If you are in the process of building or revising your business continuity plans, it’s worth taking a look at Azure Site Recovery (ASR). ASR is a disaster recovery service that allows you to failover on-premises applications running on Linux and Windows and using VMware and Hyper-V to Azure in the event of an outage.

On today’s episode of Microsoft Mechanics, I’ll walk you through how Azure Site Recovery can help you to keep your applications available, including setting up replication for your on-premises applications to Azure and testing that the solution meets your compliance needs.

Getting started with Azure Site Recovery

As discussed on today’s demo-bench, we’ve reduced the complexity traditionally involved in setting up disaster recovery. ASR is built into Azure. As long as you have an Azure subscription, you can get started today, and it's free to use for the first 31 days.

Also with the Azure Hybrid use benefit, you can apply existing Windows Server Licenses toward this effort – which you can learn more about from Chris Van Wesep on his recent demo bench.

Three pivotal steps

There are three pivotal steps to get up and running. The first is preparing your local infrastructure, where depending on which platform you are using, we point you to the Azure Site Recovery on-premises components needed to replicate your applications. In our example today, you’ll see the experience for replicating your applications with VMware ESX using vCenter. This directly connects Azure to your vCenter instance on-premises.


The step after that is to replicate your applications, which is facilitated by a guided experience within the Azure Portal. This includes things like selecting the target where your applications will land in Azure, your virtual machines, configuration properties, and replication settings.


The last step is to create and store your recovery plan. This is also where you can customize your recovery and can test for failover without impacting production workloads or end users. To customize, this means I can sequence the failover of multi-tier applications running on multiple VMs. You can use Azure Automation to automate some of the common post-failover steps.


Of course, once set up, you can then test for failover as I demonstrate today.

As you move forward with your business continuity plan, you’ll want to use Azure Backup to protect your data to mitigate against corruption, accidental deletion, or ransomware. Azure Backup is also fully integrated with Azure and protects data running on Linux and Windows and virtualized with VMware and Hyper-V. You can learn more here.

We hope that you find today’s overview helpful. Please let us know your thoughts and feel free to post your questions.

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