Virtual environments tend to be the most cost effective and flexible IT environment in the cloud. Converting physical machines to cloud-based virtual environments allows systems to run on fewer hosts and less CapEx expenses.
The advantages of Virtualization includes allowing snap-shotting, cloning systems, reducing downtime, and reducing staff resources.
Physical to Virtual (P2V) Deployments
Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) involves migrating a servers operating system, apps, and data from a physical server to a virtual machine that is hosted on a ritualized platform.
The following types of servers and apps benefit from a cloud migration:
- Systems that have dynamic RAM needs
- Systems that have less than 50% CPU utilization
- Systems with IOPS less than 1000
Converting Physical Systems to Virtual Machines
VMWare’s VCenter can convert a local or remote physical machine into virtual machines without the need to take the physical machine offline (down). Tools are availble through many different CSPs (cloud service providers) and can make the migration easy and quick.
Virtual to Virtual (V2V) Deployments
Virtual-to-Virtual (V2V) refers to migrating a disk or VM partition to another VM or disk partition.
Popular V2V Migration Tools:
- VMWare vCenter Converter
- Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)
- Citrix XenConvert
- Vizioncore vConverter
Online vs. Offline Migrations
Online migrations can be achieved but is limited to bandwidth and available resources. Moving large data such as storage can be successful by sending the offline data to the CSP to eliminate the need for high bandwidth online transfers.
Steps to Determine the Type of Cloud Deployment to Perform
- Evaluate workloads running on physical servers to see if they are a good fit for P2V.
- Test migration tools before planning a cloud migration.
- Always use the same CPU architecture (AMD or Intel) when performing V2V migrations.
- If an app cannot run after a P2V, perform a V2P migration of that app.
- Research Azure and AWS or other third-party cloud migration tools.
Managing Virtual Machine and Container Migration
OVF – Open Virtualization Format is an open source standard for packaging and distributing software applications for VMs. The OVF package contains the software files, XML, and OVF descriptor file in a single folder. Most major vendors including VMWare, Microsoft, IBM support OVF.
Cloud Migration to CSP Steps:
- Migration of VMs to the Cloud Service Provider (CSP).
- Migration of Data to the Cloud Service Provider (CSP).
- Synchronization of Data Prior to or After Cut-over to the Cloud Service Provider Solution.
- Cloud Solution Testing.
- Backup of VMs, Apps, and Data after Successful Launch to the Cloud.