Using Azure Migrate: Managing the Discovery process

In our journey using Azure Migrate here at TechGenix, our next stop is on the Discovery process provided by the tool, where we will see how to configure an appliance and the configuration required to get that key server up and running. (In a previous article, we have already looked at using Azure Migrate to manage projects.)

Starting the Azure Migrate Discovery process

The first step is to start the Azure Migrate Discovery process. On the Get Started page, click on Discover, Assess and Migrate button. On the new page (which has Windows, Linux, and SQL Server items automatically selected), click on Discover.

A Discover wizard will be displayed. The Azure Migrate is an inclusive tool, and we can discover using an appliance or through a CSV file by importing it. There are a couple of things that we should know when deciding between our available options and their implications.

Want to use CSV? Although you can provide all the information that the appliance would gather (which will require a lot of your time) at the end of the day, you must supply only four pieces of information: the name of the server, memory, CPU cores, and operating system.

We are going to employ a more user-friendly and corporate approach using the option Discover using the appliance. The first decision is to decide the source, and we have three options: Hyper-V, VMWare, physical, or other cloud providers (including Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Xen.).

In our scenario, we will be migrating virtual machines that are hosted in our Hyper-V environment. I will be selecting “Yes, with Hyper-V” (Item 1), and we need to provide a name for our appliance that will be installed on-premises (TNGX-appliance), and then click on Generate Key button (Item 2).

The second important point of this wizard is that after having the project key, we can download (Item 4) the appliance as a VHD file (12GB) or a zip file (50MB). The type of file available will vary based on the selection of the virtualization platform.

Azure Migrate discover

As information only, the creation of the appliance creates hidden items in the resource group where the Azure Migrate project is located.

Azure Migrate discover

If you need to retrieve your project key, click on Manage existing appliances, pick the available appliances from the list, and the project key will be available.

Azure Migrate discover

Before closing this section, be aware that an appliance is based on Azure Migrate projects, and if you switch among projects, you will not see the same appliance, which is by design.

Installing our new appliance (all steps will be executed on-premises)

If you decided to download the zip file, you need to provision a Windows Server 2016 (16GB RAM, 8 CPU cores, and around 80GB or more disk). The appliance process will be the same for all virtualization platforms that don’t have a specific appliance download available.

Since you provision a server, make sure that you install Microsoft Edge (I will tell you why in a little bit) and all Windows updates before moving forward with the appliance deployment.

Logged on the appliance server that we created on-premises, we will extract the zip file that we download from the Azure Migrate tool.

The next step is to open PowerShell as administrator and go to the folder where the files were extracted and execute AzureMigrateInstaller.ps1, as depicted in the image below.

The script will validate PowerShell, operating system, and cloud. Type “Y” to confirm and hit enter.

When prompted to choose an option on “If this is not the desired appliance scenario, you need to execute the script again…”, type “Y” and enter.

As part of the script installation, it will check for your existing browser. If it is not supported, then Microsoft Edge will be suggested (and IE will be recommended to be removed). To keep it simple, install Microsoft Edge and be done with it. If you haven’t installed it yet, the Microsoft Edge setup will start, and you need to complete using default values.

The final process of the script will be similar to the image below. An important piece of information is the address to access the appliance (in our case, https://TGNX-appliance:44368) to continue the appliance configuration.

Azure Migrate discover

Configuring your Azure Migrate appliance

Let’s open our Microsoft Edge browser, and type the address provided in the previous step as the output of the installation script, and let’s log on using our existing credentials. During the first logon, we need to accept the terms of use.

Logged on the Appliance Configuration Manager, click on Run Prerequisites to start the configuration process. Some updates may be installed, and you need to keep an eye on the process by refreshing the page using the Refresh button.

Azure Migrate discover

After completing the prerequisites, we need to provide the project key that we generated in the first section of this article and then click on Configure. The process will require Azure authentication, including a PIN (device authentication) provided by Azure AD as part of the process.

Azure Migrate discover

The final process will be similar to the page below.

Azure Migrate discover

The third session within the same page has a few steps to configure the Hyper-V hosts. We will start by clicking on Add credentials button. Select Hyper-V host/Cluster, a friendly name for the authentication, and credentials to connect to the server. A complete list of the credentials entered will be listed on Step 1.

Time to connect the dots in Step 2: Provide Hyper-V host/cluster details by clicking on Add discovery source button. Select the authentication created in the previous step and the IP address.

The final step is to click on the Start Discovery button to start gathering the information, and after that, we can check the results of this work in the Azure Portal.

Azure Migrate discover

In this article, we covered installing the appliance from scratch in Windows Server 2016 and starting the Discovery process. Now that we have mastered the Azure Migrate Discovery process, we have plenty more to do on our journey, so stay tuned!

Featured image: Shutterstock

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