As organizations quickly learn when they explore their cloud computing options, migrating to the cloud is often easier said than done. Microsoft is smoothing out that process, at least for organizations that have invested in the VMware ecosystem, with a new service called Azure Migrate.
Available on Nov. 27, Azure Migrate will help users to assess their on-premises VMware environments and make the move in a guided and semi-automated manner. The service's discovery tool can be used to visualize the dependencies in applications comprised of multiple virtual machines and detect CPU, memory, storage and network utilization, data that is then used to inform its cost and virtual machine sizing guidance.
After this process is completed, Azure Migrate enlists Microsoft's cloud-based disaster recovery solution to transfer VMware workloads.
"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," explained Corey Sanders, director of Compute at Microsoft Azure, in a blog post.
Microsoft's helping hand extends beyond VMware migrations.
The company has also rolled out new updates to its Azure Advisor, which offers recommendations on how to improve the performance, security and availability of their cloud applications and services. The latest version features an updated dashboard that provides an at-a-glance accounting of the impact those recommendations can have on their workloads.
Apart from snappier cloud application performance, following Microsoft's advice can also help users stretch their IT budgets, according to Jan Kalis, a product marketing manager at Microsoft Azure.
"The cost recommendation category also highlights the total possible savings you can achieve if you implement all recommendations in this category," blogged Kalis. "This is a great way to find the extra IT funds you might need to run your next IT project, like making your business-critical resources more resilient and more secure, or building a smart chat bot."
New configuration options allow customers to tailor Azure Advisor to their needs. For example, users can choose to exclude non-production workloads or define CPU thresholds that help them find low-utilization virtual machines. More updates are in the works for the coming months, added Kalis.
Customers using Azure Access Control Service (ACS) authentication were again reminded that the offering is on the way out.
Existing customers have less than a year, until Nov. 7, 2018, to migrate to Azure Active Directory and other solutions, depending on the types of applications and services affected. After that date, Microsoft is pulling the plug, potentially causing customer applications to fail.
Microsoft program manager Danny Strockis is encouraging ACS users to begin their migrations immediately, warning that in most cases, the process "will require significant code changes on your part." More information, including links to ACS alternatives and support documents, is available here.