Basics about Implementing Azure Recovery Services Vault (Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery)

Azure Backup is used to keep data safe and recoverable. (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-introduction-to-azure-backup)

Type of Azure Backup components are

  1. Azure Backup (MARS) Agent
    1. Back up files and folders on physical or virtual Windows OS (VMs can be on-premises or in Azure)
    2. No separate backup server required.
  2. System Center DPM
    1. Application-aware snapshots (VSS)
    2. Full flexibility for when to take backups
    3. Recovery granularity (all)
    4. Can use Azure Backup vault
    5. Linux support on Hyper-V and VMware VMs
    6. Back up and restore VMware VMs using DPM 2012 R2
  3. Azure backup Server
    1. Everything System Center DPM can do and additionally Does not require a System Center license
  4. Azure IaaS VM Backup
    1. Native backups for Windows/Linux
    2. No specific agent installation required
    3. Fabric-level backup with no backup infrastructure needed
    4. Restore VM’s only at disk level

Steps to enable Azure backup

  1. Create recovery services vault
  2. Select the backup goal
    1. If on premise Install recovery services agent, download vault credential, Schedule backup using recovery services agent UI, Monitor Jobs and Set alerts.
  3. Backup policy
  4. Items to backup

Azure Site Recovery contribute to BCDR Strategy. (applied towards Replicate, fail over and recoverable workloads). https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-hyper-v-site-to-azure


Key Benefits are Azure Site Recovery

  1. Simplified BCDR
  2. Provides rich recovery plans
  3. Replication of workloads to Cloud
  4. Resilience
  5. Integrates with Existing BCDR technologies
  6. Flexible failover and recovery plans
  7. Easy and simple, Migration between on premise/other cloud

Various Deployment Scenarios

  1. Replicate Physical machines (If you replicate physical servers, you will need an on-premises VMware infrastructure for failback. You can’t fail back to a physical machine.)
  2. Replicate VM Ware Virtual machines.
  3. Replicate Hyper-V virtual machines
  4. Migrate VMs
    1. Migrate workloads running on-premise
    2. Migrate Azure IaaS VM’s between azure regions
    3. Migrate AWS Windows IaaS VM’s to Azure IaaS.

List of components involved to replicate Physical/VMWare Servers to Azure

  1. Microsoft Azure Subscriptions
  2. Configuration Server
  3. Process server
  4. Master target server
  5. VMware servers
  6. Replicated machines

Azure Site Recovery protects following workloads across all deployment models, there are few more to the list which is yet to support all deployment models.

  1. Active Directory, DNS
  2. IIS , SQL
  3. SCOM
  4. SharePoint
  5. SAP
  6. Linux (operating system and apps)
  7. Windows File Server
  8. Dynamics AX

Steps in order to be completed to replicated VMWare VM’s to Azure

  1. Setup Azure Network and Storage Accounts
  2. Prepare on-premise machine that you want to deploy the configuration server
  3. Prepare VMware Accounts (automatic discovery and push notifications)
  4. Create recovery services Vault
  5. Select the protection goal
  6. Specify the source environment (add configuration server if one does not exist)
    1. Windows 2012 R2 VM
    2. Configure proxy server
    3. Download Microsoft Azure Site recovery unified setup
    4. Download the Vault Registration Key
    5. Run the install to setup Configuration server and process server
    6. Run cspsconfigtool.exe to create one or more management accounts
    7. Management account should have administrator permission
  7. Specify Target environment
    1. Select Subscription
    2. Specify Storage account
    3. Select Virtual network
  8. Replication settings
    1. RPO threshold in mins
    2. Recovery point retention in hrs
    3. App-consistent snapshot frequency
  9. Capacity/Deployment planning
  10. Prepare VM’s for replication (Deploy mobility services on VMs you want to replicate)
  11. Enable replication of VMs
    1. Source
    2. Target
    3. Virtual Machines
    4. Properties
    5. Replication settings
  12. Recovery Plans

Important: Storage accounts and Virtual network should be in the same region as Vault. Machine can’t be a domain controller and should have static IP address. Host names should be less than 15 characters . VM’s with Encrypted disk cannot be replicated.

Note: Images in this article are source from Microsoft

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