Disaster recovery (DR) was once a privilege reserved for large enterprises with substantial budgets and sizeable IT staffs. In year’s past, small and mid-market companies could fall back to manual or paper based processes. However, that simply isn’t the case today. For most businesses, the paper processes are a thing of the past. Losing access to their critical systems will mean loss of business, lost customers, and possibly even going out of business. This makes disaster recovery an absolute necessity. Fortunately, Azure Site Recovery (ASR) makes it cost-effective and easy. Azure Site Recovery list price is $25 per virtual machine per month – which is incredibly low.
Azure Site Recovery is Microsoft’s disaster recovery (DR) solution in the cloud. It allows companies to replicate VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs), as well as physical servers to Azure or the customer’s own data center (hosted or owned).
Azure Site Recovery helps companies plan for business continuity by enabling them to easily failover when an outage occurs. If you experience an outage with a particular VM, either on-premises, or in a data center, then the workloads can be spun up in Azure. This allows the business to continue working seamlessly.
To use Azure Site Recovery, you must install a configuration and process server. The configuration server is a VM that coordinates communications between the on-premises VMs and Azure. It also manages data replication and recovery. The process server acts as a replication gateway, and handles tasks like caching, compression, and encryption. The process server is responsible for replicating changes out to Azure in real time. If a problem occurs, it will initiate a failover in the Azure portal to bring up the workload as an Azure VM.
Then the settings for Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) would need to be configured. The solution can be configured for either manual failovers, if the organization wants a human to be in control, or it can be setup for automatic failovers, when it senses that a workload or the network has failed.
Azure Site Recovery is less expensive and more flexible than other disaster recovery options, while it uses a public cloud versus a private one. Many providers charge to have servers standing by, in the event of a disaster. That is not the case with Azure. Only when new virtual machines have been spun up, would charges be incurred for actively running those workloads. Plus, as a public cloud with a global scale, Microsoft pricing for things like storage, bandwidth, and the DR tool itself, are almost always less expensive than regional providers.
Azure Site Recovery also makes disaster recovery testing easy. You can perform test failovers without disrupting the production environment. As a result, you can test on a regular basis and during normal work hours.
We are experts at Azure Site Recovery. For help in your environment, or designing a disaster recovery plan, please contact us.