With Windows Server 2008/R2, along with Windows 7 OS, approaching EOL (End of Life) in mid-January, it is time to start prepping your infrastructure for upgrades. Microsoft announced last year that if you migrate your SQL 2008-2008 R2 environment to Azure, they will grant you three extra years of support, which is awesome However, this shouldn’t be used as a crutch to keep your environment on legacy systems. End of Life is something to take very seriously. With the constant security threats that are out in the technology space, the last thing you want to happen is to risk your company’s data and everyday operations that keep your end-users/customers happy. Here are some items to consider:

  • Identifying a project plan for upgrading
  • Financials for upgrading costs for OS and third-party applications
  • Documentation for end users – Win7 OS upgrade
  • Applications that may require vendor assistance with OS upgrade

Just to name a few. Here’s a bigger question, what if your servers are already in Azure and their OS is coming to End of Life? Currently, Microsoft does not offer an in-place upgrade solution. Instead, Microsoft uses Azure Migrate. You can use several methods, and Microsoft has done an excellent job with documentation that sysadmins should have no trouble making this happen in their environment. Ultimately, if you are wanting to move to Microsoft Azure, is to implement in-place OS upgrades to the latest OS prior to your shift into the cloud space. This method will allow you, and your end-users, a much easier path to cloud services in your workplace.

Currently, Microsoft offers a solution for Hypervisors (VMware and HyperV) and on physical machines.

Hyper V:

Microsoft Hyper V solution uses Azure Migrate via hyper V replication just as you would in a redundant infrastructure. Migrating Hyper V with Azure migrate allows an agentless solution that uses current Microsoft Hyper V technology to replicate your VMs to Azure and failover seamlessly. To learn more about migrating Hyper V using “Azure Migrate”, click here.

Hyper V Architecture for Migration
Fig 1.1 Hyper V Architecture for Migration


VMWare can also use Azure Migrate for agentless installation. However, Microsoft does offer an alternative solution where you create a VM in your VMware host using their OVA template that is provided when you are setting up your Azure Migrate project.

OVA Template Download
Fig 1.2 OVA Template Download

Once the VM is ready, it will allow you to configure via install walkthrough for replicating your servers into azure and installing their Mobility Service Agent on the servers needing to be replicated. Microsoft has made this process as automated as possible with excellent controls on what is best practice for each environment being moved all within a single pane of glass in the Azure Portal. To learn more about this process for your VMWare environment, click here.

Azure Migrate Page in Azure Portal
Fig 1.3 Azure Migrate Page in Azure Portal

Azure’s method of using Azure Migrate services to replicate your environment is a seamless transition method that we, at XTIVIA, can help you conduct. Take the stress off you and your team in this time of upgrades and transition by trusting XTIVIA with your infrastructure.

This post was originally published here.

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