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.

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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.

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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

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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”

Update to replicate multiple VM groups and VMs that use shared VHDs

New hotfix for Hyper-V has been recently published by Microsoft.

This KB adds ability to replicate VM groups and VMs that use shared VHDs! (I’ve not tested yet)

This KB describes an issue in which end users can’t track the shared disk ownership change if Guest clustered virtual machines (VMs) with shared disks are running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012.

Notes

It’s important in scenarios such as replication tracking where the disk changes are tracked. This fix is applicable only for scenarios where the guest OS runs on the VM that’s running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012.

After you apply this hotfix, you can track the ownership changes of the disk between Guest clustered VMs by using a CLUSCTL_GROUP_GET_LAST_MOVE_TIME cluster control code in a shared Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) guest cluster scenario.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, install update 2919355 in Windows Server 2012 R2.