Converting from VMware to Azure

When restoring a VMware virtual machine from backup, the virtual machine can be restored as an Azure VM in the Azure management portal. Conversion creates Generation 1 VMs.

You can use this feature to migrate virtual machines to the Azure cloud.

Before You Begin

  • Create a Microsoft Azure client.
  • Before performing backups of source VMs, enable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) on the source VM.
  • The user who performs the conversion should be able to log in to the VM.
  • Azure Standard or Premium general-purpose storage accounts are required for VM conversion to Azure.
  • To enable deployment in Azure Resource Manager, define one or more resource groups for the application associated with the Azure virtualization client.
  • The operating system for the destination VM must be an operating system that is supported for Microsoft Azure.

Commvault Requirements

  • Source virtual machines must be from vCenter Server 5.5 or a more recent version.
  • Conversion of virtual machines to Azure is not supported from IntelliSnap snap copies, but is supported from IntelliSnap backup copies.
  • If the AUTO option is selected and the disk operating system type cannot be determined from the configuration file, the job will fail. The job can be resubmitted by selecting the proper OS on the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog.
  • The Create and Power ON Virtual Machine option is selected by default. If this option is not selected when the VM is restored, only the operating system disk is registered, and any remaining disks are uploaded to the Azure storage account. In this case, VHDs must be created manually through the Azure management portal, using the Create VHD option on the Disk tab:
    1. For each disk, browse to the storage location and open the disk from which the VHD is to be created. Opening the disk registers it as a VHD, so that it can be attached to a new or existing VM.
    2. Select the VM to which the VHD is to be attached, and attach one or more registered VHDs from the storage location.

Azure VM Requirements

  • Before you convert a VM from a non-Azure hypervisor using a "restore as" operation or a Live Sync operation, verify that the source VM meets the requirements for non-endorsed distributions. This verification is important because Linux VMs that are based on an endorsed distribution of Microsoft Azure have the prerequisites that enable them to run on Azure, but VMs that originate from other hypervisors might not. For more information, see Information for Non-Endorsed Distributions.
  • Conversion is not supported for virtual machines that use Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) boot methods. A VM that has EFI boot enabled can be restored as an Azure VM, but the resulting VM is not bootable. For successful conversion results, the source VM must boot using BIOS, because Azure does not support Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) or EFI boot methods. The OS volume must use MBR partitioning rather than GPT.
  • The VM name can only contain alphanumeric characters or the '-' character; the name cannot contain any Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) characters.
  • The RAM and disk specification for the source VM should match the format of the Azure destination VM. For example, if the source VM RAM is less than 1.75 GB, only two disks will be uploaded to Azure if AUTO is selected as the VM size for the conversion, because of Azure restrictions.
  • Virtual machines with a VM size of A8 or A9 can only be created in new Azure cloud services without any instances. You cannot create A8 or A9 VMs in existing cloud services.
  • Before you perform a backup for a Linux source VM that runs CentOS or Red Hat, verify that required Hyper-V drivers are installed on the source VM. Those drivers must be present on the source VM backup in order to boot the VM after conversion.
    1. Enable Changed Block Tracking (CBT) for the source VM.
    2. Take a snapshot of the source VM.
    3. Run the following command to modify the boot image:

      sudo dracut -f -v -N

    4. Run the following command to verify that Hyper-V drivers are present in the boot image:

      lsinitrd | grep hv

    5. Verify that no dracut conf files (for example, /usr/lib/dracut/dracut.conf.d/01-dist.conf) contain the following line:


    6. Run a new backup to use for the conversion.

    For more information, see Prepare a CentOS-based virtual machine for Azure.


To access a backup of a VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine and create an Azure virtual machine:

  1. From the CommCell Console, go to Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware > backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the backup for the VMware virtual machine to convert, and then select Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options dialog box, select Full Virtual Machine.
  4. From the Restore as list under Full Virtual Machine, select one of the following options:
    • Azure Classic
    • Azure Resource Manager
  5. Click View Content.

    A Client tab shows the contents of the most recent backup for the subclient.

  6. Select a virtual machine in the left pane. The configuration and VMDK files for the selected virtual machine are displayed in the right pane.
  7. Click Recover All Selected at the bottom of the window.
  8. In the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, select values for the conversion:



    Azure Subscription

    Select the virtualization client created for Azure.

    Destination client

    Select a destination client to act as a staging machine. Disk and configuration files for the Azure virtual machine are copied to the job results folder on the staging machine, then uploaded to Azure.

    VM and Disk

    The VM and Disk column displays the name of the virtual machine and lists virtual machine disks.

    Change VM display name to

    To avoid overwriting an existing virtual machine with the same name on the Azure management portal, click in the first row of the Change VM display name to column and enter a new name.

    Cloud Services

    (only for Azure Classic)

    Select one of the cloud services created in the Azure management portal from the list.

    Resource Group

    (only for Azure Resource Manager)

    Select the resource group in which the converted virtual machine should be created.

    Storage Accounts

    This list displays the storage account created under the selected cloud services. A different storage account can be selected for each virtual machine and disk.

    The following general-purpose storage accounts are supported for VM conversion:

    • Standard storage
    • Premium storage

    Filter a disk

    To exclude a virtual machine disk, select Do Not Attach in the row for the disk under the Storage account column. When this option is selected, the specified disk is not uploaded to Azure and attached to the created VM.


    (only for Azure Resource Manager)

    After selecting the Resource Group, select one or more VMs and click Configure to display the Azure Virtual Machine Configuration dialog box. Any changes you make on this dialog box are applied to all of the selected VMs. The following information is displayed:

    • VM Display Name (if a single VM was selected) - Displays the name of the destination VM. You cannot change the value on this dialog box.
    • Edit Destination VM Name (if multiple VMs were selected) - Select Prefix or Suffix and enter a string that should be appended to all destination VM names.
    • Resource Group - Displays the selected resource group. You cannot change the value on this dialog box.
    • Storage Account - Select the storage account for a virtual machine or disk.

      You can specify any storage account in the same region as the selected cloud service (Classic) or resource group (ARM).

    • VM size - Select a VM size from the list. The VM sizes in the list are those that are available for the resource group you selected.
    • Restore as Managed VM - To restore virtual machines as managed virtual machines, select this check box.

      When you select this option, the restore operation creates virtual machine disks in the specified storage account, and then converts them to managed disks and attaches the disks to the restored virtual machine.

    • Operating System - Match the operating system of the source VM.

      If necessary, you can select the AUTO option to automatically detect the operating system of the source VM.

      The operating system for the destination VM must be an operating system that is supported for Microsoft Azure.

    • Network Interface - Select one of the available network interfaces for the resource group from the list. If you select Not Connected, virtual machines are restored with network interfaces in disconnected state.

    VM size

    (only for Azure Classic)

    Select one of the following VM size options:

    • AUTO: Size is selected automatically based on the RAM for the source VM.
    • A1:  1 core, 1.75 GB, 2 disks
    • A2:  2 cores, 3.5 GB, 5 disks
    • A3:  3 cores, 7 GB, 9 disks
    • A4:  4 cores, 14 GB, 17 disks
    • A5:  2 cores, 14 GB, 5 disks
    • A6:  4 cores, 28 GB, 9 disks
    • A7:  8 cores, 56 GB, 17 disks
    • A8:  8 cores, 56 GB, 17 disks
    • A9:  16 cores, 112 GB, 17 disks

    Operating System

    (only for Azure Classic)

    Select Windows or Linux to match the operating system of the source VM.

    If necessary, you can select the AUTO option to automatically detect the operating system of the source VM.

    Create and Power ON Virtual Machine

    Select this option to power on the virtual machine in the Azure management portal after uploading disks and completing the conversion. This option is selected by default.

    Unconditionally overwrite VM and VHDs in destination path

    If a virtual machine with the same name exists on the Azure management portal, select this option to overwrite the existing virtual machine.

  9. Click OK.


If the source VM had dynamic disks that use simple disk spanning, RAID, striped, or mirrored layouts, after VM conversion, the disks in the converted VM might be marked as Failed in Disk Management. You must bring these disks online manually using Disk Management. To bring the disks back online, perform an Import Foreign Disks operation on the guest VM for the disk group that contains failed disks. You need to import the entire disk group in one operation rather than performing a partial import.

Last modified: 9/27/2019 8:28:40 PM