmos DB is a globally distributed, multi-model database service, providing turnkey distribution across any number of Azure regions by transparently scaling and replicating your data wherever your users are.

Step 2 of 2

Multi-model + multi-API database

Use key-value, graph, column-family and document data in one service with Cosmos DB

Step 1 of 3

Use PaaS services

Azure PaaS lets you create applications using built-in software components that offer scalability, high-availability and multi-tenant capabilities.

For example, if your application needs an integration solution, you can use Azure Logic Apps.

Step 2 of 3

Build serverless

Build apps faster with a serverless architecture, using the programming language of your choice.

Step 3 of 3

Rebuild with AI

Use rich artificial intelligence services such as Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics API to empower users with intelligent applications that learn and adapt.

Step 1 of 2

Publish your app to App Service

Use Visual Studio Team Services to create a full CI/CD pipeline for your application – no matter which language you’re using – and deploy to several targets, including virtual machines, Azure Service Fabric and Docker container orchestrators such as Kubernetes.

Cloud optimisation

Run a secure and well-managed cloud environment by using Azure security and management services to govern and monitor your cloud applications. Start using these services during your migration and continue using many of them afterwards to ensure a consistent experience across your hybrid cloud.

Manage cloud costs

Manage your cloud spend with transparency and accuracy using Azure Cost Management. Use this solution to allocate, trim and monitor cloud costs to build towards your next investment.

Save with Azure offers

Take advantage of offers from Azure, such as Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, and continue right-sizing your migrated virtual machines to your workloads for improved value.

Reinvest to do more

Use what you’ve saved to add more cloud capabilities. Migrate additional workloads, modernise existing workloads, secure your workloads and improve cloud management in Azure.

Cost Management + Billing

Optimize what you spend on the cloud, while maximizing cloud potential

Azure Monitor

Full observability into your applications, infrastructure, and network

Log Analytics

Collect, search, and visualize machine data from on-premises and cloud

Secure and manage your cloud environment

Help protect and manage your virtual machines, applications and data using Azure services.

Get industry-leading security

Rely on the Azure Security Center for unified cloud security management and advanced threat protection across your hybrid cloud workloads. Gain full visibility into and control over the security of cloud applications in Azure, quickly detect and respond to threats, and reduce your exposure by enabling adaptive threat protection.

Learn how

Protect your data in the cloud

Avoid costly business disruptions, meet compliance goals and help secure your cloud application data against ransomware and human error by backing up your apps in Azure. Azure Backup gives you a cost-efficient, built-in solution that’s easy to deploy. Set up in a few simple steps – then only pay for what you use and restore data with no additional costs.

Learn how

Monitor your cloud health

Track the health and performance of your cloud apps, infrastructure and data with Azure Monitor, Log Analytics and Application Insights. Easily collect data from sources and gain rich insights. For example, gauge CPU disk and memory utilisation for your VMs, and view applications and network dependencies across multiple VMs. Integrate these cloud monitoring tools with your existing service management solutions.

Learn how

Security Center

Unify security management and enable advanced threat protection across hybrid cloud workloads

Azure Monitor

Full observability into your applications, infrastructure, and network

Need help with your cloud migration plan?