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Enterprise Mobility + Security


Back in June I announced the Preview of the Disaster Recovery to Azure functionality with Azure Site Recovery (ASR), and its promise to democratize DR is now beginning to have a tangible impact on how our customers perceive cloud-based DR. With ASR, mission-critical workloads – which are often left unprotected due to the high-cost of incumbent business continuity solutions – are now guaranteed resilience, efficiency, and availability by ASR and Microsoft Azure.

We spent a lot of time thinking and planning precisely what should go into this GA, and here is a bit of insight into our thought process:

As the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, Microsoft is committed to solving the business continuity challenges that CIOs consistently rank as top priorities. Our acquisition of InMage and the integration of InMage Scout with Azure Site Recovery dramatically accelerated our strategy to provide Hybrid Cloud cloud business continuity solutions for any IT environment – whether it’s Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized, or on Hyper-V, VMware or others. Microsoft Azure is now the ideal destination for disaster recovery for enterprise servers around the world.

Here’s what ASR with support for DR to Azure and InMage integration looks like in action:

DRtoAzure

With this GA announcement there are also a few significant additions to the already expansive list of DR to Azure features:

  • Integration with Azure Automation
    Orchestrated recovery is now even more robust and further simplified with the ability to execute Azure Automation runbooks from within ASR Recovery Plans.
  • Initial Replication Progress
    Tracking progress of the initial replication of virtual machine data to customer-owned and managed geo-redundant Azure Storage account is now available within ASR. This new feature is also available when configuring DR between on-premises private clouds.
  • Simplified Setup and Registration
    We have removed the complexity of generating certificates and integrity keys needed to register your on-premises System Center Virtual Machine Manager server with your Site Recovery vault, making getting started with ASR easier than ever before

In addition to enabling DR to Azure, ASR is also an ideal choice for effectively migrating virtual machines to Azure if you are already virtualized on Windows Server 2012 R2. For our customers who want to migrate their Physical or Pre-Windows Server 2012 R2 virtualized workloads running on any cloud to Azure, we also recently announced the Preview of Migration Accelerator.

With ASR’s ability to protect, consistently replicate, and failover virtual machines directly to Microsoft Azure, our Enterprise and SME customers are already saving big on CAPEX and OPEX costs that would otherwise be dumped into building, managing, and maintaining expensive secondary datacenters. The net impact on the bottom line of these early adopting enterprises is clear: In the three months that the DR-to-Azure functionality has been in Preview, we’ve seen a 400% increase in VM’s that are protected using ASR, and new customer subscriptions are up 100%.

I also want to reiterate a few key points from my previous blog that I think are really exciting:

  • While it is very technically sophisticated, ASR is really simple to use and it’s easy to configure and automate the replication of virtual machines based on policies that you control.
  • Because it eliminates the expense of building and maintaining a secondary datacenter for DR, ASR is very cost-effective.
  • ASR is intuitive to use and the self-service model builds on top of existing products, e.g. System Center, Windows Server, and Azure.
  • The benefit of cloud-based extensibility can’t be overstated – this architecture allows for faster development and easy access to new features.
  • ASR offers a consistent user experience across the work you’re doing in any private cloud, via a service provider, or in a public cloud. No matter what, the UX and the functionality are the same.

Beginning in October, Azure Backup and Site Recovery to Azure will also be available in a convenient (and economical) promotional offer via the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.  Each unit of the Azure Backup & Site Recovery annual subscription offer covers protection of a single instance to Azure with Site Recovery, and protection of up to 100GB of data with Azure Backup.  You can contact your Microsoft Reseller or Microsoft representative for more information.

For more information on ASR, check out the recording of the ASR session at TechEd 2014 where we discussed the preview, and also visit the Azure Site Recovery forum on MSDN where you can find additional information and engage with other ASR users.

Once you’re ready to see what ASR can do for you, you can check out pricing information, sign up for a free trial, or learn more about the product specifications.