Cloud Migration with Azure Migrate – Step By Step Guide

In our previous Azure post Confidential computing with Azure Kubernetes we saw how we can achieve data protection even when data is being processed in run-time. Do check out that post since its an interesting read. In this post on Web App Cloud Migration with Azure Migrate, we will see what is Azure migrate and also see a step by step guide on how to assess and migrate existing web applications running on IIS 7.0 to Azure App Server using Azure Migration Assistant Tool.

What is Azure Migrate

If you have any applications that are on-premises and want to migrate them to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, then help is at hand in the form of Azure Migrate. For their applications, businesses can target cloud migration with Azure Migrate. Migrate is a central point for discovery, assessment and migration of your on premise resources, data as well as applications to Azure. This central point has several services and tools for assessment and migration. In addition, there are third party software vendors also called independent Software Vendor (ISV) which provide these tools as well.

Azure Migrate Features

Wide ranges of tools – Integration with other Azure services as well as with third party tools. You can select the appropriate assessment and migration tools based on the requirements of your organization.

Single Migration Portal – If you want to migrate your applications, there is a single portal which can initiate, execute and track a business’s migration activities to Azure.

Web Apps – For web applications, Migrate provides the Azure App Service Assistant to check and migrate on-premise apps to Azure App Service.

Databases – You can use either Microsoft or third party tools for assessment and migration of on-premise databases to either SQL Managed Instance (SQL MI) or Azure SQL DB.

Data – For quick and low cost data migration to Azure, you can use Azure Data Box suite of products.

Virtual Desktops – Using ISV tools one can migrate on-premise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to Azure Windows Virtual Desktop.

Server – Either ISV or Microsoft tools can be used migration of servers to Azure Virtual Machines (VM).

Versions

Although there are 2 versions of Azure migrate, it is now recommended to always use the ‘current‘ version for assessments and migrations. The older ‘previous’ version had limitations like it supported only assessment of on-premise VMs and also no Azure Migrate projects could be created with it.

Integration with Independent Software Vendors (ISV)

For assessment and migration of your resources, you have the choice of other third party vendor tools also in addition to Microsoft tools. These are tools which help in assessment, migration or both.

  • Assess ISVs – Cloudamize, Device42, Turbonomic, UnifyCloud, Lakeside
  • Migrate ISVs – Carbonite
  • Assess and Migrate ISVs – Corent Technology

Working with Independent Software Vendors

Once you decide on any of the ISV tools, you first add the same to an Azure Migrate Project. After adding the tool, you need to get the license based on the terms of the ISV licensing policy. Each of the tools can connect to Azure Migrate which can be done by following the tools documentation and instructions. The entire migration activity across Azure / ISV tools can be tracked from the Azure Migration Project itself.

Azure Web App Migrate with Migration Assistant Tool

In this post we are going to concentrate on the Web App part. This assesses, migrates websites on IIS 7.0+ and is windows only.

There are two options for Web App Migrate

  1. You can either provide an endpoint public URL to start the migration process
  2. You can download the Migration Assistant for internal .Net and PHP applications

Both the above steps are similar. The only difference is that the 1st step allows you to specify a public URL and see beforehand about the migration. Subsequently you will have to download the ‘Migration Assistant’ tool mentioned in step 2.

NOTE: All below images are taken from https://appmigration.microsoft.com/

Specify a public endpoint URL for migration on the site https://appmigration.microsoft.com/

Azure Migrate

Below I have added a URL (hidden), and you can see that the assessment tool has given insights based on the input URL.

Azure Migrate URL Result 1

There is also an ‘Show more technologies detected for the site’ button. When you enable it, you can see more information as below:

Azure Migrate URL Result 2

If you look carefully, just below the ‘Assess’ button, you will be able to check, if the URL given can be able to migrate to Azure App Services or not.

Migration Tool Assess Button

Once you click on ‘Start Migrating Now!’ you will be prompted to download the Migration Assistant along with the minimum system requirements.

Migration Tool Minimum System Requirements

On clicking ‘Download’ it will prompt you to acknowledge the terms and conditions. Once you download the .msi file, it will guide you further with the migration process. Since we are only discussing about Azure Migrate in general, the whole migration process is out of the scope of this post.

On running the tool, it will basically have a series of below steps

Migration Tool Options

The tool will show you the websites that are running in IIS. Choose the website and proceed with Next and it will assess the application to see if it can be migrated to Azure or if any changes are required.

Next the tool will display an Assessment Report

Migration Tool Assessment Results

Based on the assessment report, you can take further actions or if the report comes clear, you can now login to the Azure portal to proceed with the migration.

You can login to Azure by entering the code that is shown in the Migration Assistant. This is the device code for authentication. You will also need to authenticate with your Azure subscription account.

After login in you need to enter the App Service information for your application to be migrated.

You can create / select Resource Group
Enter App Service Name
Choose the Region 
Choose Database / Skip database setup based on whether you application uses a database
Finally click Migrate

Azure Options

The migration will start and once it finishes, you can see ‘Migration Results’

Migration Results

If you click on ‘Go to your website’, it will load the migrated web application in the browser window

Summary

In this post on Cloud Migration with Azure Migrate, we saw how Azure Migrate which consists of the Migration Tool is an easy way for migration your existing web applications to Azure. Hope this step by step guide helps you in your web app migration. Knowledge is best used when it is shared hence do not forget to share.

Hitesh Boricha

I have a little over a decade experience in the IT industry. Having worked in various roles in this industry, I am passionate about technology.

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