As organizations embark on cloud-centric business transformation to become more agile and operationally efficient, application modernization is fast becoming a cornerstone to realize these goals. In this blog, we will see how the Azure Migrate: App Containerization tool helps you accelerate application modernization as you migrate applications to Azure.
With Azure, you have the flexibility to choose from a variety of hosting options for your applications spanning the spectrum of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), containers-as-a-service (CaaS), and serverless. Azure offerings such as Azure App Service and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) are helping application developers focus on solving the most important business problems. With built-in infrastructure maintenance, security patching, and scaling, Azure App Service is a purpose-built platform for running web-based applications. Azure App Service has native support for the most popular application frameworks and additionally lets you also run containerized applications using custom Windows or Linux containers. AKS is a great choice for running containerized applications when you want more control over your infrastructure.
Containers have become extremely popular for building and managing modern applications. Deploying applications as containers allows application owners and IT decision-makers to realize consistent, reliable, and repeatable deployments across environments. Benefits also include improved infrastructure utilization and standardization of management practices through better separation of concerns. Customers are increasingly using containers as units of application deployment not only for distributed applications designed to use microservices architecture but also for other applications that they re-platform without significant alterations. Re-platforming is often the first step before embarking on further modernization of the application. Customers increasingly prefer to re-platform to containers in many cases where fully rearchitecting or refactoring an application may not be necessary or prudent.
At Microsoft Ignite earlier this year, we announced the preview of the Azure Migrate: App Containerization tool to help you easily containerize and migrate apps to AKS. Based on the feedback we’ve received, today we are announcing multiple enhancements to the preview.
Repackage applications with Azure Migrate: App Containerization
The App Containerization tool offers a point-and-containerize approach to repackage applications as containers with minimal to no code changes by using the running state of the application. The tool currently supports containerizing ASP.NET applications and Java web applications running on Apache Tomcat.
Figure 1: Modernization capabilities of Azure Migrate: App Containerization
The tool lets you:
- Remotely connect to the application server to discover applications and their configurations using the standalone App Containerization utility.
- Parameterize application configurations and dependencies such as database connection strings to facilitate consistent and repeatable deployments.
- Externalize static content and application state stored on the file system by moving them to persistent storage.
- Build and publish container images using Azure Container Registry tasks.
- Customize and reuse tool-generated artifacts such as Dockerfiles, container images, and Kubernetes resource definition files for day two operations and integrate them directly into your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.
Figure 2: Downloadable and reusable artifacts for Day 2 operations
New enhancements for application deployment and management
With the latest release of the tool, you can now:
- Deploy containerized applications to Azure App Service containers or AKS.
- Use Azure Key Vault to manage application secrets such as certificates and parameterized configurations. You can also choose to use Kubernetes secrets or Azure App Service application settings to manage your secrets.
- Automatically integrate application monitoring for Java apps with Azure Application Insights.
Figure 3: Automatically enable application monitoring with Azure Application Insights
With these enhancements, we’ve now made it easier for you to containerize non-containerized applications and migrate them to Azure. The Azure Migrate: App Containerization tool provides a templatized process to re-platform your applications and accelerates your modernization journey with Azure. Try it out today.
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