Microsoft takes aim at AWS and VMware with Migration Accelerator

Want to easily convert to Azure and enable a true hybrid cloud from your existing physical, VMware, and AWS environments? You can with Microsoft's new Migration Accelerator. And it's free.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor on
Microsoft's Migration Accelerator

Introducing Microsoft Migration Accelerator for Azure

I love disruptive technology. I love it more when it's going to make certain entities angry. I won't mention any names, but...I think you can guess the two primary ones that I have in mind. Microsoft recently acquired InMage, whose hybrid cloud product helped you to migrate your computing assets into, back from, or in between public or private cloud infrastructures with ease; helped you to replicate by maintaining a real-time sync between on premise assets to leverage the cloud for devtest, analytics, and more; and helped you to recover and back up your physical and virtual assets whether on premise or in the public/private cloud.

This technology is disruptive.

The disruptive part is that you can migrate your systems to the cloud easily and at no cost. Yes, there's a cost to use Azure, but not to migrate your current assets to Azure. And if you've ever tried to use AWS, you know it's less than easy. 

Below is part of the announcement that Microsoft is making today:

Spawned from the technology of Microsoft's InMage acquisition announced July 11,  the MA is designed to seamlessly migrate physical, VMware, AWS and Hyper-V workloads into Azure.  It automates all aspects of migration including discovery of source workloads, remote agent installation, network adaptation and endpoint configuration. With MA, transitions into Azure can occur in mere minutes!

MA changes the cloud migration paradigm by offering:

  • Heterogeneity:  With MA you can migrate workloads running on a broad range of platforms such as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Amazon Web Services and/or Physical servers within your environment. MA can support workloads running on Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems. 
  • Simple, Automated Migration:  The MA portal allows you to automatically discover your enterprise workloads, remotely from the cloud. With a few clicks, you can configure end-to-end migration scenarios. MA allows you to test your workload in the cloud without impacting the existing on-premise production workload, offering the ability to validate workload functionality before a cutover is performed.
  • Migrate Multi-tier Applications: MA boasts the unique ability to migrate a multi-tier production system with application level consistency, orchestrated across tiers. This ensures multi-tier applications run the same in Azure, as they ran at the source. Application startup order is even honored, without the need for any manual configuration.
  • Continuous Replication, Least Cutover Time: MA for Azure provides full-system replication including the OS and application data.  This continuous replication and in-memory change tracking reduces the cutover time to mere minutes, minimizing impact to production workloads.

There's one aspect of this technology that's really exciting for me: You can migrate your systems in real-time, with near zero downtime. This means that I can migrate my computing infrastructure to Azure from a locally hosted scenario at no cost and then cut over during a very short change window and no one will even notice. Awesome. Now that's true live migration.

Below is a summary of the solution:

MA offers an unprecedented level of automation to provide seamless migrations of heterogeneous assets, into Azure.

Key Highlights:

  • Automated asset discovery and migration – MA portal orchestrates the discovery and migration of workloads from a single pane of glass.
  • Migration cutovers to Azure in minutes – continuous replication and in-memory change tracking significantly reduce cutover time.
  • Self-provisioned target Azure VM’s — Target VMs are dormant during synchronization saving compute cost and are then automatically provisioned during cutover.
  • Heterogeneous platform support – support for broad range of environments and platforms.
  • Continuous replication – lightweight agents on the source servers continuously replicate all changes to target ensuring near zero downtime during migrations.
  • Multi-tier application support – migrate your multi-tier production system with application level consistency orchestrated across tiers.
  • Target VM Network and Endpoint Adaptation – support for automated network adaptation and endpoint reconfiguration.
  • Integrated compression, encryption and bandwidth management.

To get started visit Microsoft Migration Accelerator and sign-up for preview. 

Check out the Migration Accelerator's features and see the full announcement on my Frugal Networker site.

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