Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Closing the gap with Windows Azure Recovery Services

It has been a while since Windows Server 2012 had its launch, and System Center 2012 SP1 followed up in January this year. However, one of the most interesting features that was shipped with Hyper-V in Win 2012, wasn’t covered by System Center.

Or was it?

You would suspect that VMM would expose these settings, and let you configure Hyper-V Replica, but there was not any button in the GUI nor cmdlets for this.

However, Hyper-V and the Hyper-V Replica feature is fully exposed through Powershell, so it was very easy – and possible to achieve great workflows through the power of Orchestrator.

This is another feature (currently in preview) that is helping to mind the gap between private and public, and makes it easier than ever to have hybrid solutions. And when you think about it, a disaster recovery service is probably a good thing to have outside of any of your locations. Right?
Your management layer of Hyper-V Replica would be in Windows Azure, using both Hyper-V and VMM on-premise to give you the opportunity for disaster recovery.

Together with the backup to cloud offering in Azure, you are able to make the most of it while leveraging your System Center components.

If you click on the link above and read the instructions on Windows Azure, you can see that it is an agent that you deploy to your fabric infrastructure: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/services/recovery-services/configure-a-hyper-v-recovery-vault/#header-2

More info from the feature preview on Windows Azure: 
Hyper-V Recovery Manager (Preview)

Orchestrate protection and recovery of private clouds

Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager can help you protect important services by coordinating the replication and recovery of System Center 2012 private clouds at a secondary location.

Automated protection

System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager private clouds can be protected through automating the replication of the virtual machines that compose them at a secondary location. The ongoing asynchronous replication of each VM is provided by Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replica and is monitored and coordinated by Hyper-V Recovery Manager.

Orchestrated Recovery

The service helps automate the orderly recovery in the event of a site outage at the primary datacenter. VMs can be brought up in an orchestrated fashion to help restore service quickly. This process can also be used for testing recovery, or temporarily transferring services.

To try this feature in preview, you will need a Windows Azure account. To begin your sign up, click here.

Note: This limited preview program is available to a small group of customers in specific geographic locations1 using Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1. However, we are always on the lookout for additional customers who will provide us with interesting and actionable feedback. If you would like to be considered for this program please complete the Microsoft survey located here. Thank you in advance for your responses! We will only be contacting those of you that have been accepted to participate.

1 Only customers located in the following countries will be considered: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Japan, India, New Zealand. Data for this Preview feature will be stored only in the Azure datacenters located in the United States.

Before I close this blog post, let me highlight something interesting in the VMM console, that you can use to keep track on your VMs that is configured in a recovery group:

These columns in the view will be very helpful.


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