Monday, May 12, 2014

Site Recovery in Microsoft Azure

Announced during the keynote of TechEd, Microsoft will let you use their scalable datacenters across the world as a secondary site.
To put this simply, you will be able to use Microsoft Azure as a site for disaster recovery.

This is brilliant news, and has been requested by millions of users world wide since the release of Hyper-V Recovery Manager.

Hyper-V Recovery Manager was introduced as an “orchestrator” for your DR solution, based on Hyper-V in Windows Server (which includes Hyper-V Replica – the key feature here) and System Center – Virtual Machine Manager.

Here’s a recap of how it works.

You sign-up to Azure and download a provider that will connect your VMM management stamp to your subscription, and your Recovery Vault in Microsoft Azure.
This will also add some changes to VMM, reflected in the GUI.
After configuring a DR enabled Cloud (a cloud created in VMM), the metadata will be sent to Azure where the recovery manager serves as a control panel and orchestrator for your DR solution.
Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) will configure your stand-alone hosts and clusters (through VMM) and enable Hyper-V Replica if stand-alone servers, and Hyper-V Replica Broker if clustered.

The takeaway is that you can manage all of your DR enabled virtual machines running in these clouds, as an entity. Also, you can create recovery plans for a subset (if not all) virtual machines and ensure that the failover will include every server, application and service that requires to run in case of a failover of an entire business application.

For a complete guide on the setup, please see a blog post I wrote earlier, available here!

Here’s a high-level overview of a quite common environment, where you have a tier 1 production site, and a tier 2 recovery site – both on-premise.
In addition, Microsoft Azure (at the top) can be a secondary site and Hyper-V Recovery Manager will orchestrate the recovery plans for your environment.

This is a big step in the right direction when it comes to our hybrid cloud story.
Not only use the service itself from Azure, but also extend – and use the capacity in Microsoft Azure to run your infrastructure.

I will follow up this blog post later with technical details around architecture, tips & tricks, and how to implement this to an already existing DR solution, based on Hyper-V, VMM and HRM.

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