Migrating workloads from on prem datacentres to Azure is something a lot of organisations are thinking about. There are lots of drivers making customers think about this, whether it be physical capacity issues or software refresh timelines.
Migrating workloads is a big project and any tooling or guidance that can help make that project easier is often welcomed. And this is where Azure Migrate can assist. Azure Migrate is billed as the hub for datacentre migrations, able to assist with discovery, assessment, and migration of many key migration scenarios such as servers, databases, virtual desktops and data.
Azure Migrate is a free service, and often a question people ask how true that is so let’s tackle that subject.
Discovery and Assessment Costs
I’m a big advocate of organisations carrying out a full discovery and assessment of their environment as the first stage during their migration project, and I talk more about it in my blog post looking at the information you should be looking to discover during that discovery. Azure Migrate is a great tool for doing that initial discovery of your environment, it can collect basic information like server name, operating system version and resource configuration.
The other discovery piece of Azure Migrate: Server Assessment is being able to map how your servers all interconnect. Showing you the ports and services that connect, because let’s face it your servers don’t work independently from each other they are all part of a larger puzzle.
For this dependency visualization Azure Migrate: Server Assessment leverages the power and technology from Log Analytics. The dependency visualization is free for the first 180 days from the day of associating a Log Analytics workspace with the Server Assessment tool. After 180 days, standard Log Analytics charges will apply. And if you use any other solution within that Log Analytics workspace it is not free, and you’ll incur standard Log Analytics charges.
My recommendation is to leave the tool gathering the dependency visualization data for at least 30 days as that should capture a good picture of what happens within your environment and show any specific workload spikes.
When you come to migrating your servers into Azure as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) virtual machines, the Azure Migrate: Server Migration tool can help you with that.
When you start to replicate machines from your own environment up in to Azure you will start to incur charges for Azure Storage, storage transactions and data transfer during replication. However, the license charges for Server Migration are waived for the first 180 days.
So the Azure Migrate: Server Assessment part is free for the first 180 days and I’d like to think that most companies are looking to complete the cutover and run their workload live in Azure well within that 180 day period.
So, I think it is fair to say that you can utilise Azure Migrate for your migration for free. Albeit some surrounding services may cost you but there are mechanisms in place that can avoid you incurring to many charges. I’d love to hear if you’ve used Azure Migrate during your migration project and how it helped keep your migration costs down. :grinning_face: