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Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery with Microsoft Azure

By May 17, 2017June 3rd, 2021Azure, Best Practices, Blog, Microsoft
Explanation of Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup to be used for disaster recovery

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity have traditionally been provisioned by building a redundant data center at a second location.  The costs are enormous, and the coordination and replication were equally massive tasks, coupled with an expensive operational footprint.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery has revolutionized how businesses address disaster recovery.  Outages are caused by natural events and operational failures. Your organization needs a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy so that, during planned and unplanned downtime, data stays safe, apps remain available, and business recovers to normal working conditions as soon as possible.

Azure Recovery Services contribute to your BCDR strategy. The Azure Backup service keeps your data safe and recoverable. Site Recovery replicates, fails over, and recovers workloads, so that they remain available when failure occurs.

What does Site Recovery provide?

  • Disaster recovery in the cloud—You can replicate workloads running on VMs and physical servers to Azure, rather than to a secondary site. This eliminates the cost and complexity of maintaining a secondary datacenter.
  • Flexible replication for hybrid environments—You can replicate any workload running on supported on-premises Hyper-V VMs, VMware VMs, and Windows/Linux physical servers.
  • Migration—You can use Site Recovery to migrate AWS instances to Azure VMs, or to migrate Azure VMs between Azure regions.
  • Simplified BCDR—You can deploy replication from a single location in the Azure portal. You can run simple failovers and failback of single and multiple machines.
  • Resilience—Site recovery orchestrates replication and failover, without intercepting application data. Replicated data is stored in Azure storage, with the resilience that provides. When failover occurs, Azure VMs are created based on the replicated data.
  • Replication performance—Site Recovery provides replication frequency as low as 30 seconds for Hyper-V, and continuous replication for VMware. You can set recovery point objective (RPO) thresholds to control how often data recovery points are created, and you can reduce recovery time objective (RTO) with Site Recovery’s automated recovery process, and integration with Azure Traffic Manager
  • Application consistency—Machines replicate using application-consistent snapshots. In addition to capturing disk data, application-consistent snapshots capture all data in memory, and all transactions in process.
  • Testing without disruption—You can easily run test failovers to support disaster recovery drills, without affecting production environments.
  • Flexible failover and recovery—You can run planned failovers for expected outages with zero-data loss, or unplanned failovers with minimal data loss (depending on replication frequency) for unexpected disasters. You can easily fail back to your primary site when it’s available again.
  • Custom recovery plans—Recovery plans allow you to model and customize failover and recovery of multi-tier applications that are spread over multiple VMs. You order groups within plans, and add scripts and manual actions. Recovery plans can be integrated with Azure automation runbooks.
  • Multi-tier apps—You can create recovery plans for sequenced failover and recovery of multi-tiered apps. You can group machines in different tiers (for example database, web, app) within a recovery plan, and customize how each group fails over and starts up.
  • Integration with existing BCDR technologies—Site Recovery integrates with other BCDR technologies. For example, you can use Site Recovery to protect the SQL Server backend of corporate workloads, including native support for SQL Server AlwaysOn, to manage the failover of availability groups.
  • Integration with the automation library—A rich Azure Automation library provides production-ready, application-specific scripts that can be downloaded and integrated with Site Recovery.
  • Simple network management—Advanced network management in Site Recovery and Azure simplifies application network requirements, including reserving IP addresses, configuring load-balancers, and integrating Azure Traffic Manager for efficient network switchovers.

PEI is a Microsoft Gold Partner with specializations in Cloud, Hybrid and Premises-based infrastructure and communications.  We’re here to guide you through all aspects of your Site Recovery solution.  We’d welcome a chance to explain the solutions and programs in more detail.

Tim Krueger, PEI

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