Disaster recovery for Microsoft Hybrid Cloud is something your enterprise IT staff must address today, before you need it tomorrow. A hybrid cloud architecture using Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V can make your enterprise more agile, more powerful and more efficient, but be sure you also prepare plans for disaster recovery in case something goes wrong.
Not having a developed and tested recovery plan is never a good idea with any critical IT system, and it's even more important with hybrid cloud architectures because your company is relying on partners and systems outside your datacenters.
So, what do you do to get started and keep your systems and business-critical applications running reliably with fail-safe recovery?
One place to start is with a selection of tools as well as integration and testing recommendations from Microsoft, which provide users with the bones to get their disaster recovery operations going.
Azure Site Recovery is one tool available from Microsoft, but don't wait until disaster strikes to learn whether it is all working as planned after enabling it. You must do detailed testing after deployment to ensure that your applications run properly within the environment in the event of a cloud outage ore related problems, according to Microsoft. Azure Site Recovery also works with third-party tools as well.
"Cloud migration or disaster recovery is not only about replicating your virtual machines but also about end to end application recovery that is tested multiple times, error-free, and stress-free when you decide to migrate or when disaster strikes," Ruturaj Dhekane, a program manager with the Microsoft cloud and enterprise team, wrote in an earlier post on the Azure Blog. "If you have never seen your application run in Microsoft Azure, chances are that when a real disaster happens, the virtual machines may just boot, but your business may remain down."
That means doing your testing and problem-solving long before you ever have problems, wrote Dhekane.
Enterprise IT pros can even create and integrate specialized and customized recovery plans within Azure Site Recovery to plan a targeted, systematic recovery process in the event of disaster by creating small independent step-by-step application recovery units that can be managed more easily, one at a time, when needed. Each recovery unit typically represents one application, according to Microsoft, giving users the opportunity to define the sequences in which the virtual machines come back, while also automating common tasks during recovery.
A wide range of other cloud disaster recovery tools and scenarios are also available to enterprises from Microsoft and third-party vendors. On-premises Hyper-V virtual machines can also be set up for disaster recovery using Azure Site Recovery, according to another Microsoft blog post. When configuring such systems, users can create a "vault" or designated space for site recovery, while also creating and configuring the source and target replication environments, network mapping, replication policies and the eventual targeted replication events.
Hybrid cloud disaster recovery systems can be complex to set up and maintain, but that burden can be eased with the right tools, applications and recovery automation processes from third-party vendors that have done extensive research and development to make things easier and more affordable.