The fast evolving and unpredictable business environment requires sophisticated continuity management systems. Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions are essential to safeguard critical applications running in the datacenter, minimize financial loss, and maintain productivity. But most often, DR ends up being a complex and cost-intensive effort.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR), a robust cloud-based DR service automates, monitors, and orchestrates the replication and recovery of virtual machines to Azure or to a secondary data center. It simplifies DR and helps you achieve Recovery Time Objective (RTO) goals, through customized recovery plans to ensure one-click failovers and failbacks that are consistently accurate.

How to create customized recovery plans

A recovery plan to Azure can be used for a planned failover, unplanned failover as well as test failover. It defines a group of virtual machines that failover together and the dependencies between the virtual machines. It specifies the order of recovery of the virtual machines and machines fail over according to group they are in. For example, the virtual machine placed in group 1 will recover and start first, followed by the virtual machine in group 2. Recovery plans automate recovery along with custom manual actions to achieve tasks other than the failover of virtual machines. It also automates and extends failover. More importantly, you can customize recovery plans with scripts, Azure automation, and manual actions. Customizations can be done in the following ways:

  • Adding new groups: You can add up to seven new recovery plan groups, which are then numbered in the order in which they are added. A virtual machine or replication group can only be added to one group.
  • Adding a script: Custom scripts can be added to extend the recovery plan. When a script is added, it brings a new collection of actions to that group. A script is only added on the primary site if a VMM server has been deployed. To create a VMM script, write scripts using Windows PowerShell.
  • Adding a manual action: Azure allows adding manual actions that run before or after a recovery plan group. The plan executes and stops at the inserted manual action. Next, a dialog box helps you record the completion of the manual action.

Simple and intuitive disaster recovery

ASR focuses on the needs of the business rather than on the maintenance of an expensive DR facility and its supporting software and hardware. The recovery plan ensures that disaster recovery to Azure is not only automated but also accurate and repeatable.

By customizing the plan through the three simple routes offered by Azure, organizations can recover their virtualized workloads with minimal downtime and data loss.