Every organisation should have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. It should be part of normal daily activities and the simpler it is, the more use it will prove.

Azure Site Recovery Services enables organisations to switch disaster recovery and business continuity responsibilities to the cloud, coordinating failover and replication of both physical and virtual machines.

Protect it all with clouds

Azure Recovery Services allows organisations with on-premise, hybrid or cloud-based solutions to use recovery services in the Microsoft Cloud, with disaster recovery planning configured to work with a backup site or data centre.

Likely configurations include:

  • On-premises VMware virtual servers replicated to Azure or a backup site.
  • Hyper-V machines in VMM clouds replicated to Azure or a backup site. 9Hyper-V VMs not managed by VMM also replicated through Azure Recovery Services).
  • Physical servers running Windows or Linux replicated to Azure or a backup site.
  • Azure Site Recovery can migrate Azure Infrastructure as a Service to different regions.

Monitor everything, lose nothing

Azure Recovery Services automatically and remotely monitors servers in a data centre continually, with a security key connecting the cloud environments to the on-premise resources. An encryption option offers even greater security in the process.

Recovery plans can be tested without disturbing the live network and if an outage occurs, the recovery services can prioritise which services and servers are restored first.

To replicate with Azure, the Site Recovery vault must be configured to allow failover to provision the VMs, which once replicated can be tailored to the appropriate size for the workload.

Understanding whether an organisation has an on-premise, full cloud environment or hybrid combination of the two will help configure recovery services. It’s important the plan details critical dependencies and how long the environment can be down without affecting them.

It’s also crucial to the speed and quality of any recovery, to establish recovery point and required time periods based on an organisations operational requirements, which can then be compared closely to the published Microsoft recovery services SLA.

Pass the geography test

Reliable recovery and continuity solutions are guaranteed with Azure’s isolation and availability policies for regional pairing of data centres, with system updates implemented at different times, across the pair – when an upgrade or patch fails it impacts only one centre.

Azure Recovery Services are an important part of Azure’s tool-set, making it safe and secure for any organisation to develop a robust disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

Without a plan that’s tested regularly, any organisation is at risk of a complete meltdown if things go wrong, which will leave any user feeling blue, knowing a solution is readily available.

Paul Tozer, Head of Cloud Services, Quiss Technology plc