Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 6 (Assess): Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool

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:

 

Starting our focus on the tool(s) that fall within the second phase, Assess, the first tool that we categorize under Assessment, is the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool.

 

A few years ago, I wrote a series about the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool, which you can find here. But that series was written more as a step-by-step approach.

This time around, instead of re-hashing that original series, I wanted to focus more on some of the uses of the tool, pros vs cons, and some other useful details about it. After all, in this series, we are trying to explore each of the tools and help clarify their use.

 

What Is It Used For?

This was one of the original tools made available to assist in cost estimations for migrating to Azure. It is like the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) tool, but it is specific to Azure only.

This tool also only profiled Virtual Machines (VMs) for migration to Azure (and the costs associated with it), whereas the MAP tool also includes assessment for migration of Windows OS, Office, and SQL Server.

 

Pro’s vs Con’s

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

Pro’s

  • Provides sizing recommendations
  • Includes bandwidth in the profiling data
  • Supports profiling VMware/ESX, and Linux systems

Con’s

  • This tool is now deprecated

 

Other Thoughts

Since this tool is now deprecated (Microsoft now directs you to use the Azure Pricing Calculator), there is not much left to say.

It was a simple lightweight tool that allowed a quick way to not only to discover systems in your environment, and assess them for a cloud migration, but it also provided an estimated cost for running your workloads in the Azure cloud.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) tool, although it provides both a VM Readiness and VM Capacity report, it does not provide an actual cost estimation like the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool does.

In my opinion, based on my experience with some of the more recent tools, the ACE tool “profiling” feature was a precursor to the current Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Deployment Planner profiling feature; although this is not confirmed. You can find the download here.

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