Using Azure for Backup and Disaster Recovery

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The Microsoft Azure Advantage

Microsoft has made a tremendous investment in the cloud over recent years, to the tune of billions of dollars. With almost two dozen data centers dedicated to cloud worldwide and several more being constructed, it’s clear that Microsoft has a vested interest in the success of its cloud offering.

And since most organizations have an IT environment that runs on Microsoft products, rather than outsourcing a backup/disaster recovery solution to a third party, there is great value using the same vendor that provides the majority of your core software. This ensures there are no problems with compatibility, and that when you need to recover data, you don’t have multiple vendors pointing the finger at each other if there are issues.

Microsoft Azure Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions

What many don’t realize is that Microsoft’s huge cloud offering includes two very robust solutions – one focused on backup, and one focused on full disaster recovery:

  • Microsoft Azure Backup: Can be run either standalone to protect individual servers or files, or centrally managed and integrated with System Center components to protect groups of servers or application-specific workloads such as Exchange, SQL, or Sharepoint. Backups can be run several times a day, with indefinite retention. This allows the product to effectively replace an organization’s offsite or tape backups.
  • Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Provides automated protection and replication of machines (physical machines, Hyper-V, VMware) from on-premise, data centers, or co-locations to the Azure cloud. Health is monitored and failover and recovery plans can be configured to provide near seamless failover to the cloud – regardless the size or complexity of the environment. If you have your own secondary data center, it’s possible to use Site Recovery to replicate data from one facility to another, both using VMware or Hyper-V environments, using the Azure cloud as the medium.

How It Will Work in Your Enviroment

The majority of Windows operating systems released over the last 6 years are compatible with Azure Backup, both on the desktop and server operating system level. Azure Site Recovery supports both Windows and Linux operating systems, both Hyper-V and VMware virtualization platforms, as well as physical servers. Both Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery allow central management capabilities (through System Center Data Protection Manager and System Center Virtual Machine Manager respectively). The products are constantly evolving and new functionality and compatibility are continuously being added. Between the two products, it’s hard to find an environment that will not be compatible with Azure backup or disaster recovery.

Azure Is Secure

Both Microsoft Azure backup solutions are fully compliant with HIPAA, HITECH, ISO 27001, and many other standards. Encryption standards are followed both for data in transit between your data center or on-premise location and the cloud, and encryption is used for all data at rest in the Azure cloud. Most organizations that take a serious look at the security of the Azure platform are surprised to find that the security far exceeds their internal standards and requirements.

Azure Is Cost Effecitve

The size of the solution, the complexity of the environment, and several other factors contribute to the cost of the solution whether Azure Backup or Azure Site Recovery. It is almost always significantly cheaper, to the point of being a fraction of the cost of maintaining a full disaster recovery ‘hot’ standby site (in the case of Site Recovery) or an offsite backup or tape solution (in the case of Backup). In either solution there are seldom, if ever, additional hardware requirements to implement the solution.

Get Started

Rand Group can assist in evaluating your existing requirements and, leveraging Microsoft Azure Backup and Site Recovery solutions, architect and implement a backup/DR plan for your organization.

An Azure Backup and Disaster Recovery solution from Rand Group will help your business:

  • Protect your data, no matter the location, with one unified system
  • Automate your backups
  • Geo-replicated storage maintaining 6 copies of your data across 2 disparate Azure data centers
  • Pay only for what you need with scalable solutions
  • Continuous health monitoring and replication

As a Tier-1 Cloud Solutions Provider with a Silver Competency in Data, Rand Group knows how to keep your business safe and secure. And with over 13 years’ in the industry and a group of exceptionally talented infrastructure specialists, we’re not only well equipped to help you implement your cloud backup and disaster recovery solution, we’re able to help you develop an iron-clad strategy to protect your business.

Time is of the essence. Don’t put your business at risk of losing $100,000+ an hour when the options to avoid it are so accessible. The road to recovery is straight ahead, and we’re here to guide you.

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