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As customers increasingly rely on the cloud for business critical solutions, the durability of data and ability to access data during a catastrophic event becomes paramount. 

Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview of Read-Access Geo Redundant Storage (RA-GRS) that addresses this need.  

RA-GRS provides read access to your secondary storage replica should the storage account on the primary location become unavailable.  Because the secondary location is hundreds of miles from the primary location, RA-GRS provides both data durability and improved data access.  

The new read-access service is now available as an option that enhances replication. To use this service, visit the Preview Services webpage to apply for the limited preview. Once you are signed up, go to the Windows Azure Management Portal where you can enable RA-GRS for your storage account. You can also do this through the Windows Azure Service Management API. Once your account is enabled, you will get the endpoint name for your secondary endpoint. You can send read requests to that secondary endpoint to read your data. In addition, you can query the endpoint to find out the replication lag time for your account. For more information, please visit the Storage website and Storage blog.  

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