• 5 min read

Now is the time to migrate all your apps, data, and infrastructure to Azure

We’re seeing tons of customer interest in Azure migration following our July announcements, and have been building out the next level of customer success and product investments ever since.

This blog post was co-authored by Jeremy Winter, Partner Director of Program Management for Microsoft Azure and Tanuj Bansal, Senior Director Product Marketing for Microsoft Azure.

We’re seeing tons of customer interest in Azure migration following our July announcements, and have been building out the next level of customer success and product investments ever since. Our intent with this blog is to provide additional insights on our go forward approach and announce new Azure capabilities. This is also the week of Microsoft Ignite, where we have lined up several Azure migration sessions to showcase these new capabilities.

First, to reiterate, now is the right time for you to migrate to Azure because of three key reasons:

  1. 2008 End of Support: Most of you likely have large deployments of our Windows/SQL Server 2008/R2 versions. With the end of support for 2008/R2 versions within next 9 months for SQL Server and 6 months after that for Windows Server, time is now to plan and start migrating to Azure. Learn more about 2008 End of Support.
  2. Huge savings: Only in Azure, you will get three years of free extended security updates for Windows/SQL Server 2008/R2. Combined with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved Instances, these servers in AWS can cost you 5-times more vs Azure. Learn more here
  3. New capabilities in Azure: Over the last 6-9 months, we have delivered several new Azure services such as Azure Migrate, Azure Database Migration Service, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, and Azure Data Box. We’re excited to announce more updates to many of these services today: 
    • Azure Migrate will support Hyper-V assessments by end of CY18
    • Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (General Purpose tier) is now generally available
    • Azure SQL Database Hyperscale, a new tier for large scale database migration
    • Azure Database Migration Service supports expanded database scenarios, including MySQL/PostgreSQL/Mongo DB and SQL Server to SQL Managed Instance migration
    • Azure Data Box now has a new 1 PB variant, 100 TB version is now generally available

Azure migration experience and new capabilities

Azure migration experience

We approach Azure migration investments through the view shown above. These phases guide everything we do: migration tools, scenario guidance, customer success investments, ecosystem engagements, and best practices.


This phase is about discovery and assessment of on-premises resources for Azure migration. Azure Migrate is our free, built in tool that has been generally available since end-Feb.  We started with discovery/assessment for VMware environments given how your on-premises environments look like. And today we are announcing the addition of Windows Server Hyper-V assessments, which will be available by end of CY18.  We’ve seen tremendous adoption since spring; Azure Migrate has discovered 450K+ VMs and assessed 325K+ VMs for Azure readiness, with double digit growth every month.

To help you select the tool that best fits your needs, we are closely working and integrating with ISVs who provide tools for assessment scenarios beyond what Azure Migrate provides today. Visit the Azure migration center to learn more.


This phase is about defining and executing migration and modernization strategies – rehost, refactor, and rearchitect.


Infrastructure migration: While capabilities such as containers to refactor applications are increasingly becoming part of the plan for migration, the predominant path for most migrations is around Rehosting an OS, Windows or Linux, in an Azure VM. Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is the tool built for this purpose. It delivers near zero downtime migration, zero app data loss, and is free to use during migration. Recent ASR improvements include support for Windows Server 2008/R2 migration (32 and 64 bit support in ASR and in Azure) and expanded Linux distribution support. In addition, we have an ecosystem of ISVs who provide migration tools that complement ASR. Visit the Azure migration center to learn more.

Data migration: Our data migration tools have already migrated 41K+ databases to Azure in less than a year. Today we announced general availability of Azure SQL Database Managed Instance (general purpose tier), which enables customers to migrate SQL Server to a fully managed Azure service that delivers complete compatibility with SQL Server. We added a new Azure SQL Database Hyperscale tier to enable migration of large databases to Azure, with autoscaling of up to 100 TB per database. Azure Database Migration Service (DMS) enables at-scale migration from multiple database sources to fully managed services in Azure. We also announced general availability of SQL Server migration to Azure SQL DB Managed Instance, previews of MySQL/PostgreSQL migration to Azure, and limited preview for MongoDB to Cosmos DB migration.

“We were able to deploy our TimeXtender solution into production on Azure SQL Database Managed Instance in a matter of weeks. We immediately realized a 49% cost savings and the promise of applying artificial intelligence through machine learning to our data is an exciting opportunity for us.”

– John Steele, GM of Business Technology & Systems, Komatsu Australia

To securely migrate large amounts of data, customers can use Azure Data Box, which is now available in three different sizes – 40 TB, 100 TB, and 1 PB – based on need.

App migration: Azure App Service is our fully managed service that supports Dockerized Windows/ Linux containers, as well as a variety of app frameworks. Today, we announced general availability of built-in Apache Tomcat/ Java support on App Service on Linux, making it easy for developers to migrate their web apps to Azure. We are also working with partners like AppOrbit and Chef to enable additional app migration capabilities for customers.


With Azure Cost Management, free in Azure, customers can now manage their cloud spend in a unified experience, and leverage built-in best practice recommendations from Azure Advisor for optimally configuring Azure resources on an ongoing basis. Customers can also apply Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Instances for big savings. In addition, we have ISV partners who provide tools that continuously optimize costs and performance for your Azure resources. Visit the Azure migration center to learn more.

Secure and manage

Securing and managing migrated resources is critical, during migration, after and ongoing. With Azure security and management, customers can take advantage of built-in intelligent services for their Azure and on-premises workloads. We highly recommend turning on Azure Security Center, Azure Backup, and Azure Log Analytics right after the resource is migrated, followed by fine-tuning over time.  

Enterprise customers are looking to Azure for speed and control. Azure Blueprints, a new governance capability that we announced today, makes it easy to setup compliant subscriptions with the resources, policies and access controls already pre-defined. This ensures you get to the control you need to be compliant, accelerates the creation of new environments, and enables compliant developer self-service.

Next time in this series

We will publish additional blogs in subsequent months to address key categories customers are requesting such as best practices for migration to Azure. Stay tuned!

Key resources

Get started with Azure migration today

With new migration capabilities, great cost savings, and comprehensive ‘how to’ guidance, there has never been a better time to move to Azure. Get started with migration today at https://azure.com/migrate.

We look forward to seeing you at Microsoft Ignite this week! Please attend our Azure Migration session where we will cover these subjects and more.  Tell us how your Azure migration journey is going, and how we can help.