Category: VMware

Migrate Hyper-V VMs to Azure using Azure Migrate

Assess and Migrate Hyper-V VMs with Azure Migrate

Today, the Azure Migrate team launched an update to the Azure Migrate service, which can help you discover, assess, and migrate applications, infrastructure, and data from your on-prem environment to Microsoft Azure. This is excellent timing since we all know that Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are soon out of support and you get free extended security updates if you migrate your VMs to Azure. With Azure Migrate, you can now centrally track the progress of your migration journey across multiple thrid-party and Microsoft tools. In addition, Azure Migrate can now assess and migrate your Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).

With the latest release of Azure Migrate you can now:

  • Extensible approach with choice across Microsoft and popular ISV assessment and migration tools
  • Integrated experience for discovery, assessment, and migration with end-to-end progress tracking for servers and databases
  • Server Assessment and Server Migration for large-scale VMware, Hyper-V, and physical server migrations
  • Database Assessment and Database Migration across various database targets including Azure SQL Database and Managed Instance

You can find more about the Azure Migrate capabilities on Microsoft Docs. For more information on Azure Migration, check out my blog post about Azure Migration on the Nigel Frank International blog. In this post, I am going to show you how you can step-by-step assess and migrate Hyper-V VMs to Azure using Azure Migrate.

Preparation

First, you need to prepare your Azure to set the right permissions and prepare the on-premises Hyper-V hosts and VMs for server assessment and migration. You can find more about the details for permissions and host preparations on Microsoft Docs.

Next, you will need to create a new Migration project for servers. Click on Asses and migrate servers.

Azure Portal Azure Migrate

Azure Portal Azure Migrate

Now you will need to add the tools you want to use for the assessment as well as for the migration, click on “add tools”.

Getting started

Getting started

You will need to create a new Azure Migrate project. Enter the details for your subscription, resource group, and a name for the project. You will also need to choose a region where your project is going to be deployed. No worries, this will only store the assessment data, you can still select another region for the migration.



VMware on Azure - Azure VMware Solutions

Run your VMware natively on Azure with Azure VMware Solutions

Today the Microsoft Azure team announced the Azure VMware Solutions, which allow you to run VMware natively on Azure. VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple is a fully managed service that lets you run the VMware platform in Azure. This solution includes vSphere, vCenter, vSAN, NSX-T, and similar tools. VMware environment runs natively on Azure Bare Metal infrastructure, on Azure cloud locations. The service includes all the features required to consume the VMware platforms efficiently and securely. The solution is delivered by Microsoft, verified by VMware, and run on Azure infrastructure.

This allows you to move or extend your on-premises VMware environment to Microsoft Azure. You can seamlessly move VMware workloads to Azure and integrate with your VMware management environment, using the same and existing management tools. This gives you time to modernize your workloads with native Azure services. This extends the Microsoft hybrid cloud offerings for products like Azure Stack, Azure Stack HCI, and more.

VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple

VMware on Azure - Azure VMware Solutions

Features

  • On-demand self-service provisioning of VMware cloud environments. Ability to add and remove capacity on demand
  • VMware platform deployment, upgrade, management plane backup, health/capacity monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting, and remediation.
  • Underlay networking services required to enable VMware, including L2/L3 services and firewall rule management.
  • Edge-type networking services, including VPN, Public IP, and Internet Gateways. These edge services run on Azure and carry the corresponding security and DDoS protection of Azure.
  • Capacity reservation to lower costs.
  • High-speed, low-latency connectivity to Azure and on-premises.
  • Solution architectures for customers to consume Azure services in an integrated fashion, take advantage of this unique “VMware cloud in a public cloud” architecture. These Azure services include Azure AD, storage,
  • application gateways, and others.
  • Infrastructure is fully dedicated to you and is physically isolated from the infrastructure of other customers.
  • Management features such as activity management, usage, billing/metering, and user management.
  • 24×7 customer support.

(Source Microsoft Docs)

This will open a couple of crucial scenarios for our customers.

  • Data Center retirement or migration – If you need to retire your datacenter and you need a fast and straightforward way to move your existing VMware workloads, Azure is a great place to host these workloads without rearchitecting them. This will give you time to modernize your applications in the mid and long term
  • Expansion on demand – If you are running your VMware environment and you need more capacity on demand, you can extend it to Azure.
  • Disaster Recovery – You can use Azure as your recovery site for your on-premises VMware workloads
  • Virtual Desktops – If you are running a VDI solution on top of VMware, you are also able to host the infrastructure in Azure.
  • Hosting High-Performance Applications – The CloudSimple solution provides a hyper-converged architecture designed to run high-performance workloads
  • Hybrid Cloud – It opens up scenarios for companies to run hybrid cloud scenarios, without the need to switch all your tools and to rearchitect your workloads

If you want to know more about VMware Solution on Azure by CloudSimple, you can check out the Microsoft docs.

Integration into Azure

Create VM in the Azure Portal

The VMware solutions on Azure, are not just isolated from the rest of your Azure environment. VMware on Azure by CloudSimple is integrated into Azure, which means it allows you to leverage Azure Express Route and even the Azure Resource Manager to deploy virtual machines on your VMware host running in Azure. This will enable you to create new virtual machines from your VMware administration tools like vCenter, but also within the Azure Portal or using Azure Resource Manager templates.

Pricing

In terms of pricing, you will be paying per VMware node in Azure, and you will get charged by Microsoft for it. You can use your existing Azure Enterprise Agreement precommitments for it.

We have two different instances available depending on the size you need, the CS28 and the larger CS36 nodes. These include CPU cores, RAM, NVME Cache, and useable all-flash storage. The minimum of nodes you will need is three instances per cluster. You can also make use of the Reserved options for 1 or 3 years to save up to 50%. You can also use the Azure Hybrid Benefit to use your existing Windows Server licenses, and you can also make use of the Extended Security Update options for Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 / 2008 R2.

Azure CloudSimple Pricing

The storage pricing is the useable storage in vSAN. If you want to know more about pricing, check out the Azure pricing page for Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple.

What are your thoughts about these announcements? Let me know in the comments!



Azure to Azure Site Recovery

Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines using ASR

Microsoft today announced the public preview of disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines. This is basically Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for the Azure-to-Azure scenario. With that, you can replicate Azure virtual machines from one Azure Region to another Azure Region, without deploying any other infrastructure components such as software appliances. Cross-region DR feature is now available in all Azure public regions where ASR is available.

The Azure documentation describes it the following way:

In addition to the inbuilt Azure infrastructure capabilities and features that contribute to a robust and resilient availability strategy for workloads running on Azure VMs, there are a number of reasons why you need to plan for disaster recovery between Azure regions yourself:

  • Your compliance guidelines for specific apps and workloads require a Business continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) strategy.
  • You want the ability to protect and recover Azure VMs based on your business decisions, and not only based on inbuilt Azure functionality.
  • You need to be able to test failover and recovery in accordance with your business and compliance needs, with no impact on production.
  • You need to be able to failover to the recovery region in the event of a disaster and fail back to the original source region seamlessly.

Azure to Azure VM replication using Site Recovery helps you to do all the above.

Azure to Azure Site Recovery Setup

To set this up you have to create an Azure Recovery Vault. This Recovery vault cannot be in the same region as the source virtual machines, because if the region is down, you will not have access to the vault.

Azure ASR Configuration Settings

Form that you can choose to create a new Replication and select the virtual machines you want to replicate. You can select the virtual machines you want to replicate. At the end you choose the target location and create the needed target resources and start the replication.

This will now allow you to failover you virtual machines to another Azure region.

Azure ASR Failover

Source Microsoft

There are some limitations right now, like no support for managed disks or limited operating system support. Check out the Azure Site Recovery support matrix for replicating from Azure to Azure for more support information.

Azure Site Recovery now allows you to replicate Virtual Machines from:

Azure Site Recovery Overview

  • On-premise Hyper-V Servers
  • On-Premise Hyper-V using System Center Virtual Machine Manager
  • On-Premise Physical Servers
  • Virtual Machines from AWS
  • Virtual Machines from another Azure Region

 



What's new in Hyper-V 2016

Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Scale Numbers

Yesterday Microsoft announced the VMware to Hyper-V Migration offer with Windows Server 2016. The Hyper-V team also announced the new scale numbers in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V. Microsoft announced a Hyper-V Host will support 24TB of RAM and up to 512 CPUs, and up to 16TB and 240 virtual CPUs per Virtual Machine. This are huge number and a huge improvement to the numbers to the numbers of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2

Standard & Datacenter

Windows Server 2016 Standard & Datacenter
Physical (Host) Memory SupportUp to 4 TB per physical serverUp to 24 TB per physical server (6x)
Physical (Host) Logical Processor SupportUp to 320 LPsUp to 512 LPs
Virtual Machine Memory SupportUp to 1 TB per VMUp to 16 TB per VM (16x)
Virtual Machine Virtual Processor SupportUp to 64 VPs per VMUp to 240 VPs per VM (3.75x)


VMware Switch

Microsoft’s new VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016

Microsoft just announced a new VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016. In a nutshell: If you switch from VMware to Hyper-V from during September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, you can get free Windows Server Datacenter licenses when buying Windows Server Datacenter + Software Assurance. That ultimately means customers only pay for Software Assurance.

Microsoft also released a new TCO calculator to compare VMware and Hyper-V, which you can find here: VMware Shift

There are also a lot of great technical reasons to switch from VMware to Hyper-V. Check out my blog post about What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to get an overview about new features.

To get started just follow these steps:

To be eligible for the VMware migration offer, customers must follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Engage your account executive or sales rep to begin the process.
  • Step 2: Identify virtualized workloads to migrate and specify the Windows Server Datacenter cores required.
  • Step 3: Provide your account executive proof of eligibility. (Offer applicable to customers migrating from VMware to Microsoft).
  • Step 4: Engage your partner to start the migration process.
  • Step 5: Receive free Windows Server Datacenter licenses with Software Assurance and pay only the cost of Software Assurance to kick start your migration.

Feel free to contact us to help you switch!



GartnerMQ_Virtualization

Microsoft a leader in Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2016 Magic Quadrant

Year over year Microsoft is named as a leader in the Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure Magic Quadrant and it gets closer and closer to VMware. Microsoft now is named again as a leader in Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2016 Magic Quadrant. Especially the integration with System Center and Microsoft Azure as well as the new security features in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, makes Hyper-V a strong player in the hypervisor space. Check out the Microsoft Blog post for more information or my blog post about What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V.

Gartner published the Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure MQ with Microsoft landing in the Leader Quadrant for the sixth year in a row. Microsoft moved up in the ‘ability to execute’ and to the right in the ‘completeness of vision’ assessment compared with 2015. Gartner defines leaders as having a clear strategy and roadmap for offerings, understanding virtualization’s role in infrastructure and operations transformation, and having a clear vision with respect to private cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud computing.

GartnerMQ_Virtualization

Microsoft offers you to have a look at the Gartner Document here:

Download the Gartner x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure 2016 Magic Quadrant



unatted xml file for VM

Add unattend.xml to VHDX File for VM automation

If you for example don’t have System Center Virtual Machine Manager or another tool to create Virtual Machine Templates and automate the deployment, you can also do this using Sysprep, PowerShell and an unattend.xml file to automate or simplify the Virtual Machine creation process. In other blog posts I already wrote how you can sysprep Virtual Machines or how you can create Hyper-V Virtual Machines using PowerShell. In this post I will show you how you can add an unattend.xml file to your VHD or VHDX so your virtual machine gets some default settings like regional information.

Here we have a basic unattend.xml file. If you want to enhance it, or create your own, you can also use the Windows ADK.

To use this unattend.xml you first have to sysprep a virtual machine and create a sysprep VHD file. After that you can mount the VHDX file and insert the unattend.xml file to the VHD. Copy the unattend.xml file to the following location: D:\Windows\Panther (in my case the VHD was mounted as D drive).

You can mount the VHDX using the UI or PowerShell:

 
Mount-VHD .\VHDFile.vhdx
 
Copy-Item .\unattend.xml -destination D:\Windows\Panther\
 
Dismount-VHD .\VHDFile.vhdx

There are more paths as well. You can check out the Windows Setup Automation Overview on TechNet where you can see all the possible paths to place the unattend.xml file.