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Leverage Azure Migrate to Discover and Assess Your AWS Instances for Smooth Migration to Azure

Organizations are rapidly grasping the potential of cloud computing to drive creativity, agility and cost savings in today’s digital environment. Among the various cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure play a key role in the cloud computing industry. Many organizations are currently considering migrating their resources from AWS to Azure due to a variety of considerations, like as stronger integration capabilities, competitive pricing, improved security features, and many more.

Reasons to migrate from AWS to Azure

There are several reasons why organizations are considering migrating from AWS to Azure:

Better integration capabilities: If an enterprise already uses Microsoft technologies such as Windows Server, Active Directory, or SQL Server, migrating to Azure can provide better integration and consistency with existing infrastructure and cloud services between

Competitive pricing: Azure offers a competitive pricing model and can offer a cost advantage over AWS, depending on specific needs and usage patterns.

Advanced Security Features: Azure offers robust security measures, including advanced threat detection, encryption, and compliance standards, which can be attractive to businesses with security requirements if severe

Hybrid Cloud Capabilities: Azure provides excellent support for hybrid cloud scenarios, enabling organizations to seamlessly integrate their on-premises infrastructure with Azure services and transition to the cloud.

To satisfy various corporate needs and switch from a cloud environment like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Azure can seem overwhelming.

This is where Azure Migrate fills that gap. Azure Migrate is a Microsoft product that helps in the discovery, assessment, and real migration process from other cloud platforms’ on-premises servers to Azure. Azure migration helps organizations collect information about their servers in VMware and Hyper-v servers. We can check for dependency in the discovery and assessment part of Azure migration. Dependency can be any component in a server, like device drivers, operating system features, frameworks, databases, certificates, files, or any other items.

The migration process from on-premises settings or other cloud providers to Azure may be streamlined and simplified with the help of Azure Migrate’s complete set of tools and services. It makes the transition to Azure more effective and hassle-free by allowing enterprises to identify and evaluate their current AWS instances.

we will discuss Azure Migrate and why you should consider using it for your AWS to Azure migration. Let’s explore the key aspects and advantages it offers.

  1. Discovering Your AWS Instances: Azure Migrate allows you to gain deep visibility into your resources, providing details of your instances, storage, network configurations, and other resources. This discovery phase is crucial as it helps you understand the scope and complexity of your migration project, enabling effective planning and resource allocation.
  2. Assessing Your AWS Instances: Once the discovery is complete, Azure Migrate offers powerful assessment capabilities to evaluate your AWS instances’ compatibility with Azure. It provides insight into the performance, dependencies, and resources required for each project. It enables you to make informed decisions about the right model for migration and how to optimize it for Azure.
  3. Right-Sizing and Cost Optimization: Azure Migrate assists in right-sizing your Azure resources. By analyzing utilization and performance data, it recommends the appropriate VM sizes and configurations in Azure, optimizing costs and ensuring optimal performance for your workloads.
  4. Seamless Migration Process: With Azure Migrate, the process becomes streamlined and efficient. It offers step-by-step guidance, including best practices and pre-migration checks, ensuring a smooth transition of your AWS instances to Azure. The tool provides a holistic view of the migration progress, allowing you to monitor and track each stage until completion.
  5. Post-migration optimization: Azure Migrate does not stop during migration; It goes one step further by providing suggestions for post-migration efficiency. It helps you optimize your Azure resources, deploy Azure services, and improve performance, ultimately maximizing the value of your migration journey.


Before starting the process, we need the following things fulfilled :

Appliance server :

EC2 VM to run Azure Migrate Appliance with windows server 2016 installed having 16-GB RAM, 8 vCPUs, around 80 GB of disk storage . Static IP is preferred to have with internet connection.

windows server :

If migrating the Windows server then inbound connections on WinRM port 5985 (HTTP) should be opened.

Linux server :

If migrating linux server port 22 (ssh) should be enabled.

Below shows the step-by-step guide on how we can discover and assess instances that need to be migrated to Azure.

Azure Migrate: Discovery and assessment

The below diagram shows the working process of Azure migration where it shows the services that we will be using during the process of migration.

Azure Migrate Discovery and Assessment
Azure Migrate Discovery and Assessment

In the above diagram, we can see the appliance server that is configured in the network of the server that we are going to migrate, and Azure handles the discovery and assessment part. Further explanations and steps are discussed below.

Step 1: Project creation

First, we need to Create an Azure migration project in Azure and install the required tools (Assessment tools, Migrations tools) for Discovery, Assessment, and migration.

Project Creation Azure

Now, click on Create project.

Azure Migrate Project
                                  Project creation (a)

Edit the required project details

Azure Migrate Project B
                                  Project creation (b)

Step 2: Project key generation

After the successful creation of the project, now we need to Generate the project key for the migration project and download the Azure Migrate appliance.

Here, the term appliance refers to the software that needs to be installed into the fresh Windows server that helps in the process of discovering and assessing your server.

Azure Migrate Key Generation
                                   Key Generation

Download URL for Azure migrate Appliance https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2191847

Step 3: Download and Extract the Zip file

After downloading the Azure migrate appliance, extract the files. You will find the following files after Extracting the zip file

Appliance Zip Migration
                     List of extracted files from appliance zip

Step 4 : Install AzureMigrateInstaller.ps1

The first task to do after extraction is to run the PowerShell script provided in the extracted files AzureMigrateInstaller.ps1.

Running Powershell script
                    Running Powershell script

After the installation is complete there will be a shortcut link provided on the desktop. clicking it opens the browser.

Step 5: Register the appliance server

You can open the appliance server configuration from the desktop by selecting the app shortcut( As shown in the figure below) that is created after installation.

Azure appliance shortcut file
                      Azure appliance shortcut file

The diagram below shows the registration process.

Appliance Server Configuration
                   Appliance Server Configuration

Enter the project key generated in the last step, click verify, and wait until the verification process is finished.

Appliance Server Config

Step 6: Now, after verification, log in as directed.

Login will appear after verification is completed. Click on it to log in.

Login Page Migrate
                                Login page

After successful login into the Azure portal, configure the IP address and the keys for the servers to be migrated. Here, I have added details of two Windows servers to be migrated.

Server Details Azure
                          Add server details

Now, click on Start Discovery.

Azure Discovery Status
                            Start discovery

After the discovery process is completed, we need to assess the server.

Step 7: Assessment of the server.

Discovery is the process of discovering the servers, so the next step would be to assess the server.

An assessment is a measure of the readiness of the server before migrating to Azure. It is prepared on a single or a group of servers you plan to migrate together. Assessment assists you in determining the monthly cost sizing recommendations of your on-premises or cloud-based servers to Azure.

Read also: Microsoft Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud – Comparison

Azure Server Assessment
                             Server Assessment


Azure Assessment Creation
                     Assessment Creation

You can edit the settings for the assessment according to your choice. We can check on the server’s performance for a certain period; it can be for a day, week, or more to find out the usage of the server.

AWS Well-Architected Framework

The figure below shows the Azure VM assessment calculations

VM Assessment details
                          Assessment details

Things that are included in Azure assessment.

Target location: The location where you want to migrate your server.

Target storage: It is the type of disk that should be used.

Sizing criteria: used for right-sizing the Azure VM.

Performance history: Duration of time the performance data is evaluated.

Percentage utilization: It is used for sizing based on performance.

VM series: Azure VM series that you want to choose from.

Comfort factor: It is the buffer used during the assessment period; for example, if you use only 20% from 10core-vm, it is 2core-vm . If you choose comfort factor 2, then the result is 4 core-vm.

Now, after the assessment is done, we need to configure the dependency analysis. We need to install agents into the servers we will migrate to do that.

MMA Agent

For Windows 64-bit: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=828603

Dependency agent


Dependencies Agent Download
                 Agent Download

We can view the readiness of the servers and cost estimations from the assessment overview, as shown in the diagram below.

Assessment Overview Azure
                            Assessment Overview

We can view the dependency maps after completing the configuration. It analyzes the applications, ports, and other dependencies the server configures. It can be seen from the overview tab in the assessment section.

Dependency Chart
                          Dependency Chart

The above picture shows a server with installed applications in the green box and defined ports in the red box of the server. Moreover, a complex server has dependencies that can be associated with multiple servers.

After completing the Discovery and Assessment part, we are ready to move our servers to Azure, which will be covered in the next part of the blog.

Also Read: Cost-effective Use cases & Benefits of Amazon S3


Azure Migrate is free to use with an Azure subscription. Azure Migrate is a service that simplifies Azure migration, modernization, and optimization. The goal of moving to a cloud computing environment is to optimize IT resource functionality while reducing costs and administrative requirements. Azure migration makes the transition to Azure more effective and hassle-free by allowing enterprises to identify and evaluate their current AWS instances.

For the next part, we implement Migration and modernization by Azure Migrate. Implementing this, we can migrate our servers from AWS to Azure to test the migration. After a successful test migration, we can migrate our servers to Azure with the required configurations.

Read also: How to Install and Upgrade the AWS CDK CLI