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In my last community post, I explained how Azure can be a key component of a customer’s backup strategy. In today’s post, let’s talk about how Azure can be used as part of a disaster recovery strategy.
Azure Site Recovery
While backing up data is a major part of a disaster recovery strategy, an available restore location is necessary in the event the primary location is no longer accessible. This need has forced many organizations to establish a secondary datacenter location where they spend capital expense for hardware that remains minimally utilized until the event of a disaster.
Microsoft built features into Hyper-V called Hyper-V Replica that supported this scenario. It replicated VMs to a Hyper-V servers so they could be restored if necessary. It evolved into Hyper-V Recovery Manager in conjunction with System Center. Hyper-V Recovery Manager could orchestrate the recovery of one site to another and leverage Hyper-V Recovery Manager to coordinate the failover of servers.
This technology now has a new name, Azure Site Recovery, and many new features. One significant change is that the remote site location can be on Azure itself, as shown below. While this may sound trivial, it is actually a monumental shift in the way Disaster Recovery Architecture is implemented. A secondary site is no longer necessary, saving the capital and operational costs of a secondary site can be a significant savings.
Here are some of the exciting features that are now part of Azure Site Recovery, and you can see the full list here:
- At-Scale Configuration streamlines the DR setup by removing the complexity of generating certificates and integrity keys needed to register your on-premises System Center Virtual Machine Manager server with your Site Recovery vault.
- Near-Synchronous Replication with support for Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) as low as 30 seconds. There is also the ability to retain (and use) consistent snapshots from a 24-hour window.
- Self-Service Disaster Recovery model that enables full support for DR drills via test failover, planned failover that guarantees zero data loss, unplanned failover, and failback – All DR actions are assured to be accurate, and consistent and are designed to help you meet your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) goals.
- Audit and Compliance Reporting with Reliable Recovery ensures that you get risk-free, non-production impacting, frequent, and high-confidence DR testing that meets your compliance needs. With an inbuilt reporting function that lets you export every activity performed using the service, you can also meet your audit requirements.
VMWare and InMage
Business continuity—the ability to backup, replicate, and quickly recover data and applications in case of a system failure—is incredibly important to CIOs. Earlier this year Microsoft acquired InMage, an acquisition that makes Azure the ideal destination for disaster recovery for virtually every enterprise server in the world.
The InMage Scout technology helps enterprises migrate their data between public and private clouds. This includes the migration of VMware hosted VMs to Azure IaaS. This functionality has been folded into Azure Site Recovery, and removes the barrier to implementing Azure Site Recovery for VMware customers.
Why Azure Site Recovery
Enterprises should look at Azure Site Recovery as an alternative to traditional disaster recovery site options. It requires as a minimal footprint to remain idle in the environment to ensure continuity after a failover—significantly reducing the cost, and lowering the barrier of entry for some organizations that want a disaster recovery solution, but have not yet invested in one.
The Partner Opportunity
Azure Site Recovery provides you with a huge opportunity to engage with customers and help them architect a solution that provides them with a rock solid disaster recovery solution and that can reduce the costs for those customers that have already made the investment.
- Azure Site Recovery provides automated site recovery between on-premises data centers. It’s not just a solution that moves the disaster recovery location to the cloud. Any customer IT environment—including VMWare—can benefit from implementing Azure Site Recovery.
- Azure Site Recovery can connect with the Azure platform to provide a disaster recovery site in the cloud. This includes automated site recovery to the cloud and includes clients with Hyper-V and VMware infrastructure.
Here are four resources I recommend to help you get started with Azure Site Recovery:
- Azure Site Recovery on Microsoft.com
- Plan for Azure Site Recovery Deployment
- Getting Started with Azure Recovery: On-Premises to Azure Protection
- Azure Site Recovery Pricing
I’m looking forward to a great conversation about using Azure to address customer needs for disaster recovery on our October 16 community call. Register today to join my colleagues, Nick Johnson and Frank Campise, and me on that call.