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Leveraging Microsoft Azure as your disaster recovery/failover data center

Rand Morimoto | June 24, 2014
Using Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to replicate VMs to Azure.

Microsoft has put out in Preview a technology that will completely change how we view disaster recovery and failover of virtual machines and the benefits of the Cloud! What Azure Site Recovery (ASR) does, in a nutshell, is replicate Virtual Machines (VMs) from an on-premise datacenter to Azure on a regular basis, and then the organization can failover their on-premise datacenter so that the VMs are now running in Azure. AND the kicker, Microsoft is doing this at a cost of US$27 per protected VM per month (with an added cost of $60 to ~$150/mo when the VM is failed over and actually running in Azure, which presumably will being during a test or disaster, and the run time in Azure might be limited to a few hours or few days).

Organizations no longer need to setup their own secondary datacenters, buy space in racks and setup and maintain hardware, no longer have to pay thousands of $$$ a month for the production of a server, this is simply the monthly protection fee and usage if any.

This article goes through the various business scenarios weve been using Azure Site Recovery for as well as a Step by Step guide on how to try out ASR in your environment.

Background:

Microsoft has provided this HyperV Replica functionality between Private Clouds (corporate datacenter to corporate datacenter) for some time now, but for organization that dont have secondary datacenters themselves or want to get out of the secondary datacenter business, theres a need/desire to replicate their VMs and leverage Microsoft Azure as the failover datacenter.

To make this scenario work, the following assumptions exist:

The Hypervisor used on-premise is HyperV (preferably based on the latest HyperV 2012 R2)

A VMM 2012R2 server is setup and is configured to see the on-premise datacenter AND configured to access the Azure Subscription

I highly suggest anyone doing anything Windows Server, System Center, Azure related fiddle with this! In the current Preview Program, you can gain access to ASR for free within a 30-day Azure Trial where you get a chance to work with an upcoming technology that WILL be fundamental in organizations being able to do Disaster Recovery failover from on-prem to Azure.

Step by Step documentation is provided by Microsoft, however I wrote my step-by-step guide below that takes in account various quirks weve found to make the thing work, and I think it is simpler and more direct approach to getting your hands dirty with Azure Site Recovery. In any case, you can refer back to the Microsoft guide as a general framework as you see fit. As you walk the process, if you get stuck anywhere, just leave a blog comment and Ill post responses.

 

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