Microsoft has launched Azure Migrate, a free migration tool which makes it easy for VMware customers to move their existing applications and data from their own servers into the Microsoft Azure supercomputing cloud.Â
The Microsoft Azure cloud, like its key rival at Amazon Web Services launched earlier this year, gives customers access to almost unlimited supercomputing power with a pay-as- you-go pricing structure. Large and small companies alike find benefit in using clouds like Azure and AWS because they offer significant cost savings as well as various major improvements in performance.
Microsoft released its news just a week before Amazon’s annual re:invent conference, during which the rival company is widely expected to announce additional new services.
Azure Migrate will have an edge over other migration applications already available in the market, including those from startups Racemi and Cloudreach, because unlike the competition, it can migrate a number of servers at the same time. That flexibility is crucial for modern applications which by and large no longer operate on a single server but run different parts of the application from different servers.
Azure Migrate can discover customers’ on-premises VMware-based applications without requiring any changes to the VMware environment. It also has the capacity to visualize group-level dependencies in multi-VM applications and therefore allows customers logically to group and prioritize the entire application for migration.
Microsoft says VMware was not consulted in the tool’s development.
In a not-so- veiled swipe at VMware, Azure Compute’s head of product, Corey Sanders, said that while hosting the VMware stack in the public cloud does not offer the same cost savings and agility of cloud-native services, the functionality would provide customers with additional flexibility as they move to using Azure.
In its Total Cost of Ownership Guide, Microsoft provided a financial breakdown to show customers that if they drop their vSphere licence from VMware and start using Azure instead they would achieve cost savings as high as 84% when compared with the current use of VMware software.
The migration tool could also be incorporated as an element of a hybrid architecture for customers who want to keep a number of their apps on-premises, yet while still running others in the cloud.
In a broader move, at a date still to be determined in 2018, Microsoft will introduce a VMware virtualization service, which will run on bare metal servers in its own data centers. (A bare metal environment is a computer system or network in which a virtual machine is installed directly on hardware rather than within the host operating system. )
That move will enable customers to connect virtualized applications to other services available in Microsoft’s cloud, without having to migrate any assets. VMware is very popular among Fortune 500 companies which will provide Azure Migrate with a significant, interested client base from the time it starts.
Microsoft provided no information about the price, licensing terms or other details of the service.