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”

Weekly News Digest | Windows Server 2016 Scalability and more

Windows Server 2016 compute maximums

The new post in Windows Server blog is published on 08/25 and confirms the following scale changes in Windows Server 2016:

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So, Windows Server 2016 delivers the new-leading scalability to virtualize any and every workload without any exception.

What about vSphere 6.0? vSphere 6.0 maximums are far short of the WS. But I’m almost sure for 99% VMware will update their maximums as soon as possible (next major release). May be we will see updated vSphere 6.0 scalability before WS 2016 RTM.  HA scale digits are the same for both  WS/vSphere so far (FT/resource pools are excluded)

The difference between vSphere 6.0 and Windows Server 2016 compute values are below:

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*12 TB is supported on specific OEM certified platform

New VMware migration offer for Windows Server 2016

If you are really interested in Windows Server 2016 or plan migration from VMware, Microsoft has a special offer to you.

From September 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, customers who switch workloads from VMware to Hyper-V can get free Windows Server Datacenter licenses when buying Windows Server Datacenter + Software Assurance. That ultimately means customers only pay for Software Assurance, which provides multiple benefits.

To be eligible for the VMware migration offer, customers must follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Engage your account executive or sales rep to begin the process.
  • Step 2: Identify virtualized workloads to migrate and specify the Windows Server Datacenter cores required.
  • Step 3: Provide your account executive proof of eligibility. (Offer applicable to customers migrating from VMware to Microsoft).
  • Step 4: Engage your partner to start the migration process.
  • Step 5: Receive free Windows Server Datacenter licenses with Software Assurance and pay only the cost of Software Assurance to kick start your migration.

Check out the new VMware Shift website for more detailed information as well as technical comparisons and more reasons to choose Microsoft over VMware.

Continue reading “Weekly News Digest | Windows Server 2016 Scalability and more”