I have been looking into this lately to find no available solution for Azure-to-Azure disaster recovery solution that is native. Do you people think that it is completely fair to trust the Azure cloud to take care of the risks that a disaster brings in? Does it even make sense to setup a replication inside the Azure environment for Azure VMs? If so what are the available options and any direction is appreciated!

Coming from a fully managed solution, I think Azure is not giving us more options here for an IaaS environment setup.

My Research so far on this

Azure Site Recovery:

Only the following scenarios are supported. Not Azure-to-Azure.

  • Azure-Hyper-V site
  • Azure-VMM server
  • Azure-Physical Windows server
  • Azure-VMware virtual machine
  • Secondary datacenter-VMM server
  • Secondary datacenter-VMM server with SAN
  • Secondary datacenter-Single VMM server

High Availability:

  • Available only for HA Application server VMs.
  • The only promise is "Data is durable". The end user is responsible for reconnection.

Azure Backup:

  • Encrypted backups.
  • Not possible to failover by setting up a redundant infrastructure.
  • Not an ideal solution for an IaaS failover.
  • This be could/should be 3 separate questions. DR, replication of VM options and IaaS. Far to open ended as is – Drifter104 Nov 16 '15 at 20:42
  • Okay, the IaaS has the VMs which needs to be replicated in order to be DR ready. Is that not connected logical steps? – Harish Prasanna Nov 16 '15 at 21:05
  • Fair enough, I didn't read it that way but yes that makes sense – Drifter104 Nov 16 '15 at 22:17
  • For the deployments that I have designed / built for cloud the DR aspect is built in to the deployment. Design the solution under the assumption that a datacentre is going to be blacked out for a week. plan a distributed solution and you'll never need DR. – Michael B Nov 16 '15 at 23:18

Assuming I'm reading you right, there are things like Azure Site Recovery, HA, Azure Backup, zone and geo redundant storage, etc.

Recommended reading:

Azure Business Continuity Technical Guidance

Disaster Recovery and High Availability for Azure Applications

Azure Site Recovery

If you would like a possible workaround for now you can follow this blog post: https://bnehyperv.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/site-recovery-protection-between-on-premises-vmware-virtual-machines-or-physical-servers-and-microsoft-azure/

  • Please check my research update. I just updated it on the question. – Harish Prasanna Nov 16 '15 at 21:16
  • What exactly are you hoping for that Azure isn't providing that on premise does? Azure doesn't limit you on what software you can run in a VM (with some minor exceptions). You may need to state what you are hoping it to act like (VMware site recovery, DoubleTake, Axcient, something else?). If you want to run your own software to provide DR from one azure VM to another in another subscription this is possible (provided the connectivity is setup). – TheCleaner Nov 17 '15 at 14:28
  • I am looking for an Azure native solution to failover to another Azure region. I may have found it here -> azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/… . Not sure if this is the right thing though. – Harish Prasanna Nov 17 '15 at 18:33
  • Yes, I had alluded to Site Recovery in my answer. Even though Site Recovery isn't officially supported for "Azure to Azure" a user has a blog where he got it to work ok: bnehyperv.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/… – TheCleaner Nov 17 '15 at 19:23
  • Although Azure does not officially support or provide an Azure to Azure solution, I guess this is the only workaround available to be on the safer side for DR. Please update these two links in your answer for the rest of us as workarounds. – Harish Prasanna Nov 18 '15 at 17:14

I have used Azure-to-Azure site recovery, which is currently unsupported, in test and lab scenarios. It's totally doable, but you would be assuming some risk with the unsupported aspect of it. As of now, you can't "fall back" to the original region, it only replicates in the one direction.

  • Interesting. This is what I was hoping to hear. But would the Azure Traffic Manager be of any use here? In this case, direct traffic across two entire regions? – Harish Prasanna Nov 25 '15 at 18:29
  • You could use Traffic Manager to balance between two different regions, but you'd have to have a system in place to keep them in sync. – Jennelle Crothers Dec 4 '15 at 0:52

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