Table of Contents

Ultimate Guide to VM Migration Services

A virtual machine (VM) is a software-defines computer that is the same as the physical computer. The critical feature of VM is that it is independent of the physical computer and also portable. These characteristics make VM popular among over the globe for both on-premise and cloud environments. 

Today we will explore virtual machine migration to the cloud and much more. Let’s dive in! 

Types of VM Migration Services

VM migration is divided into three parts mentioned below: 

  • VM migration to the cloud with new environment setup 
  • Lift and Shift VM migration to cloud with a small downtime window 
  • Lift and Shift VM migration to cloud with a large downtime window. 

Now, let’s explore these three types of strategies of VM cloud migration: 

1. VM migration to cloud with new environment setup

This is the simplest approach to VM cloud migration. With the help of existing virtualization technologies such as VMware, we set up new VMs according to the users’ requirements. After that, customers can make all the changes in the environment as per their needs. This approach is recreating the existing cloud where users can manually install all the necessary applications. This type of migration allows the user to re-architect the system and use more benefits of cloud migration. 

2. Lift and Shift VM migration to cloud with a small downtime window

This approach is pretty straightforward. In this initially, we turn off the production system, and then with the help of Veeam Backup&Replication suit, we create a snapshot. The snapshot then later on transferred to the external hard disk. After that, the snapshot will be taken to the data center to replicate everything to the cloud.

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3. Lift and Shift VM migration to cloud with a large downtime window

The third type of cloud migration of virtual machines is the most complex. The goal of any cloud migration is to eliminate differences between the old and new systems. If downtime is not an issue, we can shut down the production system, take a snapshot, transfer it, and turn the new system back on.

If the downtime window is tiny, we need to take more than one snapshot. The production system remains online during all snapshot replications except the last snapshot. The first snapshot is the largest and takes the most time. After replicating the first snapshot, we create a second snapshot with the system changes from the first to the second snapshot – we refer to these changes as the ‘delta.’ The goal is to keep the delta as small as possible. After agreeing on the expected downtime, we shut down the production system, replicated the ‘delta’ to the cloud, and powered up the new system. 


In this article, we described how to migrate virtual machines to the cloud. The downtime window and the number of VMs are the most important aspects when migrating virtual machines to the cloud. When we have many VMs, and the downtime window is very small, it takes a lot of preparation to make the migration successful. Using various tools and the experience of our certified cloud engineers, we have migrated various workloads to the cloud and achieved very short, almost unnoticeable downtime. 

As an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, we help businesses of all industries and sizes solve their infrastructure problems with cloud migration. For more details, book your free consultation with an expert at iSmile Technologies. 

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