In my last post, I spent some time providing an overview of Operational Management Suite (OMS) and specifically, the Azure Backup service. I tried to focus on the advantages of the suite from the perspective of a potential Azure Government customer as well as the perspective of customers that have already implemented or are implementing a Hybrid Cloud environment.
In this post I want to continue the conversation about the different services within the suite by focusing on the Site Recovery service, and how it will add to the safety & security for Azure Government Cloud Customers and Hybrid Customers as well.
The Site Recovery service is a great way for customers to start leveraging the power of the Cloud while still being very thoughtful about their first foray into the Cloud. Many Public Sector customers have their own Data Centers or are using Co-Lo facilities for management of their infrastructure. The Site Recovery service can provide replication, migration, and disaster recovery for Servers or VMs that exist in one place, but may need to be made available someplace else. Originally, this meant that the Servers or VMs had to exist in one physical Data Center and then be replicated or Failed-Over to another Data Center, but now the Site Recovery service can provide this same level of functionality from a Data Center to the Cloud and very soon from one Cloud region to another.
What exactly am I talking about here? Let’s go back to my Public Sector customer example, a federal government agency, that has a Data Center of their own or they are leveraging a Co-Lo facility. As much as we would love for all Customers to move all of their systems into the Government Cloud, there will always be a need for some systems to remain On-Prem or in a Private Cloud environment whether that be because of security, confidentiality, or privacy.
In either instance, this is a single point of failure with respect to a disaster recovery scenario. If that Data Center were to go offline, for whatever reason, all of the customers systems would be down and the agency would be unable to function. The Site Recovery service provides Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) by allowing you to setup a Recovery Plan, such that each VM or Server can be monitored and imaged in such a way that it will be quick and easy to spin up a complete replica of the entire Data Center in either another facility or in the Cloud while keeping all data and configurations of the systems.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a service within Azure Government that I could easily provide you with a beautiful screenshot, so let me at least provide you with a solid list of features available within the service:
- Can protect Hyper-V, VMware and physical servers
- Coordinates and manages the ongoing replication of data by integrating with existing technologies including System Center and SQL Server AlwaysOn
- Recovery Plans can be as simple or as advanced as necessary based on application requirements, including the execution of custom Windows PowerShell scripts and Azure Automation Runbooks, and pauses for manual interventions
- Applications can be Migrated to Azure with just a few clicks, or burst to Azure temporarily when you encounter a surge in demand
- Site Recovery monitors the state of your protected instances continuously and remotely from Azure with all monitoring traffic being encrypted
Looking at this Service and all of its available features, not only is this Service a great way for Public Sector customers to introduce themselves to the Cloud and Azure Government, but it is also another way for Hybrid Cloud customers to provide a disaster recovery solution for their On-Prem needs while also maintaining infrastructure within the Government Cloud. For further information about this specific service, please take a look at the following documentation and site materials: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/site-recovery/ & https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/services/site-recovery/
Now that I have covered the two services that focus on backup & recovery of your infrastructure, I hope that you can see how Microsoft has made the use of IaaS to be very safe and secure as well as enticing within our Azure Government environment. This should also show you how we can provide you with almost all of the standard operational management capabilities that you are used to without you needing to buy additional software or manage additional VMs. We can provide you with a single point to manage all of your infrastructure whether it is in Azure Government or in your own On-Prem environment.