VMware VM with EFI Migration to Microsoft Azure (BAW16)

This information has been around for a little while and therefore I apologise if you have seen it already.

I have been investigating the different ways to migrate virtual machines from a local VMware vSphere environment to Microsoft Azure.  The main concern that I have had is around virtual machines configured with EFI in VMware and being able to get them fully functional in Azure.  I have basically decided on two methods that seem to work quite well.


Option 1 – Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

From a Microsoft Azure point of view, this is the simplest solution.  You can deploy an agent directly from Azure to the machine that you wish to be protected.  Once everything is synchronised, you can then perform a test failover and then a final failover to the Azure environment.  Previously, I would have discounted this option as there wasn’t support for EFI and Windows Server 2016 but Microsoft have corrected both of these issues now and the process works well.  From the EFI point of view during the failover, it converts the virtual machine back to normal BIOS.


Option 2 – Veeam Restore to Microsoft Azure

The second option utilises Veeam Backup and Replication.  This is a great addition to an already good product and gives you the capability of restoring an existing backup to a Microsoft Azure subscription.  Although this is not a live synchronised function like the Site Recovery product, you could configure Veeam to backup the virtual machines to Microsoft Azure (with a relatively short space between backups) to provide a similar function.  With the data already residing in Azure, it would be quicker to perform a restore to Microsoft Azure and have the VM working.  Veeam had the functionality to convert EFI to BIOS during the restore process before Microsoft added it to ASR.  One downside with the Veeam solution is that you need to have a local Microsoft account to perform a restore to a subscription using the preferred Resource Manager portal… this means that you cannot utilise federated AD accounts for the backup process, which could be seen as a security risk in a larger corporation.  I’m sure that Veeam will iron out this issue in future releases and then both products will be pretty much on a par again.


As you can see, migrating to Cloud solutions is getting easier and easier… just remember to weigh up all of the costs involved with Cloud hosted solutions compared to locally or data centre hosted solutions (such as power, cooling, hardware costs etc.) to gain a true understanding of the costs.


Blog-a-Week 2018 Posting (BAW):

In previous years, I have had periods throughout the year where I have been unable to post an entry to my blog.  During 2018, my aim is to post a blog entry each week of the year.  I’m hoping that the blog entries will all be useful bits of information or items that I’ve been working on recently but if the standard of the entries drops, I apologise now, as this could have been a busy week and I wasn’t able to put in as much time as I would have liked into the post

About the Author


I have been in IT for the past 15 years and using virtualisation technologies for around the past 8 years. I started, as quite a lot of people do, working with PCs after playing with such iconic systems like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum and then progressing through 386s, 486s, Pentiums etc. After being headhunted at sixth form to work for a small company based around Hertfordshire, UK. I began working with small businesses and gaining a lot of hardware experience. Three years later, after helping to increase the size of the business, I needed to gain exposure to a larger environment to progress my own career. I joined a large manufacturing company around Electronic Test and Measurement which progressed my skills onto more PC work, hardware work and then onto Server Operating Systems. I progressed again onto a consultancy company based in Reading, UK. Initially working as an engineer performing hardware / software installations for larger companies contracted out to the consultancy company, I moved up into a Consultant position continuing my travel across the UK assisting and providing solutions to companies. I finally moved on again to my current position, working back in Hertfordshire, UK. Again working for a large manufacturing company, this time with over 50,000 users worldwide. I am responsible for the datacenter hardware, the storage environment, the vmware environment and also implementing their new Citrix XenApp farm. My days are busy but also productive, its a friendly environment and in my four years of being with the company, I have seen many changes in technology and infrastructure in use within the company. About the site I started this site as I had been thinking of having more of a presence on the web for a while. On a daily basis, I perform tasks and use tools that others may not use or may not think to do and therefore I thought that I would share some of these experiences and tips with others to help with their day to day work. Currently, my main focus of work is around VMware and Veeam Backup & Replication but hopefully as my tasks progress, I’ll be able to share useful bits of information about other areas of IT as well.

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