Welcome to another in our new series of “Modernize your Infrastructure” articles. Today I’m pleased to share with you the details of yet another free and easy-to-use assessment tool from Microsoft. The purpose of this tool is to help you answer the following important question:
“Are my servers and services able to be migrated to Microsoft Azure?”
And that is a fair question; particularly if we see the value, but don’t really know where to begin. If in the process of modernizing my infrastructure I consider perhaps moving some (or all) of my servers – whether they’re physical or virtual machines – off of my local hardware and into “the Cloud” as Microsoft Azure hosted Virtual Machines as an extension of my datacenter, then it would be good to have a starting-point assessment to help me learn about and consider what might be required; and even better if it was based on my current environment and some initial goals and desires.
And that’s what the Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment is all about.
It’s a free and easy-to-install tool that, when run on supporting OS and with the proper credentials, will ask you a number of questions about your environment and about your needs and desires (the end goal), and result in a lengthy report based on your answers and, importantly, based on what it was able to detect in your infrastructure.
“Can you show it to me?”
Showing you the whole process would be overkill here. But how about I show you some of the highlights.
Requirements and Installation
The download page is where you’ll find a good description of how and where the tool can be run. In basic terms, it will run on any OS newer than Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It does have some .NET framework requirements as well. The instructions are pretty simple:
1. Download and run WAVMRA.EXE on the computer you want to run the assessment from
2. Complete the installation steps
3. Launch the tool
4. Select the technology you want to assess and proceed through the wizard experience
On the workstation you’ve installed the tool on, make sure you run it as an administrative account that has rights to administer Active Directory, SharePoint, or your SQL Servers (whatever it is you’re interested in assessing).
Naturally, the first question you are asked is “What would you like to assess?”
Your answer here will determine some of the remaining questions concerning what kind of connectivity, applications, availability, and performance you’re going to require.
Let’s say that In my example I’m going to want to extend my Active Directory domain into the cloud. Using my single corporate domain I want to extend authentication to other applications that I want to host on virtual machines in my Microsoft Azure network.
Prior to the remainder of the questionnaire, you are reminded of the requirements for this tool to be able to run successfully:
Answer the Questions
The rest of the process prior to scanning your environment and generating the final report, is to ask you additional questions. In my scenario, I’m asked 13 more questions. “All questions must be answered as part of completing this assessment.” Here are a few samples:
Note that each question provides additional detail about what’s being asked, and you are often giving the option to basically say “I don’t know yet”. Trust me – The report will give you excellent detail on and pointers to additional information about all of the options available.
The tool generates a Microsoft Word .docx file that you can save, print, share.. whatever you want to do with it. Inside you’ll find a detailed report on what you’ve chosen, what’s required of you, and links to additional information and further learning around your next steps. The report is organized into three parts: “Ready”, “Set”, and “Move”.
And then shows you “What we checked”, with a quick visual indication of which items are fine, and which ones should probably be looked into further.
And that’s it!
Hopefully you’ll find this a useful first-step into extending your infrastructure into the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Go Forward “To the Cloud!”