Microsoft has released tools that allow users of the Azure cloud platform to migrate resources currently managed using legacy APIs to the newer Azure Resource Manager service, without incurring any downtime.
Microsoft's Azure cloud platform has been in operation for many years, and the firm introduced an infrastructure-as-a-service offering including hosting of virtual machines (VMs) in 2013.
Since then, the company has added Azure Resource Manager as a new service to provision and manage resources, along with a new set of APIs.
Azure Resource Manager enables users to pull together all the components of an application stack, such as the VMs, storage and network resources, and manage them together as one logical group for simplicity.
Microsoft has now announced platform managed migration of resources from what it calls the "classic" model to Resource Manager, enabling customers still operating resources provisioned with the old tools to migrate them to the new.
"With this release it is possible to migrate the most common classic VM deployments in an existing classic virtual network to Azure Resource Manager without VM downtime," said Microsoft's principal programme manager for Azure Compute, Drew McDaniel, on the Azure blog.
One caveat is that Resource Manager requires VMs to be part of a virtual network in order to enforce application security rules. This means that classic VMs that are not part of a virtual network will have to be moved to one when migrated to Resource Manager, or have one created for them, and this requires a reboot operation.
The migration process consists of a preparation stage, which simulates the transformation of resources from classic to Resource Manager; a check stage during which the user can run monitoring/automation and operational scripts to check the migration appears to be working as expected; and a commit or abort stage where the user commits the migrated resources to Resource Manager or reverts to the original configuration.
Microsoft said it is not deprecating the existing classic APIs and resource model for Azure, but recommends users switch to take advantage of the more advanced features in the Resource Manager deployment model.
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