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Cross Region Restore (CRR) for Azure Virtual Machines using Azure Backup

Today marks the preview of Cross Region Restore (CRR) for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) support using Azure Backup.

Today we’re introducing the preview of Cross Region Restore (CRR) for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) support using Microsoft Azure Backup.

Azure Backup uses Recovery Services Vault to hold customer’s backup data and offers both local and geo-redundancy. To ensure durability of backed up data, Azure Backup defaults storage settings to geo-redundancy, and the backed up data in the primary region is geo-replicated to an Azure-paired secondary region. However, the data that is replicated to the secondary region is available to restore in the secondary region only if Azure declares a disaster in the primary region. With the introduction of this new feature, the customers who opt-in for this feature can initiate restores in the secondary region at any time.

Customers can now leverage the secondary region data which is replicated from primary region backed-up data in the following scenarios:

  • When the primary region is available: Earlier, there was no provision for customers to test the backed up data in secondary region for audit or compliance purposes. This new capability enables customers to perform a restore of backed up data in the secondary region even when the primary region is still available.
  • When the primary is unavailable: Earlier, customers couldn’t access the backup data in the secondary region and needed to wait for Azure to declare disaster in the primary region. With this new feature, customers can trigger restore of backed up data in secondary region, even if the Azure primary region is partially unavailable or completely unavailable without any wait time.

Azure Backup leverages storage accounts’ read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS) capability to support restores from a secondary region. Note that due to delays in storage replication from primary to secondary, there will be latency in the backed up data being available for a restore in the secondary region.

“The graphic shows that cross region restore has dramatically improved the ability to flexibly restore from secondary regions. Customers now have control on what, where and when they restore their resources, no matter the outage scenario.

Key features available with the preview include:

  • Self-service recoveries of secondary backed up data in a secondary region.
  • Enables the ability to conduct disaster recovery (DR) drills for audit and compliance anytime.
  • High availability of backup data when the Azure regions become unavailable.

With this preview, Azure Backup will support restoring Azure Virtual Machines as well as disks from a secondary region.

How to onboard to this feature

Cross Region Restore can be enabled on Recovery Services vault by turning on the Cross Region Restore setting for Recovery Services vault with the geo-redundant storage redundancy setting. Note that this feature does not support the restore of classic virtual machines as well as vaults with locally redundant storage (LRS) redundancy settings. Only Recovery Service vault enabled with geo-redundant storage settings will have the option to onboard to this feature. Cross Region Restore is now available in all Azure public regions. The regions where this feature is supported are updated in this Cross Region Restore documentation.

The road ahead

Azure Backup will extend its support to all other workloads apart from Azure Virtual Machines in the coming months. Learn more about Cross Region Restore and sign up for the preview.


Please refer to Azure Backup pricing to learn more about the details of Cross Region Restore pricing. For further queries related to pricing, please contact AskAzureBackupTeam.

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