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How to migrate on-premises servers to Azure using Azure Site Recovery?

Do you want to migrate your on-premises company workloads to the Azure cloud? And do you want to make sure you make the most of this new cloud environment, even during major IT outages? In this blog, we’ll discuss how to use Azure Site Recovery to migrate your on-premises machines to Microsoft Azure.
 

1. How to deploy your configuration server? 

In this scenario, an Azure Site Recovery configuration server is deployed in VMware, Microsoft Azure Hyper V or as a physical server to sync the VM data to Azure. This configuration server will be connected to a Recovery Services Vault in Azure. This way, it is possible to fail over on-premises machines to Azure with minimal downtime.

Before failover, the following resources must be deployed in Azure:

  • Recovery Service Vault: VMs will be addn ied to this vault. Here you can manage their properties and initiate the failover.
  • Virtual Network: After failover, the VMs in Azure will be joined to this network.

Windows VMs starting from Windows Server 2008 SP2 can be moved to Azure. Linux machines are also supported. For a complete list of supported OSes, check here.

2. How to sync your configuration server?

When you have deployed and configured your server, open the Azure Portal and navigate to the Recovery Services Vault. You can now add the severs that need to be migrated. Once added, your servers will be synced to a cache storage account. So the server can stay online at the on-premises environment while the changes are constantly being written to Azure. The initial sync may take some time depending on your internet connection. Azure Site Recovery will replicate data over a public endpoint (internet). It is also possible to throttle the bandwidth of the configuration server in order to minimize impact on your company network.

The infrastructure will look like this:

3. How to perform your migration?

There are different options to perform the failover. You can shut down the source server (on-premises) before triggering the failover. Depending on the Recovery Point option you have chosen, Site Recovery will or will not sync your most recent changes and create the VM in Azure.

You have four Recovery Point options when performing the migration:

  1. Latest Processed (low RTO): The VM will be failed over to the latest recovery point that is processed by Site Recovery. This is the fastest failover option (low Recovery Time Objective), because no time is spent on processing the latest data changes.
  2. Latest (lowest RPO): This option processes all the data sent to Recovery Site before failover. This provides the lowest Recovery Point Objective because the VM will only be created in Azure after all the data was replicated to Site Recovery.
  3. Latest App-Consistent: The VM will be failed over to the latest app-consistent recovery point that I processed by Site Recovery.
  4. Custom: Here you can specify the Recovery point yourself.

Once your server is migrated to Azure, you can disable or remove the server from your on-premises environment. If there are issues with the VM in Azure, it is possible to revert the process and bring the VM back to the on-premises datacenter. These options are also provided in the same Site Recovery Vault.

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