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Azure Site Recovery Now Works Without SCVMM

Like many cloud service providers, Microsoft has identified disaster recovery as a key driver for its hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering. Microsoft this year delivered a critical component of delivering its disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) with Azure Site Recovery.

If you saw Brien Posey's First Look at Azure Site Recovery, you may have quickly lost interest if you're not a Microsoft System Center user. That's because Azure Site Recovery required System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  But with last week's Microsoft Azure release upgrade, the company lifted the SCVMM limitation.

The new Azure Site Recovery release allows customers to replicate and recover virtual machines using Microsoft Azure without SCVMM. "If you're protecting fewer VMs or using other management tools, you now have the option of protecting your Hyper-V VMs in Azure without using System Center Virtual Machine Manager," wrote Vibhor Kapoor, director of marketing for Microsoft Azure, in a blog post outlining the company's cloud service upgrades.

By making Azure Site Recovery Manager available without SCVMM, it brings the DRaaS to branch offices and smaller organizations that can't afford Microsoft's systems management platform or simply prefer other tools, explained Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's enterprise and cloud business, in a blog post. "Today's new support enables consistent replication, protection and recovery of Virtual Machines directly in Microsoft Azure. With this new support we have extended the Azure Site Recovery service to become a simple, reliable and cost effective DR Solution for enabling Virtual Machine replication and recovery between Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure without having to deploy a System Center Virtual Machine Manager on your primary site."

Guthrie pointed out that Azure Site Recovery builds upon Microsoft's Hyper-V Replica technology built into Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure "to provide remote health monitoring, no-impact recovery plan testing and single click orchestrated recovery -- all of this backed by an SLA that is enterprise-grade." Since organizations may have different uses for Azure Site Recovery, Guthrie underscored the One-Click Orchestration using Recovery Plans option, which provides various Recovery Time Objectives depending on the use case. For example using Azure Site Recovery for test and/or planned failovers versus unplanned ones typically require different RTOs, as well as for disaster recovery.

In addition to Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 R2, Azure Site Recovery can use Microsoft's SQL Server AlwaysOn feature. Azure Site Recovery also integrates with SAN replication infrastructure from NetApp, Hewlett Packard and EMC. Also, according to a comment by Microsoft's Roan Daley in our First Look, Azure Site Recovery also protects VMware workloads across VMware host using its new InMage option. Acquired back in July, InMage Scout is an on-premises appliance that offers real-time data capture on a continuous basis, which simultaneously performs local backups or remote replication via a single data stream. Microsoft is licensing Azure Site Recovery with the Scout technology on a per-virtual or per-physical instance basis.

Are you using Microsoft's Azure Site Recovery, planning to do so or are you looking at the various third party alternatives as cloud-based DRaaS becomes a more viable data protection alternative?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 12/17/2014 at 12:08 PM


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