GCP to Azure

From GCP to Azure: A Smooth Migration Journey

By: Chris Cruz, Azure L&S Migration Team Lead at Mobiz

Migrating workloads from any cloud provider can be daunting. We recently tackled several GCP to Azure migrations using a Lift and Shift strategy, leveraging the Azure Migrate tool. Here's our experience, insights, and how you can streamline your cloud move. 

GCP to Azure

Setting the Stage for Success

While Azure Migrate setup is generally straightforward, there are a few nuances if you follow security best practices (which, of course, you should!).

Here are some crucial points to remember:

  • Permissions Matter: Your Recovery Service Vault Managed Identity needs access to target storage to avoid hiccups during replication.
  • Say Goodbye to Soft-Delete: Disable this on your blob storage for compatibility with Azure Migrate.
  • Migration Central: Your Migration Appliance (a Windows VM in your GCP project) is the key for discovery, replication, and configuration. Ensure network ports 443 and 9443 are open for seamless connectivity.
  • Pre-flight Assessment: The Azure Migrate assessment tool is fantastic. Map out costs, dependencies, and your migration strategy before you dive in. 

GCP to Azure

Core Phases of Azure Migrations

Azure Migrations have two core phases:

  1. Replication with Flexibility: Azure Service Recovery Vaults securely replicate your GCP servers. Key point: data changes sync every few hours – plan cut-overs for sensitive systems accordingly. Meanwhile, test migrations on a separate Azure network let you preemptively catch issues.
  2. The Big Switch (With Graceful Fallback): Here's where it gets interesting. Azure Migrate shuts down your source GCP VM during migration, minimizing downtime. Just remember, if you need to rollback, you'll manually restart the original VM.

Real World Takeaways

  • Migration Speed: Surprisingly fast! 10 minutes to an hour per VM in our case, influenced heavily by disk size.
  • Licensing Quirks: Some legacy setups on the client side needed specific MAC address preservation for licensing. Azure's flexibility means workarounds are usually possible.
  • Agent Conflicts: Google's Agent on migrated Linux VMs occasionally clashed with Azure's monitoring. Clean removal of the old one fixed everything quickly.

The Azure Advantage (Let's Talk Benefits)!

This project isn't just about the tech steps; it's about the strategic wins you unlock with Azure:

  • Hybrid Rights: If you have existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance, you can save significantly on Azure VM costs.
  • Enhanced Integration: Azure often works better with your existing Microsoft investments (Active Directory, etc.), streamlining management long-term.
  • Innovation Ecosystem: While GCP is strong, Azure often has an edge in enterprise support, developer tools, and a massive partner network.

 We're Your Migration Guides

Our team learned a lot about these GCP to Azure migrations. Think of our experience as your shortcut. The actual Lift and Shift mechanics are like other migrations but knowing those cloud-specific 'gotchas' is where the real value lies.

Got questions about your potential GCP to Azure move? Or about those Azure cost savings? Drop a comment below, let's talk!