Moving applications to the cloud provides you with a cloud infrastructure for backup and resiliency. When you move to the cloud, you move from a standard physical implementation tool, including data centers, software, hardware, networking and servers – and move to a service, where much of the infrastructure is maintained for you. Cloud offerings such as Microsoft Azure provide you with a standard configuration. If your application fits those parameters, migration is easier. Other times, the application may require particular settings in Internet Information Services.
Although not all applications will seamlessly move to the cloud, a tool from Microsoft Azure Websites Migration Assistant offers you a way to determine what challenges you may face in moving your application to Azure. The Azure Websites Migration Assistant help you migrate your on-premise app to the cloud in a few clicks.
For example, if you want to move a departmental application from Windows Server 2003 running ASP.NET 2 running a version of SQL locally, you might not think of that being a candidate for migration to the cloud.
Windows Server 2003 will reach end of support on July 14th 2015. If you are currently your websites on an IIS server that is Windows Server 2003, Azure Websites is a low-risk, low-cost, and low-friction way to keep your websites online, and Azure Websites Migration Assistant can help automate the migration process for you.
Azure Websites Migration Assistant can analyze your IIS server installation, identify which sites can be migrated to Azure Websites, highlight any elements that cannot be migrated or are unsupported on the platform, and then migrate your websites and associated databases to Azure.
Applications can be deployed to Azure Websites.
Now you can easily migrate to Azure Websites from your existing websites that run on Internet Information Service (IIS) 6 or later. The tools helps you analyze your IIS server installation, identify which sites can be migrated to Azure Websites, highlight any elements that cannot be migrated or are unsupported on the platform, and then migrate your websites and associated databases to Azure with just a few clicks.
You can see if your application and is a candidate to move to Azure Websites. You can go to http://movemetothecloud.net and install the tool. You can download the tool and run the assessment from a computer inside your company, without having any of the data at risk to send to the cloud. The migration assistant software figures out what applications are installed, what settings are, and what dependencies are needed for it to work in the cloud.
Elements Verified During Compatibility Analysis
The Azure Websites Migration Assistant creates a readiness report to identify any potential causes for concern or blocking issues which may prevent a successful migration from on-premises IIS to Azure Websites. Some of the key items to be aware of are:
- Port Bindings – Azure Websites only support Port 80 for HTTP and Port 443 for HTTPS traffic. Different port configurations will be ignored and traffic will be routed to 80 or 443.
- Authentication – Azure Websites supports Anonymous Authentication by default and Forms Authentication where specified by an application. Windows Authentication can be used by integrating with Azure Active Directory and ADFS only. All other forms of authentication, e.g. Basic Authentication, are not currently supported.
- lobal Assembly Cache (GAC) – The GAC is not supported in Azure Websites. If your application references assemblies which you usually deploy to the GAC, you will need to deploy to the application bin folder on Azure Websites.
- IIS5 Compatibility Mode – This is not supported on Azure Websites.
- Application Pools – In Azure Websites, each site and its child applications run in the same application pool. If your site has multiple child applications utilizing multiple application pools, consolidate them to a single application pool with common settings or migrate each application to a separate website.
- OM Components – Azure Websites does not allow the registration of COM Components on the platform. If your websites or applications make use of any COM Components, you must rewrite them in managed code and deploy them with the website or application.
- ISAPI Filters – Azure Websites can support the use of ISAPI Filters. You need to take steps outlined in the Migration Assistant documentation.
- Other components like SharePoint, front page server extensions (FPSE), FTP, SSL certificates will not be migrated.
Report and Migration
Once you upload the readiness report, Azure performs readiness analysis and shows you the results. Read the assessment details for each website and make sure that you understand or have addressed all issues before you proceed.
When you are ready to migrate, you can change the default migration settings, such as:
- use an existing Azure SQL Database or create a new Azure SQL Database, and configure its credentials
- select the websites to migrate
- define names for the Azure websites and their linked SQL databases
- customize the global settings and site-level settings
The migration tool will create the Azure SQL Database and Azure Website, and then publish the website content and databases. The migration progress is clearly shown in the migration tool, and you will see a summary screen at the end, which details the sites migrated, whether they were successful, links to the newly-created Azure websites.