Wildfires are a reality that can strike at any moment. The Camp Fire that swept through the town of Paradise, CA in 2018 took a terrible toll on its residents, destroying more than 80% of their homes. Houses that survived did so because their owners had been proactive in protecting their property. They prepared well in advance by doing things like planting fire-resistant hardwood trees or covering vents with mesh screens to prevent smoldering material from getting in.
Companies should approach the maintenance of their software applications in the same way. Just like a house, software applications represent substantial investments that would result in disaster if significantly damaged. If your app lives in Microsoft Azure, you can use a service provided called Azure Site Recovery (ASR). This article provides an overview of how ASR works to help minimize downtime and ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.
1. Workload Replication
Azure Site Recovery guarantees application uptime by replicating workloads to a secondary location. In the event of an outage at the primary location, traffic is automatically redirected to the secondary location to make sure the applications remain accessible. It’s important to note that ASR can replicate workloads from on-premises servers in addition to Azure VMs. This means applications that are not hosted in the cloud can still take advantage of one of the major benefits of cloud computing – the ability to quickly provision and scale resources when you need it most.
2. Low RTO and RPO
Another important feature of ASR is the ability to have very low recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) at a reasonable cost. RTO is how quickly the applications will be online in the secondary site, and RPO is how much data loss would occur in the event of a failover. It’s ideal to have low standards for both of these situations, but that traditionally means higher costs for your disaster recovery plan. Azure Site Recovery can provide RTO and RPO within minutes out of the box – and at a comparatively low cost.
The last feature to highlight here is testing. Having a plan in place is great, but it’s essential to be able to verify that it works as needed. Testing other disaster recovery solutions can be time-consuming. Azure Site Recovery makes it possible to execute and verify a test failover scenario with only a few clicks of the mouse.
More information about additional features that Azure Site Recovery provides can be found here. Microsoft also has an extremely helpful quick start guide that walks through how to get started with Azure Site Recovery. If you have questions about how to implement ASR or your application requires advanced configuration, for more info!