Transforming your VMware environment with Microsoft Azure

Posted on 21 November, 2017

Director of Compute, Azure

Just as each organization is unique, each organization will take a unique path to the cloud. Whether you are transferring data, migrating infrastructure, modernizing applications, or building a new app, Azure allows you to move to the cloud in a way that makes the most sense for your needs.

As part of this journey, one request I hear frequently is the desire to move existing on-premises VMware workloads to Azure. This includes migrating VMware-based applications to Azure, integrating with Azure, and deploying VMware virtualization on Azure hardware. 

A frictionless path to Azure for your VMware environment

Today we are announcing new services to help you at every step of your VMware migration to Azure.

  • Migrate applications with Azure Migrate. On November 27th, Azure Migrate, a free service, will be broadly available to all Azure customers. While most cloud vendors offer single server migration capabilities, Azure Migrate helps you through the journey of migrating an entire multi-server application across the following phases: 

Discovery and assessment. Azure Migrate can discover your on-premises VMware-based applications without requiring any changes to your VMware environment. Azure Migrate offers the unique capability to visualize group level dependencies in multi-VM applications, allowing you to logically group and prioritize the entire application for migration. Through utilization discovery of the CPU, memory, disks, and network, Azure Migrate also has built-in rightsizing to offer size and cost guidance so when you migrate, you can save money.

VMWare

Uniquely visualize entire application dependencies with Azure Migrate

Migration. Once discovery has completed, with just a few easy clicks, you can migrate your on-premises applications to Azure. Azure Site Recovery (ASR) enables customers to migrate VMware-virtualized Windows Server and Linux workloads with minimal downtime. ASR offers application-centric migration, allowing you to sequence your application servers as they migrate. No other cloud provider offers this built-in multi-tier sequencing. Additionally, Azure Database Migration Service enables customers to migrate their SQL Server and Oracle databases directly into the fully managed Azure SQL Database. For customers who need large volume storage migration, we recently announced Azure Data Box, an appliance designed to simplify data movement to Azure.

Resource & Cost Optimization. Once deployed in Azure, with the free Azure Cost Management service (formerly called Cloudyn), you can easily forecast, track, and optimize your spending. Our calculations show up to 84% TCO savings for certain on-premises VMware to Azure migration scenarios. You can reference this VMware to Azure TCO guide to learn more and even run TCO calculations, yourself. As an example, Capstone Mining has gone through this journey and already saved $6M in capital and operating costs.

  • Integrate VMware workloads with Azure services. There are many Azure services that you can use together with VMware workloads without any migration or deployment, enabling you to keep your entire environment secure and well-managed across cloud and on-premises. This includes Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery (for Disaster Recovery), update/configuration management, Azure Security Center and operational intelligence using Azure Log Analytics. You can even manage your Azure resources in the public cloud using the VMware vRealize Automation console. Somerset County Council and Russell Reynolds Associates are example customers who have integrated Azure services with their VMware VMs. 
  • Host VMware infrastructure with VMware virtualization on Azure. Most workloads can be migrated to Azure easily using the above services; however, there may be specific VMware workloads that are initially more challenging to migrate to the cloud. For these workloads, you may need the option to run the VMware stack on Azure as an intermediate step. Today, we’re excited to announce the preview of VMware virtualization on Azure, a bare-metal solution that runs the full VMware stack on Azure hardware, co-located with other Azure services. We are delivering this offering in partnership with premier VMware-certified partners. General availability is expected in the coming year. Please contact your Microsoft sales representative if you’d like to participate in this preview.  Hosting the VMware stack in public cloud doesn’t offer the same cost savings and agility of using cloud-native services, but this option provides you additional flexibility on your path to Azure.

Here are some resources to help with migration to Azure:

Beyond Migration

Many of you are looking to move to the cloud to help your business move faster. Azure provides security, reliability, and global scale to help you deliver and scale your applications. At the same time, we understand that it may not be possible to run your entire business in the cloud. You may have low-latency, regulatory, or compliance requirements that require you to run some of your applications on-premises, in a hybrid way. The reality is, running your VMware virtualization stack in the cloud does not address your hybrid requirements.  For this, you need a broad set of hybrid services and solutions that provide not just connectivity and virtualization, but true consistency across your cloud and on-premises environments.  

Azure is the only true hybrid cloud that enables consistency across application development, management, security, data, and identity. This is made possible with a rich set of offerings like Azure Stack, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Security Center, SQL Server Stretch DB, Azure Active Directory, and hybrid management with patching, configuration, and monitoring of both cloud and on-premises servers. No other cloud offers this level of comprehensive hybrid capabilities.

We are committed to investing in tools, solutions and services that make Azure simple for you no matter what your needs and where you are in your cloud journey. I can’t wait to hear more about your cloud story.

Thanks,

Corey Sanders