Nested virtualization in Azure

Fist of all*, I’d like to announce that e-book “Introduction to Windows Server 2016 (Russian Edition)” with my technical review and translation had been published and became available for download.

It was originally written for technical preview but this new edition has plenty fixes and additional notes with full adaptation to the current version of Windows Server. I believe we did the great work in a short time. If you find some typo or mistake, feel free to contact me. *I’m sorry..we’re way off topic..let’s back to Azure

Another important news that I’ve missed – Azure is going to support nested virtualization.  However, only new Ev3 and Dv3 VM series will support it. + Azure team has increased maximum disk size to 4096 Gb for both Premium and Standard disks. Hallelujah 🙂

These VMs come with enabled nested virtualization and completely ready for guest VMs or Hyper-V containers. There are many scenarios where it’d be helpful. For instance, you can create smaller number of large VMs using Ev3 or Dv3 VMs with a full control of resource allocation for any guest VMs. I tested nested VMs in WS2016 and now I’m looking forward to test them in Azure as well.

Azure Nested Virtualization| New VM Sizes Ev3 and Dv3

Update 07/14: Dv3 and Ev3 VMs became available for  certain Azure regions Read how to setup nested virtualization in Azure here

Azure v3 VMs , Nested Virtualization in Azure

 

Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS VMs

Every organization needs a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)  strategy to keep data safe and react to unplanned or planned outage in the best way. Azure Site Recovery (ASR) significantly simplifies these processes providing replication, failover and failback functionalities for your major IT systems.

azure site recovery for azure vms_6

ASR can be used in the following scenarios:

  • VMware VMs replication to Azure w/CSP (uses InMage Scout software)
  • Physical servers to Azure (uses InMage software as well)
  • VMware VMs/Physical servers to a secondary site (through InMage Scout)
  • On-premises Hyper-V VMs without VMM to Azure (Hyper-V Replica inside)
  • On-premises Hyper-V VMs with VMM to Azure (Hyper-V Replica inside)
  • On-premises Hyper-V VMs with VMM to a secondary site (Hyper-V Replica inside)
  • Multi-Tier applications (uses SQL AlwaysOn AG, for instance)

But yesterday Microsoft officially extended this list by adding possibility to replicate Azure IaaS VMs running on Windows/Linux to another region within the same geographic cluster.

Now, you may ask, why we need this if Azure already provides high-availability and reliability for every business critical workloads. Official statement says that it’s required by ISO 27001 and it’s compliance requirements.

Furthermore if you’d like to be able to completely meet BCDR strategy in the event of disaster and you are not happy with built-in Azure protection features – new option can also help (seamless failover and failback between different regions to keep RTO/RPO very low)

TIP: this ASR scenario is in public preview state for now.

azure site recovery for azure vms_1

Demo

As usual, you need to create ASR vault  and enable replication for workloads. You should place ASR Vault at the TARGET location/region to make it work (wizard also checks it automatically).

It’s simple..if source location is down, ASR vault and resource groups will be also offline and your BCDR strategy will be failed –> ASR vaults should be always in the target region

I‘m using ASR created in UK West region and my workloads are running in West Europe DCs. Regions are in the same geographical cluster (Europe).

TIP: new managed disks and VMs scale sets are not supported + temporary disks always excluded from replication

azure site recovery for azure vms_3

You don’t need to prepare target infrastructure. ASR does almost all “dirty”” work by itself (network mapping, target networks/groups and storage/cache accounts + availability sets if they are in use in the source region) Continue reading “Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS VMs”