Introduction to Azure Site Recovery
If you are familiar with Microsoft Azure, you probably have heard or read about Azure Site Recovery (ASR). It is Microsoft’s disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution to keep your VM’s safe in the cloud or use it as a migration tool to Azure.
You can use ASR with Hyper-V, VMware and physical servers. You are in control of the machines that need to be replicated and you choose which policy you choose to apply. The replication traffic goes through port 443 which means you don’t need a VPN to copy over the data. You will, however, need a VPN with Azure to forward the failover traffic to the machines in Azure.
Best practices checklist for DR implementation
- Conduct a risk assessment for each application, because each can have different requirements. Some applications are more critical than others and would justify the extra cost to architect them for disaster recovery.
- Use this information to define the RTO and RPO for each application. (see RTO and RPO definition below)
- Design for failure, starting with the application architecture.
- Implement best practices for high availability, while balancing cost, complexity, and risk:
- Implement disaster recovery plans and processes.
- Consider failures that span the module level all the way to a complete cloud outage;
- Establish backup strategies for all reference and transactional data; and
- Choose a multi-site disaster recovery architecture.
- Define a specific owner for disaster recovery processes, automation, and testing. The owner should manage and own the entire process.
- Document the processes so they are easily repeatable. Although there is one owner, multiple people should be able to understand and follow the processes in an emergency.
- Train the staff to implement the process.
- Use regular disaster simulations for both training and validation of the process.
Recovery time objectives
The RTO refers to the targeted amount of time determined by the business that is needed to be back up and running after a disaster or disruption happened. The more the application is critical, the lower the RTO should be.
Recovery point objective
The RPO refers to a point in time that is the acceptable amount of lost data due to the recovery.
The ASR service is now available in the Canadian regions. You can check the services that are being offered in each region at the following link: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/regions/services/
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