How to Migrate an On-Premises Server to Azure

The cloud computing market is experiencing massive growth as more and more organizations rely on hybrid work environments. One projection predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1% until 2030. A significant part of that growth is the adoption of Microsoft Azure, leaving many businesses wondering how to migrate a physical server to Azure.

After all, of that $400-plus billion market, Azure has a market share of about 21%. That means it’s one of the most popular cloud computing platforms. The reason for its popularity is that it offers more regions and certifications than any other public cloud platform.

Additionally, with Azure, you’ll be able to leverage a user-friendly system that meets compliance standards across most industries.

If you’re ready to migrate your server to Azure, this guide is for you. Below, you’ll learn all you need to know about how to migrate a physical server to Azure quickly, efficiently, and error-free.

Why Migrate Your Server to Azure?

What makes Azure so attractive in the first place?

The cloud computing platform offers:

  • 60 global regions
  • Interoperability
  • High-security standards
  • Integrated IaaS and PaaS services

Still not convinced? Some organizations see ROI as high as 228% with Azure’s app modernization capabilities.

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The advantages are clear. Yet, cloud migration to Azure can be a complicated process for those unfamiliar with cloud computing platforms or server management.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single Azure migration tool that solves all the potential complications that can arise when undertaking an Azure migration project. Still, there are things you can do to mitigate as many risks as possible.

We’ve compiled an Azure migration step-by-step guide to help facilitate your servers’ migration from on-premises servers to cloud-based Azure servers.

Azure Migration Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Use an Assessment Tool

Azure’s assessment tool will help with the discovery and assessment phase of your migration. This helps set the parameters of your migration project.

There are several types of assessments you can create:

  • Azure VM (virtual machine): This assessment concerns migrating on-premise to Azure’s VM
  • Azure SQL: Assessment determines your migration from on-premises SQL servers to Azure SQL database or Azure SQL Managed Instance
  • Azure VMware Solutions: Assessment determines your migration on-premises servers to Azure VMware Solutions (AVS)

You should receive a performance-based and as-is on-premise assessment. The former presents recommendations based on collected performance data, while the latter provides a comprehensive view of the current state of your overall infrastructure.

You can complete your assessment by using server metadata collected by an additional appliance or one presented in CSV format (imported from stored data).

The assessment will present critical pieces of information that can make your migration process much simpler, like:

  • Determine server compatibility with Azure and identify potential incompatibility issues
  • Identify the appropriate Azure resources needed to complete the migration
  • Present an accurate estimate of the total cost and time demands
  • Visualize workload dependencies that make planning more accurate

Step 2: Prepare Your Azure and Servers

Once the assessment is complete, you can create an Azure Migrate project and begin granting permissions to relevant stakeholders. You’ll then be able to create virtual machines and write to an Azure-managed disk.

Following this, you’ll create an Azure Virtual Network (Vnet), allowing your Azure VMs to join during data replication. You’ll have to also verify that the on-premises infrastructure complies with Azure VM requirements.

Step 3: Get the Correct Azure Migration Tool

There is no one Azure migration tool that can manage the entire process. However, there are several Azure migration tools that you can add to your cloud platform to help you along the process. Getting the right tools before your migration will make the process much easier.

There are many migration tools, each with varying levels of utility depending on the type of migration you are performing.

Generally, you’ll need the Azure Migrate Server Migration tool. Whether or not you’ll need others depends on your project.

Step 4: Install Mobility Service

Every machine that is to be migrated has to have a mobility service installed. You can find the installer for this service on the replication appliance.

You will have to:

  1. Extract the contents of the installer file locally on every individual machine
  2. Run the machine
  3. Register the agent with the replication appliance

This will require the passphrase on the replication appliance, as regenerating it will break connectivity and require that the replication appliance be re-registered.

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Step 5: Install Machine Replication

You will need to now initiate the replication process of the Azure Migrate project to copy your data to the Azure platform. You can generally replicate up to 10 machines simultaneously. Therefore, you will have to create bundles of 10 machines.

Step 6: Migrate VM to Azure

Now you’re ready to migrate your on-premises VM to Azure. It’s a best practice to run test migrations for every individual machine so you can ensure that other machines are not impacted. Once the test is complete, you can cleanse the test migration, shut down virtual machines and perform the planned migration with no data loss on the VMs.


Get Migration Support for Azure From Experts

Atmosera is an experienced managed service provider and Azure migration consultancy.

Let us facilitate your migration. This ensures that your business can start benefiting from Azure without running into the usual missteps that delay and damage migration projects.

We will prepare your migration process from top to bottom, managing your migration to maximize its effectiveness.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you facilitate your migration process.

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