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InfoQ Homepage News Public Preview of Azure IaaS Disaster Recovery Announced

Public Preview of Azure IaaS Disaster Recovery Announced

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In a recent announcement, Microsoft released details about its public preview for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) disaster recovery using Azure Site Recovery (ASR). Using the ASR service, organizations can protect IaaS workloads in one Azure region and have it replicated to a different Azure region within a geographical cluster. For example, a customer running workloads in US West can replicate those workloads to the US East region and when a disaster event occurs, those workloads can be brought online in the US East region.

Even though cloud providers, like Microsoft, have considerable scale and redundancy, organizations still need to be prepared for business continuity in the cloud. Rochak Mittal, a principal program manager at Microsoft explains:

As you move production applications to the cloud, Azure natively provides you the high availability and reliability that your mission critical workloads need. However, compliance requirements such as ISO 27001 still require that you have a provable disaster recovery solution in place as part of a business continuity plan (BCP).

Disaster Recovery for Azure IaaS extends ASR’s base functionality but simplifies customer adoption through:

  • Offered as a Service – No additional infrastructure (VMs or appliances) are required within your subscription to facilitate the replication. This allows customers to avoid additional compute consumption, monitoring and maintenance costs.
  • Simplified experience - Enabling Disaster Recovery for IaaS only requires administrators to select the VMs to protect, choose a target Azure region and select the replication settings. The service will also take care of provisioning any target resources required, including storage accounts and virtual networks. 

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  • Application-aware recovery – As an administrator or application owner, you control when and how to orchestrate a region to region failover. You are also in control of the replication policy which includes recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).

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  • Real-time Visibility – Using the Site Recovery jobs view, administrators can see the real-time status of the replication jobs.

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  • Non-disruptive DR drills – Using ASR’s test failover capabilities, you can perform a DR test within an isolated network segment which prevents downtime for the production application(s). Once the test has been completed, administrators can click on a "Cleanup test failover" button which will remove all resources instantiated for test. Additional notes, or comments, about the test can also be captured.

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  • Initiating a failover - In situations where you actually have a BCP event and need to issue a failover, administrators can initiate the failover using the Azure Portal. Administrators also have the ability to choose the recovery point and shut down existing virtual machines prior executing failover. Once all services from the primary region have been brought online in the secondary region, an administrator has the ability to commit those changes. Additionally, if an administrator would like to re-protect VM back to the original region they can do so by simply clicking a "Re-protect" button.

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The public preview for disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines is currently available in all public regions.



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