Azure is a public cloud computing platform that offers solutions such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) for services including analytics, virtual computing, storage, networking, and more. It can be used to supplement or replace on-premise servers. It’s important to make sure you have thought about Azure disaster recovery when using the cloud
During a crisis, disaster recovery is an important aspect of any organization’s business continuity plan. It focuses on a company’s IT architecture and systems to prevent disruptions in business services and allow them to resume normal operations.
What is Disaster Recovery?
In a nutshell, Disaster recovery is the process of restoring application functionality after some catastrophic loss or system failure.
In cloud computing, failures are bound to happen from the moment servers are run. Rather than striving to prevent all failures, the idea is to reduce the impact of a single failed component. One approach to reducing these impacts is to test. Wherever possible, you should automate your application testing, but you must be prepared for when they fail. When this happens, it’s critical to have backup and recovery plans in place.
Sometimes, for a limited time, it may be acceptable for some programs to be offline or partially available with limited functionality or delayed processing for a limited time. However, any loss of functionality in some other program might be completely unacceptable.
Azure Disaster Recovery Solutions
Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is a DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) solution for Azure virtual machines, hybrid cloud, and associated workloads that can help you recover from Azure disasters. Azure Site Recovery keeps an up-to-date copy of your data in a second Azure region or availability zone once you’ve set it up.
ASR continually replicates data from one site to another in practically real-time to keep an always current copy of your data in a separate Azure data center (as low as 30 seconds). When disaster hits and you have no choice but to use the backup site, AST allows you to failover to the secondary site.
ASR provides several failover alternatives to assist you to meet your Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) (RPO). You can describe any resource requirements, such as an application server that relies on a database backend, by allowing you to create recovery groups within a recovery plan.
Best Practices for Azure Site Recovery
1. Azure Backup
What is Azure backup? Consider it Azure’s cloud failsafe. It’s a cloud-based backup solution which is a part of a larger package offered to Azure Recovery Services vault clients. Despite being cloud-native, Azure Backup may be used both on-premises and in the cloud. Azure Backup is easy to set up and use, with reliable backups, security features, and administration controls available through the Azure interface.
2. Azure Site Recovery
Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) service provided by Azure for usage in the cloud and hybrid cloud architectures. A method of near-constant data replication ensures that all copies are in sync.
The Azure Site Recovery application-consistent snapshot functionality guarantees that the data is in a usable form following the failover. Customers may utilize Azure as a disaster recovery location on a pay-as-you-go basis, eliminating the need for extra infrastructure.
3. Azure Storage Replication
Azure Storage replication keeps several copies of your data to safeguard it from both planned and unforeseen occurrences, such as temporary hardware failures, network or power outages, and catastrophic natural disasters. Even in the event of a breakdown, redundancy guarantees that your storage account achieves its availability and durability goals.
Employees can effortlessly transmit historical video and audio thanks to Azure’s storage. They can save photos and documents straight to a browser and protect data for dispersed access. In addition, Azure storage can store data for analysis by an on-premise or Azure-hosted service and enables safe backup and disaster recovery.
4. Azure to Azure VMs disaster recovery
Azure VMs replicate to a different target region regularly when disaster recovery is enabled. You may fail over VMs to the secondary region and access them from there if there is an outage. You can fail back and resume working at the primary location once everything is back to normal.
Virtual machines (VMs) allow you to save a recovery point from which you may restore data to the desired place. This is done to guarantee that the VM starts up without any corruption or data loss and that the VM data is consistent for both the operating system and the programs that run on it.
This official quickstart here, explains how to replicate an Azure VM to a backup Azure region for disaster recovery.
5. Hyper-V to Azure disaster recovery
Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology allows users to build virtual computing environments and run and administer numerous operating systems on a single physical server.
It has several advantages over its primary competition, VMware. It supports many operating systems and provides the option to establish a virtual switch at no additional cost. In addition, it makes live migrations easier and effortlessly connects with other Microsoft applications, making it a desired recovery solution.
To set up Hyper-V VM for azure disaster recovery, you can visit the official Azure documentation here.
6. VMware to Azure disaster recovery
VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR) is a VMware-provided cloud solution that safeguards on-premises vSphere or VMware Cloud on AWS workloads. It replicates virtual machines to a scale-out cloud file system and recovers them on VMware Cloud on AWS in the case of a disaster.
VMware DRass allows business continuity, and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy can help you keep your company up and operating in the event of a crisis. BCDR keeps data secure and accessible during scheduled and unplanned outages and guarantees that apps continue to function. Azure delivers Recovery Services as an essential element of your BCDR solution, in addition to platform BCDR capabilities like regional pairing and high availability storage.
Visit the official documentation here for more details.
7. Physical to Azure disaster recovery
Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) for your business apps and workloads are defined as part of your business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy. To avoid continuity difficulties, RTO estimates the amount of time and service level required to restore and make a business software or process available.
- Site Recovery offers continuous replication for VMware VMs and physical servers, as well as an RTO service level agreement (SLA).
- You can provide an RTO value that will be used for capacity calculations as you plan for large-scale disaster recovery for VMware VMs and determine the Azure resources you need, which is a vital step for physical disaster recovery.
For more information regarding best practices and procedures for physical Azure disaster recovery visit here.
8. Disaster Recovery for on-premises apps
An on-premises application is software that is handled in-house or by corporate staff. Internal employees are the ones who deal with problems when they arise. A third-party provider runs and manages off-premises software, which is commonly hosted in the cloud or accessible via the Internet.
Disaster recovery for an on-premise application allows the replication of data and computer processing in an off-premises location not affected by the disaster. For example, when servers go down because of a natural disaster, equipment failure, or cyber-attack, a business needs to recover lost data from a second location where the data is backed up.
Microsoft collaborates extensively with industry leaders such as Oracle, SAP, and Red Hat. Disaster recovery for on-premises applications allows you to configure replication solutions on an app-to-app basis.
To set up disaster recovery for your next on-premise app, visit here.
9. Zetro Disaster Recovery
By backing up data to a single cloud, Zerto seeks to preserve data and IT assets, allowing businesses to simplify disaster recovery and minimize storage expenses.
It distinguishes itself as a disaster recovery solution by orchestrating and automating the entire recovery process, regardless of the storage or hypervisor used.
The Zerto software, like Microsoft’s, comes with some interesting integrations. It’ll work right out of the box with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. You may transfer workloads and assets between public, private, and hybrid clouds, and the solution will safeguard multi-TB SQL, Exchange, Oracle, and file server VMs.
10. Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct for Disaster Recovery
Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct is a DRaaS solution that has been designed to provide the performance and security that businesses want, as well as quick ‘push-button’ recovery. Your network is replicated in the cloud, and you are given VPN access to your restored environment (at no additional expense).
Even if your company’s network went down, you’d still be able to use email, SQL, and business productivity tools. There are also built-in security mechanisms and data encryption, so you won’t have to worry about your data falling into the wrong hands.
- Regularly create and test a disaster recovery strategy utilizing critical failure scenarios.
- Create a disaster recovery strategy that allows most applications to run with a reduced level of capability.
- Create a backup strategy that is specific to the application’s business needs and circumstances.
- Steps and processes for failover and failback should be automated.
- At least once, successfully test and validate the failover and failback technique.
Azure Disaster Recovery Benefits
Azure Disaster Recovery provides a multitude of benefits over its other competitors. Simply replicate an Azure VM to a different Azure region immediately from the Azure portal to set up Azure Site Recovery. In addition, Site Recovery, being a fully integrated product, is automatically updated with new Azure features as they become available.
By avoiding the need to create or manage a costly backup data center, you may save money on deploying, monitoring, patching, and managing on-premises disaster recovery infrastructure. And by allowing Site Recovery between various Azure regions, you can easily comply with industry norms like ISO 27001.
Now that you have a good understanding of how Azure Disaster recovery works, you should visit Microsoft Azure to help you set up a Disaster Recovery solution for your next Microsoft Azure Project.