Disaster Recovery Plan: Why you need to take a look at Azure Site Recovery

If like me you’re responsible for your company’s IT infrastructure then I hope you already have a disaster recovery solution in place, if you do then I have a few questions for you.

  • Are you confident in it?
  • When was the last time you did a test run?
  • Could it be improved?

If you don’t have full confidence in your current solution, or it has been too long since you tested it then you should take a look at Azure Site Recovery as it is a robust system that is straightforward to set up and easy to test a failover with also it is probably cheaper than you think.

If you don’t have a DR solution in place then you should absolutely without question start using Azure Site Recovery.

In this series of blogposts I’m going to take you through why you should consider using ASR to planning, setting it up and then topics such as how to run a test failover.

First an anecdote regarding my own journey to how and why I started using Azure Site Recovery.

If like me you’ve investigated Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions in the past and been shocked at the cost then you might be pleasantly surprised by ASR. Several years ago I was looking at improving my then employer’s solution and decided that to meet the business requirements we needed a warm start solution with continuous replication from our primary site. The quotes I received from different suppliers all massively exceeded my budget and in some cases would have cost most of my entire department budget for the year!

I decided to roll my own solution by reusing a recently retired host server, a site-to-site VPN, VMware vSphere Replication and a co-location provider, and saved tens of thousands of pounds. The main problem with this solution was the maintenance of the host server, it was never easy to patch the host server without breaking replication and replacing failed components meant a long drive and negotiating access to the datcenter. Five years later and the server was very old and long past the point when we should have replaced it., I decided to take a look at Azure Site Recovery as a replacement solution.

I ran the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner and calculated that for basically the same cost that the datacentre was charging for co-location I could a have a fully functional DRAAS with Microsoft Azure. I thus saved the cost of an entire new host server every 5 years plus the time, money and stress associated with the ongoing hardware maintenance.

In my case Microsoft’s claim that you can reduce your infrastructure costs was completely accurate.

Reduce infrastructure costs
Reduce the cost of deploying, monitoring, patching, and maintaining on-premises disaster recovery infrastructure by eliminating the need for building or maintaining a costly secondary datacenter. Plus, you pay only for the compute resources you need to support your applications in Azure.

It is not all about money though, as you will see in later posts Azure Site Recovery is simple to deploy and manage. Whether you are wishing to replicate from an on-premises VMware system or another Azure region there is a straightforward process that I will explain to you to get your workloads securely replicated into Azure. In addition you can ensure compliance by testing your disaster recovery plan without impacting production workloads or end users with the simple Test Failover functionality of ASR.