Simplified Managed Disk Migration in Azure

Simplified Managed Disk Migration in Azure

In the past, migrating managed disks could be a bit of a challenge. Today I’d like to talk about how Azure has simplified the process. Microsoft recently added the ability to migrate the disks through their portal instead of having to use a command line interface or a PowerShell script.

First off, why would you want a managed disk over an unmanaged one?

  • Greater scalability due to much higher IOPs and storage limits. There’s no longer the need to add additional storage accounts when you’re adding disk space, which has been a challenge for users that were using large virtual machines and required large storage space.
  • Better availability and reliability which ensures that disks are now isolated from each other in different storage scale units.
  • Managed disks offer an over 99.99% uptime, plus are always stored with 3 replicas of the data.
  • More granular access control by employing role-based access control (RBAC) security. You have granular capability to assign access to various people in your organization.

Here’s how it works:

    • When looking at an overview of your VM if you’re using an unmanaged disk, you’ll see a ribbon or banner at the top alerting you that you’re not using managed disks and that you should. Sure, they cost a bit more, but the payback is better resiliency and reliability.
    • When you click on that banner, it will give you a wizard to walk you through how to perform that migration. It will also remind you that when you migrate, you can’t go back. Your virtual machine will remain unchanged, but you’ll want to take that into account.
    • It will reboot your VM once complete, so keep this in mind so you can plan to do this during off hours.
    • Another note, if your VM is in an availability set, you’ll be prompted to migrate that availability set first, then your migration.
    • Once you’re done and back up and running, you’ll see the new disks and the old unmanaged disks, even though they can’t be mounted. You can later clean those up and delete them.
    • You’ll have a disk for the OS and each data disk in that resource group and you’re ready to go, with more availability plus the comfort of knowing you’re running in a more continuity mode.

So, look at your virtual machines and do that migration when you have a chance. This great wizard-based feature makes it much easier. The reliability benefits will greatly outweigh the added cost.

 

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