Microsoft announced a new service which enables an easy migration of on-premises phyiscal and VMware, AWS and Hyper-V virtual machines to Microsoft Azure.
The tool is based on InMage which Microsoft acquired in July 2014. More information here.
Such a migration can be performed which just a few minutes of downtime. Agents installed on source servers replicate data to Azure. Once in sync, the source server can be switched off and the target server in Azure can be switched on.
Currently only third party tools like Double-Take Move for Azure are able to perform such migrations. Without such tooling the only way to migratie to Azure was either a time-consuming upload of the virtual disk files or ship a removeable drive to an Azure datacenter.
During preview Migration Accelerator is free. The preview is limited to the US at the moment.
The service requires an agent installed on each source server. Also a so called Process server is required. This server sends data to a server running on Azure. This server is the master target. The migration process is managed from the Migration Accelerator portal.
A detailed explanation of how the service works and what components are required can be read here.