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Azure Cloud Migration Services: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line

Customers naturally gravitate toward Microsoft Azure for cloud migration services, with good reason: Azure is a leader in cloud computing. It is generally considered the "number two" cloud provider, behind only AWS. And for businesses that focus heavily on the Windows platform, Azure is the top cloud computing choice.

For organizations migrating to Azure, Microsoft's migration services are available free of charge, and they would likely be particularly attractive to organizations setting up a hybrid cloud. Azure has a strong offering in hybrid cloud computing, perhaps the best in the entire cloud industry. This is due to its combination of legacy focus on in-house data centers and its current focus on public cloud

Azure Migrate is an impressive, full-featured migration discovery, assessment and planning tool, but Azure Database Migration services has a very limited feature set. However, on the plus side, Microsoft offers physical hardware for offline data transfer, and it has a wide assortment of partners that augment its migration capabilities.

Jump to: Azure Features Table

Company Description

The second largest public cloud in the world, Azure is the cloud computing division of Microsoft. It boasts that 90 percent of the world's Fortune 500 companies use its services, and it signs up 120,000 new customers every month. Well-known enterprises that use Azure include Coca-Cola, Chevron, FedEx, BMW, Adobe, Walmart, Reuters, NBC, Samsung, Toyota, HP, Boeing, Heineken and the NBA.

Microsoft first announced its plans to launch a cloud computing service in 2008, and it officially launched under the name "Windows Azure" in 2010. Four years later, the company rebranded the service as "Microsoft Azure." Azure has a very large partner marketplace, and it stands out for its support of hybrid cloud architecture.

In its fourth fiscal quarter for 2018, Microsoft reported that Azure revenue grew by 89 percent. Revenue for the company's Intelligent Cloud division, which includes Azure as well as some software as a service (SaaS) products, was $9.6 billion. Microsoft stock is traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol MSFT, and it is a component of the S&P 500.

Product Description

Microsoft's primary cloud migration service is called Azure Migrate. It includes tools for app discovery, assessment and migration to Microsoft Azure. It also integrates with a variety of partner tools.

In addition, Microsoft offers a Database Migration Service for moving on premises Microsoft SQL Server databases to Azure. It also has a family of Data Box offline hardware for transferring data to the cloud via a physical device. Data Box offers 100 TB of capacity. Data Box Disk offers 8 TB per disk and comes in packs of five. Data Box Heavy can transfer up to 1 PB of data.

Features

Supported Clouds

Microsoft Azure only

Data Migration

Limited capabilities; database service can migrate only Microsoft Server SQL databases

Server Migration

Yes, through Azure Migrate and partner services

Discovery

Yes, through Azure Migrate

Planning

Yes, through Azure Migrate

Project Management

Yes, through Azure Migrate

Dashboard

Yes, through Azure Migrate

Physical Hardware

The Data Box family can transfer up to 1 PB of data

Security

Azure boasts industry-leading security, and many Azure Security Center services are available for free. Data Box hardware protects data with AES Encryption.

Services Available

Billing and subscription management support for Azure Migrate is free. Technical support runs $29 per month and up.

Pricing

Azure Migrate is free for the first 180 days of a migration project, although customers may incur other fees for Azure services that they use during the migration process.

Azure Database Migration Service is free.

Pricing for Data Box starts at $250, plus $95 shipping. Data Box Disk costs $25 per unit, plus $5 per disk per day and $30 shipping. Data Box Heavy starts at $2,000, plus $1,500 for shipping.

Azure Features Table

Features

Azure Migration Services

Supported Clouds

Microsoft Azure

Data Migration

Limited capabilities through Azure Database Migration Service

Server Migration

Yes

Discovery

Yes

Planning

Yes

Project Management

Yes

Dashboard

Yes

Physical Hardware

Yes

Security

Industry-leading security, including AES encryption for Data Box migration hardware.

Services Available

Billing, subscription management and technical support.

Pricing

Most services are free. Pricing for the Data Box family of products starts under $100.

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