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When disaster strikes your production SharePoint environment, your top priority is to get the system running again. Disaster recovery with SharePoint is quicker and easier when you have a backup environment already running in Microsoft Azure.
There are three types of recovery environments for SharePoint:
- Hot A fully-sized SharePoint farm is provisioned, updated, and running on standby.
- Warm The farm is built and virtual machines are running and updated. Recovery includes attaching content databases, provisioning service applications, and crawling content for search. The farm can be a smaller version of the production farm and then scaled out as needed to serve the full user base.
- Cold The farm is fully built, but the virtual machines are stopped. Maintaining the environment includes starting the virtual machines from time to time, patching, updating, and verifying the environment. You start the full environment in the event of a disaster.
The SharePoint Server 2013 Disaster Recovery in Microsoft Azure article describes how to build out a warm standby environment in Azure infrastructure services, which consists of:
- An on-premises, production SharePoint farm
- A recovery SharePoint farm in an Azure virtual network
- A site-to-site VPN or ExpressRoute connection between the two environments
SQL Server log shipping and Distributed File System Replication (DFSR) are used to move SharePoint databases from the on-premises environment to the recovery farm in Azure.
For detailed planning considerations, see Plan for SQL Server AlwaysOn and Microsoft Azure for SharePoint Server 2013 Disaster Recovery.
For architectural best practices that can be applied to any SharePoint solution in Azure, see Microsoft Azure Architectures for SharePoint 2013.