Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is a complete game changer when it comes to Disaster Recovery (DR). Disaster Recovery differs from backup in that backup can take an extended amount of time to restore data and most backup solutions do not help if there is an issue with the physical location or hardware. In this article I will highlight some of the main benefits of using ASR as a part of your Disaster Recovery plan.
The single most important benefit of setting up your DR infrastructure with ASR is cost. In a traditional DR environment, clients were forced to rent/buy a separate location, datacenter or otherwise, purchase all the appropriate hardware, configure it all, and maintain it in addition to their production infrastructure. For a lot of customers, especially small to medium size customers, this solution was simply too expensive. Now with ASR, you immediately save the cost associated with another location and the hardware that is required. In addition, the client only pays for compute and usage charges IF they failover over to Azure during a test or an actual DR situation.
Ease of use is another great reason to leverage ASR in your DR practice. In any DR implementation it is a must to have very specific goal(s) and create a detailed plan for the execution to ensure things are not overlooked. However, on a technical level, the implementation and use of ASR is very simple. Whether you have Hyper-V or a VMware environment, there are tools and step-by step guides to implement them in either situation. With an Azure subscription, a few hours, and some basic technical knowledge, you can begin replicating and protecting portions of your infrastructure over to Azure.
An often-overlooked part of ASR is its use as a migration tool. Many clients are starting to migrate their workloads over to Azure or simply wanting to test the Azure waters. A lot of times costumers don’t entirely know where to start so they reach out to us. We will typically do a Proof of Concept for them (PoC). During the PoC we will work with the client to create or identify a low priority virtual machine, configure ASR and replicate the instance to Azure. The key here is that there is no technical requirement to ever failback, hence, migration tool. Throughout the process the client can be as involved or not involved as they like depending on their needs and goals. Once we have replicated a machine or two and the client understands the process along with some training, clients can then begin to evaluate Azure for its different uses and continue to use ASR to migrate workloads as needed.
If your company is looking into implementing a DR strategy or to reduce cost, my reasons will hopefully assist you in considering ASR. Of course, if you would like more information on ASR, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Akins IT!