Microsoft will Officially Support for the First Time a Migration using Azure Stack

 

Azure Stack it’s just a few months away to be released in GA (General Availability) and Microsoft has just decided they are going to officially support the applications migration (at least part of them) from one datacenter to another in India using the Azure appliance for datacenters.

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This migration scenario it’s not actually very different from what other customers might be already doing with Azure Stack TP2 (Technical Preview 2): Using the POC mode (one node) in their environment, using on-premises applications and workloads which can be easily integrated with Azure public and, of course, using the same Azure Portal to manage this integration from on-premises and cloud.

The migration in this case will involve the Andhra Pradesh state of India, which will be migrating 340 applications in total between different datacenters: Source datacenter is located in Hyderabad (State of Telangana, India) to the destination datacenters in Vizag and Vijayawada (State of Andhra Pradesh, India).

A total of approximately 315 miles from Hyderabad to Vijayawada.

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Government of India helped the state of Andhra Pradesh to build a datacenter in Hyderabad, which was part of the same state at some point. But, in June of 2014 the north-western portion of the state was bifurcated to form a new state of Telangana, which generated the need of this project to migrate datacenters between now different States.

You may be wondering: “This is not a big deal, I’m already using Azure Stack for small production workloads, what’s the difference?”, but the catch relies on Microsoft signing a MOU (memorandum of understanding) and committing to migrate 15 apps from their environment.

The migration will still involve a POC implementation of Azure Stack, just one box, but having Microsoft accountable for applications migrations and supporting this project is still a significant step for a real-world validation of this platform.

Recently Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella met the Chief Minister of the State Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu. In this meeting they completed the agreement for the Azure Stack migration and some other initiatives. The Chief Minister stated that the mentioned state will be the “cloud-first state” in India.

Satya Nadella was actually born in Andhra Pradesh, India in 1967.

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Applications Migration Process with Azure Stack

Microsoft has not released any official comment regarding this agreement, so most are conjectures regarding how they will support this migration. The particularity here is that this is a Government organization, therefore they have strong regulations regarding security of information.

Security protocols in the State of Andhra Pradesh do not allow store any information in the cloud, so they will use Azure Public Cloud as a gateway to transfer the data using Live Migration options for the applications.

Here’s the high level processes that will be used to achieve this migration using Azure Stack:

1. Connect source datacenter (Hyderabad) with Microsoft Azure Public Cloud. Express Route could be an option to guarantee low latency and high speed connectivity.

2. Prepare destination datacenters (Vizag and Vijayawada) with Azure Stack POC implementations and integrate them with Azure Public.

3. Migrate selected applications from source datacenter to Azure Public Cloud. This will be a temporary placement for the applications.

The MOU (memorandum of understanding) between Microsoft and the State of Andhra Pradesh enforces and focus its content about the privacy of their information in this temporal stage.

4. From the Azure Portal in destination datacenters, execute a Live Migration from Azure Public to Azure Stack for the selected applications.

As Azure Stack and Azure Public Cloud share the same code, there will be no additional transformation to perform within these apps.

This is a diagram for the process overview, at least what we assume will be the steps:

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Even though this is a small scenario and it should not represent a complex migration to handle 15 applications, it is always good to know Azure Stack will have some real experience with critical data and Microsoft support.

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