The rate of cloud adoption has increased over the last decade. Many companies have already transitioned some of their workloads to the cloud or are thinking of migrating their existing on-premises data to the cloud. However, the migration process can be challenging. As a result, some of the larger and more important applications have lingered indefinitely where they are. 

There are also several considerations when it comes to a migration. Some are well understood, and some aren’t as obvious. Costs and speed of migration are clear factors. But what about how the application is managed when it arrives? Will it lose the features, integrations, or solutions it had previously? This will be a consideration especially if you’re using robust storage solutions to protect and manage it. So, getting the application to the cloud is only part of the problem. Providing a consistent feature set once it arrives is another.

For years, cloud providers and enterprises have raised awareness of these questions. They’ve put a lot of effort into developing tools that are cost-effective and capable of accelerating the migration process. In this post, we’ll explore how Pure Cloud Block Store™ and Microsoft Azure Migrate can address all of these challenges and provide the enterprise cloud experience your applications demand.

Migrate Fast to Microsoft Azure

Azure provides several tools for cloud migration. Azure Migrate is an agentless-based migration tool that requires you to deploy an appliance in your source environment. It provides one dashboard that works as a central hub to discover, assess, and migrate your on-premises workloads from both physical and virtual machines. The tool is simple to use and free for the first 180 days.

Enterprise-Grade Storage in the Cloud  

Azure offers a set of tools to orchestrate migrating and duplicating operating systems and their applications to the cloud. But, once they land in the cloud, the toolsets previously provided by SAN storage are lost. This includes thin provisioning, data reduction, instant snapshots, and more. 

Pure Storage® FlashArray™ and Pure Cloud Block Store can help fill this gap. With the replication capabilities of Purity, data sets can be directly replicated from on-premises FlashArray devices to cloud-deployed Pure Cloud Block Store, so features aren’t lost in the cloud migration. Pure Cloud Block Store offers the same enterprise-grade storage features as FlashArray. 

By combining the orchestration capabilities of Azure Migrate with the replication capabilities of Purity, you can migrate the underlying OS to cloud direct storage. The application data can reside on Pure Cloud Block Store, providing the experience, resiliency, and features that your critical data sets need.

Solution Architecture

The figure below illustrates an example architecture for the solution. The source environment consists of a virtual machine running on an on-premises FlashArray device with VMware infrastructure. The virtual machine is configured with two virtual disks. Note: To move the disks to Pure Cloud Block Store, they need to be either vVols or RDMs. If they aren’t, you’ll need to convert them to the vVol format by using Storage vMotion or cloning them to a vVol datastore. The boot disk can be any type, any boot volume, and any data volume. Each volume will have its own migration path as shown below.

Figure 1: Example solution architecture using FlashArray, VMware infrastructure, Azure Migrate, and Pure Cloud Block Store.

The reason behind this separation is that Azure VM instances are locked to Azure-managed disks for booting. Therefore, Azure Migrate will handle the migration and conversion of the boot volume. On the other path, the data volume will be migrated using async replication between FlashArray and Pure Cloud Block Store. Combining these two parts offers a simple and efficient migration path for even the largest of virtual disks.

Summary 

Pure Storage provides seamless data mobility with simple, efficient replication from on-premises to cloud or from cloud to cloud. Integration with cloud providers’ migration services and tools like Azure Migrate  delivers a reliable, easy, and fast way to modernize your applications. 

Read more about how to migrate your VMware workloads to Azure in this end-to-end migration process guide. 

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