Disaster Recovery and Microsoft Azure, an Overview
For business-savvy enterprises, there’s more to using the Microsoft Azure cloud than just adding applications, data and users.
Small- and medium-sized businesses running Azure also must make detailed contingency plans to stay connected to their applications and data if a disaster occurs. Companies should take the time to plan and configure disaster recovery services so they don’t miss a beat if and when problems arise.
Azure makes that easier by providing a range of disaster recovery services that can be set up and kept at the ready, 24-7, to protect business assets and IT infrastructure. Site Recovery replicates workloads running on physical and virtual machines from a primary site to a secondary location. When an outage occurs at a company’s primary site, the workloads automatically fail over to a secondary location, where applications can continue to be accessed. When the primary site returns to service, all work can be transferred back automatically to the main infrastructure.
Azure Site Recovery offers application availability with cloud-based disaster recovery services, which can be configured to meet the needs of a wide range of Azure users. Azure Site Recovery runs and manages disaster recovery for Azure virtual machines, for on-premises virtual machines and for physical servers running on Linux, Windows, VMware and Hyper-V.
To assist in using and configuring the services, Microsoft provides a series of QuickStart procedures and tutorials to teach IT administrators how to replicate, fail over and configure their business disaster recovery mechanisms. Using Azure disaster recovery services, businesses can reduce their application downtime during IT interruptions, without compromising compliance.
Business users can set up Azure Site Recovery by replicating applications between Azure regions in three steps, making it easy to manage. IT administrators can minimize recovery issues by designating the sequencing and order of multi-tier applications running on multiple virtual machines right from the Azure portal.
Using Azure disaster recovery, users can ensure compliance by testing business disaster recovery plans without impacting production workloads or end users, while also keeping on-premises applications available to users during outages.
Microsoft backs Azure Site Recovery with a 99.9 percent Service Level Agreement, and 24×7 support to keep operations running smoothly.
Azure Site Recovery can be used as a secondary site for conducting business during outages, or it can be configured between Azure regions to provide services in the event of an outage in any other region.
Users can estimate network, storage and compute resources that are needed to replicate applications from on-premises locations to the Azure cloud, while paying only for compute and storage resources needed to run apps in Azure during outages. There are no start-up costs or termination fees to use Azure Site Recovery. Billing is computed based on the number of instances protected.
IT administrators can view and assess the full architecture of Azure Site Recovery to review how it will work with their business IT systems.
Large business users can also take advantage of Microsoft’s enterprise-scale disaster recovery offerings, which provide failover to Azure cloud infrastructure from SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Linux web servers. Built-on Azure managed services, including Traffic Manager, Site Recovery, Azure Active Directory, VPN Gateway and Virtual Network, run in a high-availability environment which receives patches and support, allowing users to focus on their operations.