Overcome VM migration complexity with proper preparation

Last updated:May 2019

Essential Guide

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Editor's note

VM migration has become an increasingly complex topic as sources and destinations have multiplied. IT managers must go beyond traditional methods and learn how to migrate VMs to and from cloud services.

Live-migrating VMs can pose additional challenges. VMware and Hyper-V managers have specific requirements they must consider to ensure the process goes smoothly. Additionally, they must know how to migrate test/dev VMs to production and ensure they don't introduce any problems.

This essential guide presents best practices for migrating VMs to and from the cloud, live-migrating VMware and Hyper-V VMs, navigating test/dev migration and tips for major migration destinations.

1VM migration to the cloud

Planning for a VM-to-cloud migration is just as important, if not more so, than overseeing the actual migration process. If you don't review the requirements of your workloads and cloud provider, and properly prepare your VMs for the move, you could encounter unexpected errors or compatibility issues with partitions, OSes and image formats.

2VM migration from the cloud

With all the hype out there, it's easy to jump the migration gun and simply move everything to the cloud. In actuality, it might make sense from a cost or compliance standpoint to keep some workloads on premises -- but review licensing and egress charges to ensure it's the right move.

3VM live migration

Live-migration features from VMware to Microsoft differ, but the general concept is the same. The ability to migrate workloads without shutting down the VMs they reside on improves workload availability and minimizes disruptions to application users. Learn how to avoid too many concurrent migrations to ensure top performance and ways to resolve common live-migration errors.

4Test/dev to production

Managers must often migrate VMs from test/dev environments to production environments, so they must consider connectivity, security, compliance and licensing during the initial VM creation stage. If this stage doesn't garner the full attention it requires, subsequent migrations could cause all sorts of problems or not work at all.

5Migration destinations

There are several migration destinations to choose from, and that list seems to be growing. Some popular cloud platforms include Microsoft Azure and VMware Cloud on AWS. The cloud isn't always the best option, though; consider moving between on-premises platforms as well. The key is to evaluate options based on current and future business needs.