Migrate a SQL Server database to Azure SQL Database

Azure Database Migration Service partners with DMA to migrate existing on-premises SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL databases to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance or SQL Server on Azure virtual machines.

 

SQL Migration.png
Azure SQL Migration (Source Microsoft Corp)

 

Moving a SQL Server database to Microsoft Azure SQL Database with Data Migration Assistant is a three-part process:

  1. Prepare a database in a SQL Server for migration to Azure SQL Database using the Data Migration Assistant (DMA).
  2. Export the database to a BACPAC file.
  3. Import the BACPAC file into an Azure SQL Database.

Using Microsoft Data Migration Assistant

Step 1: Prepare for migration

Complete these prerequisites:

  • Install the newest version of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Installing SSMS also installs the newest version of SQLPackage, a command-line utility that can be used to automate a range of database development tasks.
  • Download and Install the Microsoft Data Migration Assistant (DMA).
  • Identify and have access to a database to migrate.

Follow these steps to use Data Migration Assistant to assess the readiness of your database for migration to Azure SQL Database:

  1. Open the Microsoft Data Migration Assistant. You can run DMA on any computer with connectivity to the SQL Server instance containing the database that you plan to migrate; you do not need to install it on the computer hosting the SQL Server instance.
  2. In the left-hand menu, click New to create an Assessment project. Fill in the form with a Project name (all other values should be left at their default values), and then click Create.
  3. On the Options page, click Next.
  4. On the Select sources page, enter the name of SQL Server instance containing the server you plan to migrate. Change the other values on this page if necessary, and then click Connect.
  5. In the Add sources portion of the Select sources page, select the checkboxes for the databases to be tested for compatibility, and then click Add.
  6. Click Start Assessment.
  7. When the assessment completes, look for the checkmark in the green circle to see if the database is sufficiently compatible to migrate.
  8. Review the results the SQL Server feature parity results. Specifically review the information about unsupported and partially supported features, and the recommended actions.
  9. Review the Compatibility issues by clicking that option in the upper left. Specifically review the information about migration blockers, behavior changes, and deprecated features for each compatibility level. For the AdventureWorks2008R2 database, review the changes to Full-Text Search since SQL Server 2008, and the changes to SERVERPROPERTY(‘LCID’) since SQL Server 2000. For details about these changes, links for more information are provided. Many search options and settings for Full-Text Search have changed.
  10. Optionally, click Export report to save the report as a JSON file.
  11. Close the Data Migration Assistant.

Step 2: Export to BACPAC file

Follow these steps to use the SQLPackage command-line utility to export the AdventureWorks2008R2 database to local storage.

  1. Open a Windows command prompt and change your directory to a folder in which you have the 130 version of SQLPackage, such as C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\130\DAC\bin.
  2. Execute the following SQLPackage command at the command prompt to export the AdventureWorks2008R2 database from localhost to AdventureWorks2008R2.bacpac. Change any of these values as appropriate to your environment.

SQLPackageCopy

sqlpackage.exe /Action:Export /ssn:localhost /sdn:AdventureWorks2008R2 /tf:AdventureWorks2008R2.bacpac

Once the execution is complete the generated BACPAC file is stored in the directory where the sqlpackage executable is located. In this example, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\130\DAC\bin.

  1. Log in to the Azure portal.
  2. Create a SQL Server logical server

A SQL Server logical server acts as a central administrative point for multiple databases. Follow these steps to create a SQL server logical server to contain the migrated Adventure Works OLTP SQL Server database.

  1. Click the New button found on the upper left-hand corner of the Azure portal.
  2. Type sql server in the search window on the New page, and select SQL server (logical server) from the filtered list.
  3. Click Create, and enter the properties for the new SQL Server (logical server).
  4. Complete the SQL server (logical server) form with the values from the red box in this image.
  5. Click Create to provision the logical server. Provisioning takes a few minutes.

Step 3: Create a server-level firewall rule

  1. Click All resources from the left-hand menu, and click the new server on the All resources page. The overview page for the server opens and provides options for further configuration.
  2. Click Firewall in the left-hand menu under Settings on the overview page.
  3. Click Add client IP on the toolbar to add the IP address of the computer you are currently using, and then click Save. This creates a server-level firewall rule for this IP address.
  4. Click OK.

Step 3: Import a BACPAC file to Azure SQL Database

The SQLPackage command-line utility is the preferred method to import your BACPAC database to Azure SQL Database for most production environments.

SqlPackage.exe /a:import /tcs:”Data Source=<your_server_name>.database.windows.net;Initial Catalog=<your_new_database_name>;User Id=<change_to_your_admin_user_account>;Password=<change_to_your_password>” /sf:AdventureWorks2008R2.bacpac /p:DatabaseEdition=Premium /p:DatabaseServiceObjective=P6

Connect using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. In the Connect to Server dialog box, enter this information.
  • Server type: Specify Database engine
  • Server name: Enter your fully qualified server name, such as mynewserver20170403.database.windows.net
  • Authentication: Specify SQL Server Authentication
  • Login: Enter your server admin account
  • Password: Enter the password for your server admin account
  1. Click Connect.
  2. In Object Explorer, expand Databases, and then expand myMigratedDatabase to view the objects in the sample database.

Using Azure Database Migration Service

Azure Database Migration Service (ADMS), now in limited preview, can help you migrate existing on-premises SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL databases to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, or SQL Server on an Azure Virtual Machine.

ADMS is designed to simplify the complex workflows you can encounter when migrating various database types to databases in Azure.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Data Migration Service, and then click New Migration Project.
  2. In New Migration Project, enter a unique project name, server source type and a target server type.
  3. Click Start.
  4. Provide all options under Migration target details, and then click Save.
  5. Provide all options under Migration source detail, and then click Save.
  6. In the Select source databases list, select each source database you want to migrate, and then click Save.
  7. Review the details summary, and then click Run Migration to start the migration. The amount of time the migration will run depends on a variety of factors including size and complexity of the database, source disk speed, and network speed.
  8. Once the migration is finished, a Completed status will be displayed in the SQL Migration dashboard.

Migrating VMware Virtual Workloads to Microsoft Azure Cloud

Overview

Migrating to the cloud doesn’t have to be difficult, but many organizations struggle to get started. Before they can showcase the cost benefits of moving to the cloud or determine if their workloads will lift and shift without effort, they need deep visibility into their own environment and the tight interdependencies between applications, workloads, and data. Azure Migrate, Azure Database Migration Service, and Azure Cost Management provides a frictionless approach to moving VMware VMs to Azure.

VMware to Azure.PNG

Microsoft – Cloud Security Certification

Microsoft Azure has been certified by Australian Signals Dicrectorate (ASD), Department of Defence. Check your region to verify Azure certification by the regulator if you have regulatory compliance requirements.

  • Microsoft has undergone an Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) assessment of Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and been certified on the Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) by ASD for Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365
  • Microsoft Azure has been awarded PROTECTED classification level by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). Microsoft Azure is the first global cloud provider which has been awarded PROTECTED
  • Azure, Cloud App Security, Intune, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power BI are awarded certification after rigorous independent assessments of cloud providers by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
  • Azure, Cloud App Security, Intune, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power BI are awarded ISO/IEC 27001 certification meeting criteria specified in the ISO certification

Licensing Cost & Azure Hybrid Benefit

  • customers with Software Assurance to run Windows Server VMs on Azure at a lower rate.
  • save up to 40 percent on Windows Server VMs
  • Use existing SQL Server licenses toward SQL Database managed instances
  • Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances to further reduce costs—up to 72% on PAYG prices per year or per three years terms on both Windows and Linux virtual machines.
  • pay only for the underlying compute and storage for SQL VM
  • 82% savings over PAYG rates on Azure and up to 67% compared to AWS RIs for Windows VMs.
  • 49% cost savings estimated using the Azure TCO calculator comparing on-premsies VMware VMs. Actual savings may vary based on region, instance type and usage. Reference Nucleus Research
  • You can specify whether you’re enrolled in Software Assurance and can use the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit.

Hybrid Cloud1

Migration Path

Microsoft offers an end-to-end solution to provide you with a proven framework and tools to migrate your first workload and give you a complete roadmap for discovery, migration, and continual optimization, including better insights and strategies for running your entire datacenter portfolio on Azure. Migrating to Azure is simple three-stage process and focuses on how to identify virtual machines, applications, and data that can easily be moved to the cloud.

Hybrid Cloud.PNG

Supported Platform

  • VMware vCenter Server 5.5, 0 and later version managed virtual machines
  • Any On-premises Storage (vSAN, FC SAN, NFS or iSCSI)
  • Appliance-based, agentless, and non-intrusive discovery of on-premises virtual machines.
  • Currently Azure Migrate supports only Locally redundant storage (LRS). However, once you migrated to Azure, you can use Geo-redundant storage.
  • Lift & Shift migration to Azure IaaS Cloud
  • Azure migrate will recommend the use of Azure Database Migration Service
  • Use Azure Site Recovery Manager to migrate business critical and large VMs to Azure Cloud

Stage 1 – Assess Your VMware vSphere Environment

Use these four steps to discover and assess your on-premises workloads for migration to Azure.

  1. Prepare your environment.
  2. Discover virtual machines.
  3. Group virtual machines.
  4. Assess the groups of virtual machines.

Step 1: Prepare your environment

  1. To get started with Azure Migrate, you need a Microsoft Azure account or the free trial.
  2. Assess VMware Virtual machines located on vSphere ESXi hosts that are managed with a vCenter server running version 5.5 or 6.0.
  3. The ESXi host or cluster on which the Collector VM (version 8.0) runs must be running version 5.0 or later.
  4. To discover virtual machines, Azure Migrate needs an account with read-only administrator credentials for the vCenter server.
  5. Create a vCenter virtual machine in .ova format. Download an appliance and import it to the vCenter server to create the virtual machine. The virtual machine must be able to connect to the internet to send metadata to Azure.
  6. Set statistics settings for the vCenter server to statistics level 2. The default Level 1 will work, but Azure Migrate won’t be able to collect data for performance-based sizing for storage.

Tag your virtual machines in vCenter (optional)

Use these steps to tag your virtual machines in vCenter server.

  1. In the VMware vSphere Web Client, navigate to the vCenter server instance.
  2. To review current tags, click Tags.
  3. To tag a virtual machine, click Related Objects > Virtual Machines, and select the virtual machine.
  4. In Summary > Tags, click Assign.
  5. Click New Tag, and specify a tag name and description.
  6. To create a category for the tag, select New Category in the drop-down list.
  7. Specify a category name and description and the cardinality, and click OK.

Step 2: Discover virtual machines

Using Azure Migrate to discover on-premises workloads involves these steps.

  1. Create a Project.
  2. Download the Collector appliance.
  3. Create the Collector virtual machine.
  4. Run the Collector to discover virtual machines.
  5. Verify discovered virtual machines in the portal.

Create a Project

Azure Migrate projects hold the metadata of your on-premises machines and enables you to assess migration suitability.  Use these steps to create a project.

  1. Log on to the Azure portal and click New.
  2. Search for Azure Migrate in the search box, and select the service Azure Migrate (preview) in the search results, and then click Create.
  3. Select the Azure Migrate service from the search results.
  4. Click Create.
  5. Specify a name for the new project.
  6. Select the subscription you want the project to get associated to.
  7. Create a new resource group, or select an existing one.
  8. Specify an Azure location.
  9. To quickly access the project from the Dashboard, select Pin to dashboard.
  10. Click Create. The new project appears on the Dashboard, under All resources, and in the Projects blade.

Download the Collector appliance

  1. Select the project, and click Discover & Assess on the Overview blade.
  2. Click Discover Machines, and then click Download.
  3. Copy the Project ID and project key values to use when you configure the Collector.

Deploy the Collector virtual machine

In the vCenter Server, import the Collector appliance as a virtual machine using the Deploy OVF Template wizard.

  1. In vSphere Client console, click File > Deploy OVF Template.
  2. In the Deploy OVF Template Wizard > Source, specify the location for the .ovf file.
  3. In Name and Location, specify a friendly name for the Collector virtual machine, the inventory object in which the virtual machine will be hosted.
  4. In Host/Cluster, specify the host or cluster on which the Collector virtual machine will run.
  5. In Storage, specify the storage destination for the Collector virtual machine.
  6. In Disk Format, specify the disk type and size.
  7. In Network Mapping, specify the network to which the Collector virtual machine will connect. The network must be connected to the internet to send metadata to Azure.
  8. Review and confirm the settings, and then click Finish.

Run the Collector to discover virtual machines

  1. In the vSphere Client console, right-click the virtual machine > Open Console.
  2. Provide the language, time zone, and password preferences for the appliance.
  3. In the Azure Migrate Collector, open Set Up Prerequisites, and then

o Accept the license terms, and read the third-party information.

o The Collector checks that the virtual machine has internet access. If the virtual machine accesses the internet via a proxy, click Proxy settings, and specify the proxy address and listening port. Specify credentials if proxy access needs authentication.

o The Collector checks that the Windows profiler service is running. The service is installed by default on the Collector virtual machine.

o Select to download and install the VMware PowerCLI.

  1. In Discover Machines, do the following:

o Specify the name (FQDN) or IP address of the vCenter server and the read-only account the Collector will use to discover virtual machines on the vCenter server.

o Select a scope for virtual machine discovery. The Collector can only discover virtual machines within the specified scope. Scope can be set to a specific folder, datacenter, or cluster, but it shouldn’t contain more than 1000 virtual machines.

o If you’re using tagging on the vCenter server, select tag categories for virtual machine grouping. Azure Migrate automatically groups virtual machines based on tag values in the category. If you’re not using tagging, you can group virtual machines in the Azure portal.

  1. In Select Project, specify the Azure Migrate project ID and key you copied from the Azure portal. If didn’t copy them, open Azure in a browser from the Collector virtual machine. In the project Overview page, click Discover Machines, and copy the values.
  2. In Complete Discovery, you can monitor the discovery status, and check that metadata is collected from the virtual machines in scope. The Collector provides an approximate discovery time.

Verify discovered virtual machines in the portal

  1. In the migration project, click Manage > Machines.
  2. Check that the virtual machines you want to discover appear in the portal.

Step 3: Group virtual machines

Enterprises typically migrate virtual machines with dependencies together at the same time to ensure their functionality after migration to Azure. Azure Migrate allows you to categorize the virtual machines by group so you can assess all the virtual machines in a group.

  • If you provided a tag category—which was an optional step while configuring the Collector—groups will be automatically created for the workloads based on the tag values.
  • If a tag category is not provided while configuring the Collector, you can create groups of virtual machines in the Azure Migrate portal.

Optional: Assess machine dependencies before adding them to a group

  1. In Manage > Machines, search the Machine for which you want to view the dependencies.
  2. In the Dependencies column for the machine, click Install agent.
  3. To calculate dependencies, download and install these agents on the machine: o Microsoft Monitoring agent

o Dependency agent

  1. Copy the workspace ID and key to use later when you install the Microsoft Monitoring agent on a machine.
  2. After you install the agents on the machine, return to the portal and click Machines. This time the Dependencies column for the machine should contain the text View dependencies. Click View dependencies.
  3. By default, the dependency time range is an hour. Click the time range to shorten it, specify start and end dates, or change the duration. Press Ctrl + Click to select multiple machines on the map, and then click Group machines.
  4. In Group machines, specify a group name. Verify the machines you added have the dependency agents installed and have been discovered by Azure Migrate. Machines must be discovered to assess them. We recommend that you install the dependency agents to complete dependency mapping.
  5. Click OK to save the group settings. Alternatively, you can add machines to an existing group.

Create a Group

You can create groups of virtual machines from the Machines blade or from the Groups blade, using a similar process.

Create a group from the Machines blade

  1. Navigate to the Dashboard of a project and click the Machines tile.
  2. Click Group Machines.
  3. Specify a name for the group in the Name box, and then select the machines that you want to add to the group.
  4. Click Create.

Add/Remove machines to/from an existing group if you require

  1. Navigate to the dashboard of a project and click the Groups tile.
  2. Select the Group you want to add/remove machines to/from.
  3. Click Add Machines or Remove Machines.
  4. Select the machines that you want to add/remove to/from the group.
  5. Click Add or Remove.

Step 4: Assess groups of virtual machines

Create an assessment

Follow these steps to generate an assessment for the group.

  1. Select the project you want under Project.
  2. On the project dashboard, click Groups.
  3. Create a new group or select an existing group to assess under Group.
  4. Click Create Assessment to create a new assessment for the group.

The assessment includes these details.

  • Summary of the number of machines suitable for Azure which is referred to as Azure Readiness.
  • Monthly estimate of the cost for running the machines in Azure after migration.
  • Storage monthly cost estimate.

Assessment calculation

Azure Migrate performs three checks on virtual machines in this order:

  1. Azure Suitability Analysis
  2. Performance-based sizing
  3. Monthly cost estimate

Stage 2: Migrate virtual machines using Azure Site Recovery

Before you start deployment, review the architecture and make sure you understand all the components you need to deploy.

Next, make sure you understand the prerequisites and limitations for a Microsoft Azure account, Azure networks, and storage accounts. You also need:

  • On-premises Site Recovery components
  • On-premises VMware prerequisites
  • Mobility service component installed on the virtual machine you want to replicate.

These are the general steps to migrate:

  1. Set up Azure services such as Virtual Networks, Availability Group, Network Load Balancer, Address Space, Subnets, Resource Group, Storage Accounts, Public IPs.
  2. Connect to VMware servers.
  3. Set up the target environment.
  4. Complete migration.

I assume, you have completed the step1. So I am moving on to step 2.

Create a Recovery Services vault

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal > Recovery Services.
  2. Click New > Monitoring & Management > Backup and Site Recovery.
  3. In Name, specify a friendly name to identify the vault. If you have more than one subscription, select one of them.
  4. Create a resource group, or select an existing one. Specify an Azure region. To check supported regions, see geographic availability in Azure Site Recovery Pricing Details.
  5. If you want to quickly access the vault from the dashboard, click Pin to dashboard, and then click Create.
  6. The new vault will appear on Dashboard > All resources and on the main Recovery Services vaults blade.

Select a protection goal

In this task, select what you want to replicate, and where you want to replicate to.

  1. Click Recovery Services vaults > vault.
  2. In the Resource Menu, click Site Recovery > Prepare Infrastructure > Protection goal.
  3. In Protection goal, select To Azure > Yes, with VMware vSphere Hypervisor.

Set up the source environment

In this task, set up the configuration server, register it in the vault, and discover virtual machines.

  1. Click Site Recovery > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Source.
  2. If you don’t have a configuration server, click Configuration server.
  3. In Add Server, check that Configuration Server appears in Server type.
  4. Download the Site Recovery Unified Setup installation file.
  5. Download the vault registration key. You need this when you run Unified Setup. The key is valid for five days after you generate it.

Register the configuration server in the vault

The next task requires you to run Unified Setup to install the configuration server, the process server, and the master target server. First however, do these three steps.

  1. On the configuration server virtual machine, make sure that the system clock is synchronized with a Time Server. It should match. If it’s 15 minutes in front or behind, setup might fail.
  2. Run setup as a Local Administrator on the configuration server virtual machine.
  3. Make sure TLS 1.0 is enabled on the virtual machine.

Now you are ready to run Setup.

  1. Run the Unified Setup installation file.
  2. In Before You Begin, select Install the configuration server and process server.
  3. From the Third-Party Software License screen, click I Accept to download and install MySQL.
  4. From the Registration screen, select the registration key you downloaded from the vault, and then click Next.
  5. From the Internet Settings screen, specify how the Provider running on the configuration server connects to Azure Site Recovery over the Internet.
  6. If you want to connect with the proxy that’s currently set up on the machine, select Connect to Azure Site Recovery using a proxy server.
  7. If you want the Provider to connect directly, select Connect directly to Azure Site Recovery without a proxy server.
  8. If the existing proxy requires authentication, or if you want to use a custom proxy for the Provider connection, select Connect with custom proxy settings. o If you use a custom proxy, you need to specify the address, port, and credentials.
  9. From the Prerequisites Check screen, run a check to make sure that installation can run. If a warning appears about the Global time sync check, verify that the time on the system clock (Date and Time settings) is the same as the time zone.
  10. In the MySQL Configuration screen, create credentials for logging on to the MySQL server instance that is installed.
  11. From the Environment Details screen, select whether to replicate VMware virtual machines. If you will, Setup checks that PowerCLI 6.0 is installed.
  12. From the Install Location screen, select where you want to install the binaries and store the cache. The drive you select must have at least 5 GB of disk space available, but we recommend a cache drive with at least 600 GB of available space.
  13. From the Network Selection screen, specify the listener (network adapter and SSL port) on which the configuration server sends and receives replication data. Port 9443 is the default port used for sending and receiving replication traffic, but you can modify this port number to suit your environment’s requirements. In addition to the port 9443, we also open port 443, which is used by a web server to orchestrate replication operations. Do not use port 443 for sending or receiving replication traffic.
  14. In the Summary screen, review the information and click Install. When installation finishes, a passphrase is generated. You will need this when you enable replication, so copy it and keep it in a secure location. After registration finishes, the server is displayed on the Settings > Servers in the vault.

Step 2: Connect to VMware servers

To allow Azure Site Recovery to discover virtual machines running in your on-premises environment, you need to connect your VMware vCenter Server or vSphere ESXi hosts with Site Recovery. Note the following before you start:

  • If you add the vCenter server or vSphere hosts to Site Recovery with an account without administrator privileges on the server, the account needs these privileges enabled:

o Datacenter, Datastore, Folder, Host, Network, Resource, Virtual machine, vSphere Distributed Switch.

o The vCenter server needs Storage views permissions.

  • When you add VMware servers to Site Recovery, it can take 15 minutes or longer for them to appear in the portal.

Step 3: Set up the target environment

Before you set up the target environment, make sure you have an Azure storage account and a virtual network set up.

  1. Click Prepare infrastructure > Target, and select the Azure subscription you want to use.
  2. Specify whether your target deployment model is Resource Manager-based, or classic.
  3. Site Recovery verifies that you have one or more compatible Azure storage accounts and networks.

Create replication policy

You need a replication policy to automate the replication to Azure.

  1. To create a new replication policy, click Site Recovery infrastructure > Replication Policies > Replication Policy.
  2. Under RPO threshold, specify the RPO limit. This value specifies how often data recovery points are created. An alert is generated if continuous replication exceeds this limit.
  3. Under Recovery point retention, specify (in hours) how long the retention window is for each recovery point. Replicated virtual machines can be recovered to any point in a window. Up to 24 hours retention is supported for machines replicated to premium storage, and 72 hours for standard storage.
  4. Under App-consistent snapshot frequency, specify how often (in minutes) recovery points containing application-consistent snapshots will be created.
  5. Click OK to create the policy.
  6. When you create a new policy it’s automatically associated with the configuration server. By default, a matching policy is automatically created for failback. For example, if the replication policy is rep-policy then the failback policy will be rep-policy-failback. The failback policy isn’t used until you initiate a failback from Azure.

Prepare for push installation of the Mobility service

The Mobility service must be installed on all virtual machines you want to replicate. There are several ways to install the service, including manual installation, push installation from the Site Recovery process server, and installation using methods such as System Center Configuration Manager. Here you can review prerequisites and installation methods for the Mobility Service.

If you want to use push installation from the Azure Site Recovery process server, you need to prepare an account that Azure Site Recovery can use to access the virtual machine.

The following describes the options:

  • You can use a domain or local account

For Windows, if you’re not using a domain account, you need to disable Remote User Access control on the local machine. To do this, in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, add the DWORD entry LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy, with a value of 1.

  • If you want to add the registry entry for Windows from a CLI, type: REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1.
  • For Linux, the account should be root on the source Linux server.

Install Mobility Service manually by using the GUI

  1. Copy the installer executable to the virtual machine that is being migrated to Azure, and then open the installer.
  2. On the Installation Option pane, select Install Mobility Service.
  3. Select the install location and click Install to being the installation procedure.
  4. You can use Installation Progress page to monitor the installer’s progress.
  5. Once installation is complete, click the Proceed to Configuration button to register the Mobility Service with your Configuration server.
  6. Click on the Register button to complete the registration.

Configure replication

After you have installed and configured both the Process Server and the Mobility Service agents, continue configuring replication in Azure.

  1. In the Azure portal, navigate to Site Recovery > Step1: Replicate Application > Enable Replication, and then click Step 1: Source Configure > Source.
  2. In Source, select On-Premises.
  3. In Source location, select your Configuration Server.
  4. In Machine type, select Virtual Machines.
  5. In vCenter/vSphere Hypervisor, select the vCenter server that manages the vSphere host, or select the host.
  6. Select the process server or the configuration server if you haven’t created any additional process servers, and then click OK.
  7. In Target, select the subscription and the resource group in which you want to create the migrated virtual machines. Choose the deployment model for the migrated virtual machines that you want to use in Azure (classic or resource manager).
  8. Select the Azure storage account you want to use for replicating data. If you don’t want to use an account you’ve already set up, you can create a new one.
  9. Select the Azure network and subnet to which Azure Virtual Machines will connect when they’re created after migration. Select Configure now for selected machines to apply the network setting to all machines you select for protection, or select Configure later to select the Azure network per virtual machine.
  10. Point to Virtual Machines > Select, select each enabled machine you want to replicate, and then click OK.
  11. In Properties > Configure properties, select the process server account that will automatically install the Mobility service on the machine.
  12. By default, all disks are replicated. Click All Disks and clear any disks you don’t want to replicate, and then click OK. You can set additional virtual machine disk properties later if needed.
  13. In Replication settings > Configure replication settings, verify that the correct replication policy is selected. If you modify a policy, changes will be applied to the replicating machine and to new machines.
  14. Enable Multi-VM consistency if you want to gather machines into a replication group, specify a name for the group, and then click OK.
  15. Click Enable Replication. You can track progress of the Enable Protection job in Settings > Jobs > Site Recovery Jobs. After the Finalize Protection job runs the machine is ready for failover.

Step 4: Complete migration

Because migration is different than failover, it is important to configure Site Recovery for a migration.

For migration, you don’t need to commit a failover or delete machines. Instead, select the Complete Migration option for each machine you want to migrate.

  1. In Replicated Items, right-click the virtual machine, and then click Complete Migration.
  2. Click OK to complete the migration.

You can track progress in the virtual machine properties by monitoring the Complete Migration job in Site Recovery jobs. The Complete Migration action completes the migration process, removes replication for the machine, and stops Site Recovery billing for the machine.

At this point, your virtual machine has been migrated to Azure and you can begin using the IP addresses you set up in Networking. If you must migrate a database, the next section outlines migrating SQL Server databases using Migration Data Assistant and Azure Database Migration Service. Otherwise, the migration process continues with

Stage 3: Optimize migrated workloads

Cloudyn helps ensure migrated virtual machines continue to deliver targeted resource utilization and best cost by recommending changes. Track costs against budget using spending reports that help identify which virtual machine types are consuming budget and support decisions on how to modify the Azure environment to maximize ROI. Cloudyn benefits include:

  • Visibility into resource costs
  • Visibility into application and departmental costs
  • Budgeting
  • Cost optimization with right-sizing guidance

As organizations move on-premises virtual machines to Azure, a best practice is to move workloads through three stages: discover, migrate, and optimize. Microsoft and its partners offer tools to help increase the efficiency and reduce the complexity of those stages.

Understanding Software Defined Storage (SDS)

Software defined storage is an evolution of storage technology in cloud era. It is a deployment of storage technology without any dependencies on storage hardware. Software defined storage (SDS) eliminates all traditional aspect of storage such as managing storage policy, security, provisioning, upgrading and scaling of storage without the headache of hardware layer. Software defined storage (SDS) is completely software based product instead of hardware based product. A software defined storage must have the following characteristics.

Characteristics of SDS

  • Management of complete stack of storage using software
  • Automation-policy driven storage provisioning with SLA
  • Ability to run private, public or hybrid cloud platform
  • Creation of uses metric and billing in control panel
  • Logical storage services and capabilities eliminating dependence on the underlying physical storage systems
  • Creation of logical storage pool
  • Creation of logical tiering of storage volumes
  • Aggregate various physical storage into one or multiple logical pool
  • Storage virtualization
  • Thin provisioning of volume from logical pool of storage
  • Scale out storage architecture such as Microsoft Scale out File Servers
  • Virtual volumes (vVols), a proposal from VMware for a more transparent mapping between large volumes and the VM disk images within them
  • Parallel NFS (pNFS), a specific implementation which evolved within the NFS
  • OpenStack APIs for storage interaction which have been applied to open-source projects as well as to vendor products.
  • Independent of underlying storage hardware

A software defined storage must not have the following limitations.

  • Glorified hardware which juggle between network and disk e.g. Dell Compellent
  • Dependent systems between hardware and software e.g. Dell Compellent
  • High latency and low IOPS for production VMs
  • Active-passive management controller
  • Repetitive hardware and software maintenance
  • Administrative and management overhead
  • Cost of retaining hardware and software e.g. life cycle management
  • Factory defined limitation e.g. can’t do situation
  • Production downtime for maintenance work e.g. Dell Compellent maintenance

The following vendors provides various software defined storage in current market.

Software Only vendor

  • Atlantis Computing
  • DataCore Software
  • SANBOLIC
  • Nexenta
  • Maxta
  • CloudByte
  • VMware
  • Microsoft

Mainstream Storage vendor

  • EMC ViPR
  • HP StoreVirtual
  • Hitachi
  • IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center
  • NetApp Data ONTAP

Storage Appliance vendor

  • Tintri
  • Nimble
  • Solidfire
  • Nutanix
  • Zadara Storage

Hyper Converged Appliance

  • Cisco (Starting price from $59K for Hyperflex systems+1 year support inclusive)
  • Nutanix
  • VCE (Starting price from $60K for RXRAIL systems+support)
  • Simplivity Corporation
  • Maxta
  • Pivot3 Inc.
  • Scale Computing Inc
  • EMC Corporation
  • VMware Inc

Ultimately, SDS should and will provide businesses will worry free management of storage without limitation of hardware. There are compelling use cases of software defined storage for an enterprise to adopt software defined storage.

Relavent Articles

VMware Increases Price Again

VMware increases price again. As per VMware pricing FAQ, the following pricing model will be in effect on April 1, 2016.

vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus from US$4,245/CPU to US$4,395/CPU

VMware vCenter Server™ Standard from US$4,995/Instance to US$5,995/Instance

vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus now includes enhancements to Workload Placement, and vCenter Server™ Standard now includes 25 Operating System Instances of VMware vRealize® Log Insight™ for vCenter.

vSphere Enterprise and vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise customers also entitled for a 50% discount on optional upgrade to vSphere Enterprise Plus and vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus. This offer is valid until June 25, 2016.

Relevant Information

VMware Licensing FAQ

Hyper-v Server 2016 licensing FAQ

Windows Server 2016 datasheet

Windows Server 2016

Understanding Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Virtualization

The evolution of virtualization lead to an evolution of wide range of virtualized technology including the key building block of a data center which is Network. A traditional network used be wired connection of physical switches and devices. A network administrator has nightmare making some configuration changes and possibility of breaking another configuration while doing same changes. Putting together a massive data center would have been expensive venture and lengthy project. Since the virtualization and cloud services on the horizon, anything can be offered as a service and almost anything can virtualised and software defined.

Since development of Microsoft SCVMM and VMware NSX, network function virtualization (NFV), network virtualization (NV) and software defined network (SDN) are making bold statement on-premises based customer and cloud based service provider. Out of all great benefits having a software defined network, two key benefits standout among all which are easy provisioning a network and easy change control of that network. You don’t have to fiddle around physical layer of network and you certainly don’t have to modify virtual host to provision a complete network with few mouse click. How does it work?

Software Defined Networking- Software defined networking (SDN) is a dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable, high-bandwidth, agile open architecture. SDN architectures decouple network control and forwarding functions, enabling network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted from applications and network services. Examples of Cisco software defined networking is here.

The fundamental building block of SDN is:

  • Programmable: Network control is directly programmable because it is decoupled from forwarding functions.
  • Agile: Abstracting control from forwarding lets administrators dynamically adjust network-wide traffic flow to meet changing needs.
  • Centrally managed: Network intelligence is (logically) centralized in software-based SDN controllers that maintain a global view of the network, which appears to applications and policy engines as a single, logical switch.
  • Programmatically configured: SDN lets network managers configure, manage, secure, and optimize network resources very quickly via dynamic, automated SDN programs, which they can write themselves because the programs do not depend on proprietary software.
  • Open standards-based and vendor-neutral: When implemented through open standards, SDN simplifies network design and operation because instructions are provided by SDN controllers instead of multiple, vendor-specific devices and protocols.

Cisco SDN Capable Switches

Modular Switches

Cisco Nexus 9516
Cisco Nexus 9508
Cisco Nexus 9504

Fixed Switches

Cisco Nexus 9396PX
Cisco Nexus 9396TX
Cisco Nexus 93128TX
Cisco Nexus 9372PX
Cisco Nexus 9372TX
Cisco Nexus 9336PQ ACI Spine Switch
Cisco Nexus 9332PQ

Network Virtualization- A virtualized network is simply partitioning existing physical network and creating multiple logical network. Network virtualization literally tries to create logical segments in an existing network by dividing the network logically at the flow level. End goal is to allow multiple virtual machine in same logical segment or a private portion of network allocated by business. In a physical networking you cannot have same IP address range within same network and manage traffic for two different kind of services and application. But in a virtual world you can have same IP range segregated in logical network. Let’s say two different business/tenant have 10.124.3.x/24 IP address scheme in their internal network. But both business/tenant decided to migrate to Microsoft Azure platform and bring their own IP address scheme (10.124.3.x/24) with them. It is absolutely possible for them to retain their own IP address and migrate to Microsoft Azure. You will not see changes within Azure portal. You even don’t know that another organisation have same internal IP address scheme and possibly hosted in same Hyper-v host. It is programmatically and logically managed by Azure Stack and SCVMM network virtualization technology.

Network Functions Virtualization- Network function virtualization is virtualising layer 4 to layer 7 of OSI model in a software defined network. NFV runs on high-performance x86 platforms, and it enables users to turn up functions on selected tunnels in the network. The end goal is to allow administrator to create a service profile for a VM then create logical workflow within the network (the tunnel) and then build virtual services on that specific logical environment. NFV saves a lot of time on provisioning and managing application level of network. Functions like IDS, firewall and load balancer can be virtualised in Microsoft SCVMM and VMware NSX.

Here are some Cisco NFV products.

IOS-XRv Virtual Router: Scale your network when and where you need with this carrier-class router.

Network Service Virtualization- Network Service Virtualization (NSV) virtualizes a network service, for example, a firewall module or IPS software instance, by dividing the software image so that it may be accessed independently among different applications all from a common hardware base. NSV eliminates cost of acquiring a separate hardware for single purpose instead it uses same hardware to service different purpose every time a network is accessed or service is requested. It also open the door for service provider offer security as a service to various customer.

Network security appliances are now bundled as a set of security functions within one appliance. For example, firewalls were offered on special purpose hardware as were IPS (Intrusion Protection System), Web Filter, Content Filter, VPN (Virtual Private Network), NBAD (Network-Based Anomaly Detection) and other security products. This integration allows for greater software collaboration between security elements, lowers cost of acquisition and streamlines operations.

Cisco virtualized network services available on the Cisco Catalyst 6500 series platform.

Network security virtualization

  • Virtual firewall contexts also called security contexts
  • Up to 250 mixed-mode multiple virtual firewalls
  • Routed firewalls (Layer 3)
  • Transparent firewalls (Layer 2, or stealth)
  • Mixed-mode firewalls combination of both Layer 2 and Layer 3 firewalls coexisting on the same physical firewall. 

Virtual Route Forwarding (VRF) network services

  • NetFlow on VRF interfaces
  • VRF-aware syslog
  • VRF-aware TACACS
  • VRF-aware Telnet
  • Virtualized address management policies using VRF-aware DHCP
  • VRF-aware TACACS
  • Optimized traffic redirection using PBR-set VRF

Finally you can have all these in one basket without incurring cost for each component once you have System Center Virtual Machine Manager or Microsoft Azure Stack implemented in on-premises infrastructure or you choose to migrate to Microsoft Azure platform.

Relevant Articles

Comparing VMware vSwitch with SCVMM Network Virtualization

Understanding Network Virtualization in SCVMM 2012 R2

Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V

How to implement hardware load balancer in SCVMM

Understanding VLAN, Trunk, NIC Teaming, Virtual Switch Configuration in Hyper-v Server 2012 R2