It has been an exciting few months since we announced the Preview of DR to Azure using Azure Site Recovery. Our customers are experiencing first-hand, ASR’s ability to consistently replicate, protect, and seamlessly failover virtual machines directly to Microsoft Azure. Our promise – No Workload Left Behind – is beginning to deliver value to our Enterprise and SME customers as they start realizing the benefits of saving precious CAPEX and OPEX that would earlier be spent in building and supporting secondary datacenters for DR. Our goal in building a cloud-based DR solution has been twofold – make DR solutions ubiquitous and democratize business continuity by making it available to everyone, everywhere.
As the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, Microsoft is committed to solving business continuity challenges that most CIOs consistently rank as a top priority. Our InMage acquisition and the integration of InMage Scout with Azure Site Recovery accelerate our strategy to provide hybrid cloud business continuity solutions for any customer IT environment, be it Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized on Hyper-V, VMware or others. Microsoft Azure is now the ideal destination for disaster recovery for virtually every enterprise server in the world.
In addition to enabling Microsoft Azure as a DR site in multiple geographies, this GA release also brings significant additions to the already expansive list of ASR’s DR to Azure features:
- NEW ASR Recovery Plans and Azure Automation integrate to offer robust and simplified one-click orchestration of your DR plans. Azure Automation runbooks can now be directly invoked from within ASR Recovery Plans
- NEW Track Initial Replication Progress as virtual machine data gets replicated to a customer-owned and managed geo-redundant Azure Storage account. This new feature is also available when configuring DR between on-premises private clouds across enterprise sites
- NEW Simplified Setup and Registration streamlines the DR setup by removing the complexity of generating certificates and integrity keys needed to register your on-premises System Center Virtual Machine Manager server with your Site Recovery vault
- At-Scale Configuration of VM replication and protecting settings ensures that your applications are configured with the protection policies that they need. With support to connect on-premises networks with those in Azure, you can be assured that applications will resume and connect once failed over to Azure
- Near-Synchronous Replication with support for Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) as low as 30 seconds. There is also the ability to retain (and use) consistent snapshots from a 24-hour window
- Best-in-Class Security and Data Encryption ensures that your application data is always secure when it replicates to Azure. VM Data-at-Rest stored in Azure can also be encrypted using a customer-managed encryption key
- Self-Service Disaster Recovery model that enables full support for DR drills via test failover, planned failover that guarantees zero data loss, unplanned failover, and failback – All DR actions are assured to be accurate, and consistent and are designed to help you meet your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) goals
- Audit and Compliance Reporting with Reliable Recovery ensures that you get risk-free, non-production impacting, frequent, and high-confidence DR testing that meets your compliance needs. With an inbuilt reporting function that lets you export every activity performed using the service, you can also meet your audit requirements
Not only does ASR enable DR to Azure, it is also an optimal choice for effectively migrating virtual machines to Azure if you are already virtualized on Windows Server 2012 R2 or to spin-off additional development and testing environments in Azure. We also recently announced the Preview of Migration Accelerator that can help you migrate your Physical or Pre-Windows Server 2012 R2 virtualized workloads running on any cloud to Azure.
Starting in October, Azure Backup and Site Recovery to Azure will also be available in a convenient, and economical promotion offer available for purchase through the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. Each unit of the Azure Backup & Site Recovery annual subscription offer covers protection of a single instance to Azure with Site Recovery, and protection of up to 100GB of data with Azure Backup. You can contact your Microsoft Reseller or Microsoft representative for more information.
Check out the recording of the ASR session at TechEd 2014 where we announced the DR to Azure functionality. You can also visit the Azure Site Recovery forum on MSDN for additional information and to engage with other customers.