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Azure Site Recovery Available for Preview

You may have been aware of a Microsoft product called Hyper-V Recovery Manager. As of June 2014 this is now known as Azure Site Recovery. Why the name change?

When Hyper-V Recovery Manager launched back in January, it was a simple, cheap disaster recovery solution that was for replicating virtual machines across sites. A new feature has now been added to the service that allows the virtual machines to be replicated to Azure. Thus, to reflect these changes, the whole service has been renamed.

At the moment this new feature is in preview which means that it hasn’t officially been fully rolled out. You can visit Microsoft’s official Azure Site Recovery website to try it out for free at no obligation. Let’s take a look at what exactly it is the service offers.

First of all, the product description of Azure Site Recovery is that it’ll help protect important applications by managing replication and recovery of private clouds across sites. It doesn’t matter how many virtual machines you’re protecting, be it a couple or a hundred. You can protect your applications using your own second site or use Azure as your disaster recovery site (thus avoiding the expense and complexity required for building and managing your own secondary location).

The service is simple and easy to use and uses existing technologies such as Hyper-V Replica, System Center and SQL Server AlwaysOn to offer best protection. The Site Recovery utility will manage and coordinate all of this to replicate your data on an ongoing basis.

There is also continuous monitoring of the state of the System Center Virtual Machine Manager clouds. All communication with Azure is encrypted (you can also select for encryption when the data is at rest) and when replicating between two self-controled sites the only communication directly with Azure is the Virtual Machine Manager servers.

Of course, this is all about recovery of data and the service automates the quick and orderly recovery of your services should disaster strike. Virtual machines can be raised to help restore service even quicker, even for complex workloads. The plans can be scaled and adjusted for business needs, no matter how advanced they are. For example, there can be execution of custom Windows PowerShell scripts and pauses for manual interventions. Networks can also be customised by mapping virtual networks between the primary and recovery sites. This can be tested whenever desired at no disruption to the running of the service.

“Whichever configuration you choose, the service provides automated protection, continuous health monitoring, and orchestrated recovery for your applications,” reads a blog post that Microsoft published.

Many well-known enterprise customers use Microsoft Azure to satisfy their IT needs. These firms include the likes of HarperCollins, Mazda and NBC News. Of course, just because a big corporation uses a service doesn’t automatically mean it’s good, but it certainly shows just how well respected it is. Be sure to try out the free trial of the service; you never know, it might be just what you’re looking for.


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