How to Migrate an On-premises Windows Server to Jotelulu

Learn how to easily migrate a physical Windows machine from your on-premises server to a Jotelulu server.

With the growing demand for ever more computing power, greater flexibility and increasingly strict requirements with regard to security and regulations, you may find yourself needing to migrate your on-premises servers to a cloud service provider like Jotelulu.

And if you have never carried out a migration like this before, this can be a real headache, even for experienced IT technicians.

Here at Jotelulu, we are fully aware of this, so we have worked hard to make sure that your transition from a traditional model to a hybrid or 100% cloud model is as quick and pain-free as possible. In this tutorial, we are going to look at how to migrate an on-premises Windows server to the Jotelulu cloud using the Jotelulu Migration tool.

Before we get started, it is worth mentioning that there exist many tools that you can use for a task like this. However, we are going to use a well-established tool, Disk2vhd from SysInternals.

This tool first appeared in 2009 and was developed by Mark Russinovich as a utility to migrate physical disks to Microsoft virtual environments. However, it can be used with a wide range of other infrastructures as the output is a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk), which is now an industry standard and be used on Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, etc.


How to migrate an on-premises Windows server to Jotelulu


Before you get started:

To successfully complete this tutorial and migrate your on-premises Windows server to Jotelulu, you will need:

  • To be registered on the platform and have logged in.
  • To have a physical Windows server that you wish to migrate.

NOTE: If you are using Windows Server 2012, we recommend performing a defragmentation before the migration. Unlike newer servers (Windows Server 2016 and onwards), the system does not automatically perform a defragmentation, and this can mean that the migrated image will be bigger than necessary and take longer to migrate.


Part 1 – Start the migration process on the Jotelulu platform

To get started, load the Jotelulu platform and go to the Partner Area (1).


Part 1 - Go to the Partner Area on the Jotelulu platform

Part 1 – Go to the Partner Area on the Jotelulu platform

Then, click on Migration (2) in the left-hand menu.

Part 1 - Click on "Migration" in the Partner Area

Part 1 – Click on “Migration” in the Partner Area

Next, launch a new migration by clicking on “New Migration” (3).

NOTE: This page may look different if you have already performed previous migrations. In which case, they will be listed here.

Part 1 - Launch a new migration

Part 1 – Launch a new migration

You will now be guided through the process to prepare the system for the migration of your server to Jotelulu.

First, you need to select the type of service to migrate. Since we are migrating a server, you should select “Servers” (4) from the options shown.

Part 1 - Click on "Servers"

Part 1 – Click on “Servers”

Next, you need to specify whether your server is physical or virtual (5), which in this case will be physical.

Then, you will need to choose the format in which the server will be imported. Select “VHD – Disk Conversion” (6).

Similarly, you will need to select the way that the VHD will be uploaded to Jotelulu.

Here, you should select FTP (7) and give a name to the disk that you are going to import (8). This will be the name that the migration system will expect to receive when we upload the image.

You will also have to provide a display name for the disk (9). This is how the server will be displayed on the platform once the migration is complete.

Once you have filled in these details, click on “Next” (10).

Part 1 - Enter the source and format of the data being migrated

Part 1 – Enter the source and format of the data being migrated

At this point, you will need to choose the organisation, subscription and availability zone (11) that you want to deploy the virtual machine on.

This will depend on how many organisations and subscriptions you have registered. If you do not have any subscriptions, you will be able to create a new one.

If you just have a single subscription, this will be your only choice. With respect to the availability zone, you can work in exactly the same way as with the other available services.

The last part of this process asks “Do you want to deploy a new server with the imported disks?”. If you do not wish to deploy the server, you can simply leave the uploaded image ready for future use. However, usually, the answer to this question will be “Yes” (12).

Part 1 - Select the organisation and subscription on which you want to deploy the VM

Part 1 – Select the organisation and subscription on which you want to deploy the VM

If you click on “Yes”, you will be then asked for a series of details to configure your new Jotelulu server.

First, you will have to give the server a name (13). This name can include spaces.

Next, you will have to select an operating system (14) and select a size for your new server (15), where you will specify the CPU and RAM that you need.

Lastly, you will need to select a network type (16), depending on whether you need a standard network or a VPC.

Once you have done all this, click on “Finish” (17).

Part 1 - Configure your new Jotelulu server

Part 1 – Configure your new Jotelulu server

At this point, you will see a summary of the status of your migration. This will initially show as “Preparing transfer” and then change to “Awaiting transfer”.

This summary information will also include the FTP connection details (18):

  • FTP Server
  • User
  • Password

Part 1 - Summary of the migration and next steps

Part 1 – Summary of the migration and next steps

Once you finish this step, you will have configured your migration and a series of internal processes will run to deploy your new Jotelulu server, which will be available in your Servers subscription area.

At this point, you will need to provide the image to migrate and you will be able to monitor progress on the Jotelulu platform. When this is complete, you will simply need to set a few final parameters and your VM will be fully up and running.


Part 2 – Mapping the Jotelulu FTP directory as a drive

Moving a virtual machine from one system to another can be a complicated process, and it can get even more complex if the image you want to move is a large volume. This is why we recommend using software that allows you to download the image directly to the Jotelulu FTP directory.

To do this, you will need a program that allows you to map the FTP directory as an additional drive on the server that you are using.

We recommend using SFTP Drive from NSoftware as we have already tried it ourselves with excellent results. However, there are many other options available on the market. To install this tool, visit the NSoftware website to download it.

The install file is only a little more than 5MB in size, so it should take no time at all the download.

However, before you can download the install file, you will need to register your e-mail address. Once you have done this, click on the “Download” button.

Part 2 - Register your e-mail address and download SFTP Drive

Part 2 – Register your e-mail address and download SFTP Drive

Once the file has been downloaded, launch the installer as an administrator.

The installation process is fairly simple and self-explanatory.

There are only two points to bear in mind. Firstly, you will need to register the application, using the same e-mail address that you registered with, and provide a name. Secondly, once the installation has finished, we recommend restarting your device so that any changes can be applied.

Once you have installed the software, launch SFTP Drive and you can begin mapping the FTP directory.

The process is relatively straightforward, but you need to ensure that you fill in all the details correctly to avoid any issues.

In the SFTP Drive window, click on “New” (19) to start the process.

Part 2 - Begin mapping a new drive using SFTP Drive

Part 2 – Begin mapping a new drive using SFTP Drive

At this point, you will be asked for a series of connection details, which we have listed below:

  • Drive Name: You need to give the drive a name (20). This is how it will appear in Windows Explorer.
  • Drive Letter: You need to assign a drive letter (21). If you do not assign one, the program will do this automatically.
  • Remote Host: You need to give the name of the server (22) that was provided by the migration system in Part 1.
  • Remote Port: You need to specify the FTP port (23), which in the case of Windows is port 22.
  • Username/Password: You need to enter the username and password (24) that you were provided by the migration system in Part 1.
  • Remote Folder: Here, you need to specify where the user will access the FTP by default(25). We recommend using the User’s home folder” and not making any changes to the file path.

Once you have entered all these details, we recommend that you click on “Test SSH Connection” (26). If everything works correctly, click on “OK” (27) to map the drive.

NOTE: It is possible that you may see various SSH Key acceptance messages. This normally happens when the server is not yet trusted and the SSH Keys are being exchanged to establish a secure connection. You should accept all of these messages.

Part 2 - Configuring the connection to the FTP directory

Part 2 – Configuring the connection to the FTP directory

When a connection message appears or you notice a movement of data, you can check that the connection has been established by opening Windows Explorer to see if the FTP directory now appears as an additional drive.

Part 2 - Check the FTP connection

Part 2 – Check the FTP connection


Part 3 – Creating a copy of your on-premises server

Since we have already decided to use Disk2vhd from SysInternals, the first thing to do is to download this program.

There are two ways of downloading this program from the official Microsoft page. On the one hand, you can go to the project page and download the complete SysInternals suite, or you can browse to the Disk2vhd website and download it from there.

Part 3 - Download Disk2vhd from the Microsoft website

Part 3 – Download Disk2vhd from the Microsoft website

Once it has been downloaded, simply unzip it and run the program as an administrator. It is important to mention that there are various versions, that mainly vary depending on your processor. You should use disk2vhd if you are running on x86 architecture and use disk2vhd64 if you are using 64-bit architecture.

As you will see, the application has quite a basic interface with minimal extras so as to be user-friendly for people who don’t have a lot of experience in systems administration.

In our case, we are interested in the following parameters:

  • VHD File name (28): This is where we will provide the destination directory and the name of the file generated. It is important that the path provided is on an additional or external hard drive. Basically, it shouldn’t be one of the disks that we are going to copy, for obvious reasons. It is important, in fact vital, that the destination disk has enough space to store the VHD. For this tutorial, you can use the drive mapped using SFTP Drive if you want.
  • Volumes to include (29): You will see a list of disks and partitions that the program has detected on the server. It is important to only select those partitions that you want to migrate and disk space is a very important factor when performing a migration.

NOTE: Ensure that you do not mark any additional disks that the server might have. Instead, you should repeat this process for each additional disk.

From the options on the right-hand size (30), check the box marked “Use Volume Shadow Copy” and leave the other boxes unchecked.

Once you have done this, click on “Create” (31).

Part 3 - Select the partitions that you want to include on the image

Part 3 – Select the partitions that you want to include on the image

At this point, it is difficult to say how long it will take to create the VHD. As always, it will depend entirely on the size of the original disk and the available computing power, as well as the network speed if performing this task remotely.

Once the process is finished, the Virtual Hard Disk will appear and you can continue with the migration.

Once you have completed Part 3, you should return to the Migration page on the platform, where you can continue following the instructions provided by the Migration tool.


Conclusions and next steps

Migrating virtual machines between clouds tends to be complex. That is why, here at Jotelulu, we try to design our processes and tools to make everything as simple and comfortable as possible for our users.

As a result, migrating an on-premises Windows server to Jotelulu is a very simple process, and the platform will guide you step by step. However, if you do have any problems, for whatever reason, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us so that we can help you.

If you found this tutorial useful and would like to learn more about the migration process in particular, the following tutorials may also be of interest to you:

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Categories:Migrations, Servers

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