Cross-region disaster recovery for Azure IaaS VMs in public preview

By:  Dann Anthony Maurno

Microsoft has announced the public preview of cross-region disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines (VMs) using Azure Site Recovery (ASR). This enables seamless failover to a recovery region in the event of a disaster, says Microsoft, then “fail back” to the original source region.

The cross-region DR feature is now available in all Azure public regions where ASR is available. As Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager, Cloud + Enterprise Rochak Mittal described on the Azure blog:

You can now easily replicate and protect IaaS based applications running on Azure to a different Azure region of your choice within a geographical cluster without deploying any additional infrastructure components or software appliances in your subscription.

Because cross-region DR is available as a service, no additional VMs or appliances are required, says Mittal. “You avoid all the complexity and cost associated with deploying, monitoring, patching and maintaining any DR infrastructure.”

Between this capability and Azure Backup for IaaS virtual machines, users can create a “comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy” for all IaaS-based applications running on Azure, wrote Mittal.

Such a strategy is more than a “nice-to-have”: standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 for Information Security Management Systems (ISMSs) require having a provable disaster recovery solution in place as part of a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan. “The set of features that we are announcing today for Azure IaaS fill this important need,” Microsoft promises.

Some features and benefits of Disaster Recovery for Azure IaaS applications which Mittal details:

  • Simplified experience: Users select the VMs they wish to protect, then select a target Azure region, and finally select replication settings (see graphic).
  • Application-aware recovery: You decide when and how to orchestrate a failover, Mittal describes, between best-in-class recovery point objectives (RPO), recovery time objectives (RTO) and ASR’s Recovery Plans.
  • Non-disruptive test failover capability: You can perform DR drills at will, and without impact to the primary production workload or to ongoing replication.

Microsoft walks you through setup on the Azure Documentation page.

About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).

Dann can be reached at