Disaster Recovery for Microsoft’s Cloud Platform, Azure
Azure offers a host of disaster recovery features to keep your important data safe and secure
Businesses utilizing the cloud must have strict mechanisms in place to handle issues such as disaster recovery. Planning for cloud based data failures and disasters require companies to quickly identify failures and act accordingly.
Any disaster recovery plan should take into consideration an organization’s tolerance for the amount of cloud application downtime as well as document the amount of data loss that can exist without adversely affecting business functions as the data is being restored.
Most organizations think they’re prepared for large scale failures
When companies are asked if they’re ready for large-scale temporary failures, many indicate that they are. However, before this question is answered, you must ask yourself whether your team regularly rehearses these failures? Are you testing the recovery of important company databases to ensure that your data is protected and recoverable after a data failure? For most companies, chances are they are not doing the adequate testing to ensure successful disaster recovery.
Cloud platforms offer solutions to common problems with disaster recovery
One of the common problems many companies face regarding disaster recovery is the need for geographically distributed datacenters offering redundant capabilities. Many companies are simply not able to afford to have datacenters in different geographic locations with full redundant capacity.
Thankfully, cloud platforms such as Azure offer fully redundant, geographically dispersed datacenters located all around the world. These solutions offer the ability for every mission critical business application to be considered when it comes to a company’s disaster recovery strategy.
Azure disaster recovery features
Azure has a robust set of technical guidelines in place to support disaster recovery. A few of these features include:
- Multiple datacenter regions: Azure has datacenters in different regions around the world, which helps to mitigate several disaster recovery scenarios by utilizing system-provided replication of Azure Storage to secondary datacenters. Multiple datacenters also allow you to easily deploy cloud services in locations around the world, which makes it easier to combat against large data outages in a single datacenter.
- Azure Traffic Manager: Once a datacenter failure occurs you must redirect traffic to servers located in another datacenter. While this process can be done manually, it’s much more efficient to do automatically. Azure Traffic Manager allows you to automatically manage user traffic in the event that your primary datacenter fails.
Common disaster scenarios
- Application failure: Azure Fabric Controller automatically handles hardware or operating system failures by automatically creating a new instance on a functioning server. Azure also offers a host of messaging capabilities for failures involving proprietary business applications.
- Data corruption: Azure automatically stores your SQL database and Azure Storage three times redundantly in your primary datacenter. If you utilize geo-replication, your data will be stored an additional three times in a different datacenter.
- Network outage: If parts of the Azure network are down, Azure is able to either leverage the available instances of your application or your application can be run in a degraded mode using cached data. If degraded mode is not an option you can always failover to a different datacenter.
- Datacenter down: If an entire Azure datacenter goes down and you’ve enabled geo-replication DNS entries will be remapped to another datacenter located elsewhere.
- Azure down: While highly unlikely, there is always the possibility that the entire Azure network could go down. In this scenario you could utilize alternative cloud providers or implement a hybrid on-premise/cloud solution.
We hope this overview helps you to take a hard look at your disaster recovery plan and determine if it is sufficient based on your needs. If you’d like to learn more about switching to Azure, get in touch with our experts today.