Move Azure VM to a New Virtual Network Subnet Using Terraform

Published Apr 18 2022 12:00 AM 4,937 Views



Sometimes you create a server in Azure and only find out afterwards you need to change the Virtual Network is resides in. From the official Microsoft Documentation, we learn that this is normally a difficult task and, in some cases, unsupported or requires a redeployment of the server.

Recently at a customer I had a chance to try something new, using Terraform to Move a Server Nic from one Virtual Network Subnet to a different virtual network subnet. Let’s look at how the process works,

 Process Description:

  • We will use to create the server (If not created already) by running the azure-pipelines.yml Pipeline
  • We will run a second Pipeline called azure-pipelinesAfter.yml that calls the PowerShell.ps1 file that will delete the computer object,  and call the file which will change the NIC Subnet and add the server back to the original OS Disk.
  • The second pipeline and file is in a separate folder otherwise terraform will just combine the two “.tf” files and try and build both scenarios



  1. Use an Azure DevOps Environment with a Service Principal set up (
  2. Have some hosted agents ready to execute pipelines ( )
  3. Update Some Variables:

Variables to Update in the

  • Lines 9 – 12
  • All The Terraform Resources Names
  • Lines 110 -112

Variables to Update in the “azure-pipelines.yml”

  • Lines 19 – 23
  • Lines 39 – 43
  • Line 48
  • Line 53

Variables to update in the “Powershell.ps1”

  • Line 21 – 23

Variables to Update in the “”

  • Lines 9 – 12
  • All The Terraform Resources Names

Variables to Update in the “azure-pipelinesAfter.yml”

  • Line 18
  • Lines 37 – 41
  • Lines 59 – 63
  • Line 69
  • Line 75




  1. The Directory Structure





  1. The two pipelines





  1. Running the azure-pipelines.yml








  1. See the resources in Azure





  1. Execute the Second Pipeline








5.1 As expected PowerShell deletes the VM











  1. See the resources in Azure (Server has been recreated and NIC has been placed in correct Virtual Network)





Find a copy of my code to get this running

Terraform/RecreateVMinAnotherVNET at main · WernerRall147/Terraform (




The sample scripts are not supported under any Microsoft standard support program or service. The sample scripts are provided AS IS without warranty of any kind. Microsoft further disclaims all implied warranties including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or of fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk arising out of the use or performance of the sample scripts and documentation remains with you. In no event shall Microsoft, its authors, or anyone else involved in the creation, production, or delivery of the scripts be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of or inability to use the sample scripts or documentation, even if Microsoft has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

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Last update:
‎Apr 18 2022 12:36 PM
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