Migrate VMware to Azure: Step by step guide
Insights 6 minutes read

Migrate VMware to Azure: Step by step guide

Published on
June 27, 2024

In the dynamic environment of today’s digital realm, flexibility is key. A public cloud such as Microsoft Azure helps businesses remain at the forefront of technological innovation, making it easier to adapt and thrive.  In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of moving your IT infrastructure to a public cloud, and provide guidance on how to migrate VMware to Azure.

What is VMware?

VMware is a type of software that allows one computer to run multiple operating systems. It gets its name from ‘Virtual Machine’ – a term that describes multiple virtual environments running on a single physical hardware system.

VMware software increases the efficiency of computing systems, and its solutions are widely used to optimise IT infrastructure, improve resource utilisation, and consolidate workloads – among its many other uses.

Why migrate VMware to a public cloud?

Recent changes to VMware’s licensing model have had a big impact on many Australian businesses and organisations. These pivotal changes have been largely disruptive – prompting many businesses to consider moving to an alternative platform in order to reduce costs.
A VMware migration to a public cloud service presents an opportunity to uncover more cost-effective solutions. It could also help businesses to modernise their cloud infrastructure through finding efficient solutions tailored to their specific needs. 

Other benefits of migrating to a public cloud can include:

  • Achieving greater scalability and flexibility
  • Gaining cost savings through pay-as-you-go pricing models 
  • Getting access to a wide range of advanced technologies
  • Taking advantage of services which can enhance efficiency and innovation
  • Enjoying the benefits of robust security and compliance features

Which public cloud should you migrate to?

If you partner with Interactive, our expert team can help your business migrate to the Azure Cloud – a public cloud platform developed by Microsoft. 

Azure offers multiple advantages including:

  • Integration with Microsoft products.
  • Hybrid cloud capabilities.
  • Extensive tools for large enterprises.
  • High compliance standards.

Guidance on how to migrate VMware to Azure can be found in the section below.

Here are some of the other leading public cloud service providers that might be suitable for your business:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Offers a wide range of features and services, plus excellent scalability options for businesses of all sizes. 
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP): This platform features cutting-edge  AI and machine learning capabilities, plus strong offerings in data analytics and big data processing.
  • IBM Cloud: The hybrid cloud focus of this platform is a key benefit. It also has high security and compliance standards.
  • Oracle Cloud: This offers strong support for Oracle applications and databases, and high performance for enterprise workloads. 
  • Alibaba Cloud: A market leader in Asia, this platform offers excellent integration with Alibaba’s e-commerce ecosystem.

How to migrate VMware to Azure

At  Interactive, we take the time to get to know you and your business. We will work with you to create a VMware to Azure migration plan that suits your needs, and help you transition effectively and smoothly. 

Every business is different, which means that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud migrations. The below steps provide a general outline of the process – we recommend partnering with an experienced IT provider to assist with your public cloud migration. 

1. Evaluate content

The first step will be to evaluate your current VMware environment, which usually involves making an inventory of VMs, applications, and dependencies. From here, it’s important to determine your migration goals. 

During this process, it’s useful to ask the following questions:

  • What are your reasons for migrating?
  • What are your desired outcomes?
  • What kind of timeline are you aiming for?

2. Design Azure environment

During this stage you’ll need to design the Azure architecture, which means determining the Azure regions, virtual networks, and resource groups. You’ll also need to select the Azure services your business needs, choosing from Azure VM types, storage solutions, and other necessary Azure services. 

You should also establish VPN or ExpressRoute connections between the on-premises VMware environment and Azure to define network connectivity.

3. Prepare for migration

In preparation for the migration, your Azure subscriptions, resource groups, and necessary permissions will need to be set up. Next, it’s time to clean up and optimise your VMs and data for migration (including OS updates and patches). 

As part of this step, you’ll also need to install and configure tools like Azure Migrate to assist with the migration process. 

4. Migration execution

It’s recommended to first perform test migrations before you execute the full migration – this will help to validate the process and identify any issues. 

Once that’s done, get ready for showtime! Migrate VMs and applications from VMware to Azure using your chosen migration tools and methods (e.g., Azure Site Recovery, Azure Migrate). During and after the migration, monitor and validate the migration process, validate migrated VMs, and ensure your applications are functioning correctly in Azure. 

5. Post-migration tasks

It might take some time to get your Azure resources fully optimised. This will involve fine-tuning Azure VM configurations, storage, and networking for performance and cost-efficiency. 

You’ll also need to adjust DNS settings, firewall rules, and other configurations as needed for the Azure environment. Another very important thing to implement during this stage is a disaster recovery plan and to set up Azure Site Recovery for business continuity in the event of a catastrophe. 

6. Testing and validation

Thorough testing will ensure your systems continue to run smoothly. During this stage, you should run tests to validate applications, data integrity, and performance in the Azure environment. It’s also recommended to perform user acceptance testing (UAT) and involve stakeholders to ensure the migrated applications meet business requirements. 

7. Optimisation and management

Here are some steps you can take to optimise your Azure setup:

  • Use Azure Monitor and other tools to monitor performance, usage, and costs
  • Apply Azure policies, role-based access control (RBAC), and security best practices
  • Review and optimise Azure resources based on usage patterns and business needs 

8. Training and documentation

Making sure your team receives adequate training is also a vital ingredient for migration success. Set up training sessions to educate IT staff and end-users on managing and using Azure resources – this will make sure everyone in your organisation is up-to-date and informed. It’s also important to document all migration steps, configurations, and operational procedures for future reference and audits.

Why choose Interactive

As a trusted technology partner for over 2,500 customers, Interactive has extensive experience in VMware to Azure Cloud migrations. We offer a suite of services for businesses looking to optimise their efficiency and cost scalability, including: 

No matter what stage your IT modernisation is at, Interactive has the public cloud and infrastructure expertise to drive the most value from your VMware investment. Contact us to discuss your VMware to Azure migration today.

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