Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 11 (Migrate): Azure Database Migration Planner

In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate.

We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey.

As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this series will cover:

Continuing our focus on the tool(s) that fall within the third phase, Migrate, the next tool that we categorize under Migration is the Azure Database Migration Planner.

This tool may have been re-branded, because with your search for “Azure Database Migration Planner” you are brought to this site:

On this site, it provides many links to different toolsets, like:

  • Data Maturity Assessment
  • MAP Toolkit
  • SQL Server Migration Assistant
  • Data Migration Assistant
  • Azure Database Migration Service
  • Database Experimentation Assistant

Based on our research, it seems that the Azure Database Migration Service is the primary starting point, since (according to the Microsoft documentation) it states:

“The Azure Database Migration Service integrates some of the functionality of our existing tools and services. When you are ready to begin the migration process, the Azure Database Migration Service performs all of the associated steps.”

What Is It Used For?

This toolset is used to guide and assist with the migration of on-premises databases (including SQL Server, Oracle, and other relational databases like Microsoft Access, DB2, MySQL, and SAP ASE) into either Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Virtual Machines, or into a Database-as-a-Service (PaaS) platform.

Other components of the toolset include the ability to detect any issues that would affect compatibility when migrating to a new version of SQL Server for a given workload.

Pro’s vs Con’s

Here is a quick list of what we deem as Pro’s/Con’s of this tool.


  • Support for SQL Server 2005 and newer
  • Migration workflow includes Schema of databases, Data and Users, Server roles, SQL and Windows logins
  • Data Migration Assistant (DMA) also provides recommendations for performance and reliability improvements


  • Even if you are using the Azure Database Migration Service to migrate into a PaaS platform (like Azure SQL DB), you are still required to create an Azure Virtual Network (VNet), along with a site-to-site connection (either S2S VPN or ExpressRoute)
  • You need to pre-create an Azure SQL DB instance
  • Having multiple tools can lead to confusion as to where to start

Other Thoughts

The Database Migration Guide is useful because it gives you a phased/stepped approach, with lots of information and a step-by-step output.

Azure Database Migration Planner – Guide

There are a lot of other tools available that fall under this specific category. Not being a DBA, it’s difficult for me to provide a proper assessment. With that being said, I do like how that Data Migrate Assistant helps to review any feature or compatibility issues before you perform a migration.

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