Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 8 (Assess): Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment

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 second phase, Assess, the next tool that we categorize under Assessment, is the Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment tool.

 

The Virtual Machines Readiness Assessment tool is designed to automatically inspect your environment, and provide you with tailored guidance and recommendations for migrating your environment to Microsoft Azure (via a checklist and detailed report that is produced).

I like how this tool will present a series of questions to you to provide more specific guidance in the assessment. In addition to the questions, it also provides more information to help you more accurately answer the question.

Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment – Example Questions

 

What Is It Used For?

This tool is only useful for assessing a certain set/type of Virtual Machines, specifically:

  • Active Directory
  • SharePoint
  • SQL Server

Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment – Assessment Options

This makes it less than ideal for performing a “complete” assessment against an entire datacenter environment (regardless of what workloads are running). For a more complete assessment, you should look to tools like the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Deployment Planner, and Azure Migrate; both of which we cover in this series.

 

Pro’s vs Con’s

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

Pro’s

  • The tool can run from a Workstation (Vista or newer) or Server (Server 2008 or newer) system
  • Quick and collecting an analyzing environment data

Con’s

  • The system that is running the tool must be joined to the domain of the target systems (not really a ‘Con’ but it means you can’t run it from a Workgroup system)
  • Enterprise Admin privileges are required (if assessing Active Directory)
  • SysAdmin privileges are required (if assessing SQL Server)
  • Collected data must be stored in a local Documents folder (cannot be a network or redirected folder)
  • “Run As” is not supported

 

Other Thoughts

The name of the tool initially makes me think of a full Virtual Machine assessment, and not something that is limited to only 3 technology types.

I do like the inclusion of questions, which helps the tool produce more accurate results. Through my testing, some of the questions are obviously unique to the technology you are assessing, but some of them are the same/generic (i.e. network bandwidth, user base distribution, Windows firewall configurations, etc.)

The report that is generated provides key details and information, along with links to additional information. You can see 2 sample reports here: Active Directory Azure IaaS Migration Report, and Azure IaaS SQL Migration Report.

Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment – Report Example

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