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Microsoft Adds Resources for Easing Azure Migrations

Microsoft highlighted resources this week designed to make it easier for organizations to tap its Azure datacenter services in so-called "hybrid" approaches.

Possibly, these resources are new, or maybe they are just updated tools. On the possible new front, Microsoft is offering a free report to help organizations assess their ability to swap some of their current premises-based resources for Azure offerings. The report gets compiled after signing up at this "Cloud Migration Assessment" portal.

Apparently, the Cloud Migration Assessment portal will initiate some kind of discovery tool. It identifies an organization's servers and analyzes their configurations. It'll produce an estimate of "the initial cost benefits of moving to Microsoft Azure," according to Microsoft's description.

Next, Microsoft indicated it's now possible to use the Azure Management Portal to activate the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is an option for organizations licensed to use Windows Server Standard or Datacenter editions provided that they also have Software Assurance coverage for those licenses. The "benefit" part is the ability to transport the licensing rights to Azure, using Microsoft's datacenters to run Windows Server in virtual machines. Microsoft's Azure Hybrid Use Benefit option isn't new, but activating it via the Azure Management Portal appears to be so.

Microsoft is also promising to enhance its Azure Site Recovery tool in the Azure Portal to "tag virtual machines" on a customer premises for the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit. This enhancement will be arriving "in the coming weeks." It's apparently an option over the current need to use PowerShell for the purpose. Azure Site Recovery is typically used for disaster recovery purposes, but it also can be used to move virtual machines to Azure datacenters, according to Microsoft.

This week, Microsoft opened a new Azure Migration Tech Community forum for discussions. It also published a new Total Cost of Ownership Calculator for Azure migrations, which is at the preview stage.

Microsoft's overall Azure cloud migration page can be found here, including links to get partner assistance.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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