Tag: Azure Site Recovery

Azure Friday Windows Server Azure Hybrid Cloud Windows Admin Center

Azure Friday: Connect Windows Server to Azure Hybrid services

Last Friday, I had the honor to be part of the Azure Friday show with Scott Hanselman. On this Azure Friday episode, I was talking about how you can connect Windows Server to Azure Hybrid Cloud services using Windows Admin Center. You can watch the full episode here:

If you want to know more about the Azure Hybrid services and Windows Server, check out the following blog post and Microsoft Docs articles:

Back at the time of the recording, we didn’t have the chance to talk about Azure Arc, but if you want to know more about Azure Arc, check out my blog post and my session from Microsoft Ignite, as well as the Microsoft Ignite Live stage interview with Jian Yan. I hope you liked this Azure Friday episode about how you can connect Windows Server to Azure Hybrid services with Windows Admin Center. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

Configure Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

With the Hybrid Cloud effort, Microsoft invested heavy to make Windows Server and Hyper-V better connect to Microsoft Azure. One way of doing that is with Windows Admin Center and Azure Site Recovery. The Azure Site Recovery integration in Windows Admin Center, allows you to easily replicate Hyper-V virtual machines to Microsoft Azure. The technology is not new, ASR does exist for a long time and allows you to not only replicate Hyper-V VMs, but also VMware VMs and physical servers. However, with the integration in Windows Admin Center, setting up Azure Site Recovery became super easy.

Set up Azure Site Recovery from Windows Admin Center

Setup VM Protection in Windows Admin Center_LI

In the Virtual Machines extension, you can already see a recommendation to setup ASR: “Help protect your VMs from disasters by using Azure Site Recovery.” Which will guide you through the onboarding steps. If you don’t see that banner, just click on the VM you want to protect and replicate to Azure. Click on More and select “Set up VM Protection“, this will guide you through the same wizard.

If you haven’t connected your Windows Admin Center to Microsoft Azure yet, the wizard will help you to go through and set up this connection.

Setup up Hyper-V ASR Host with Windows Admin Cenetr

After your WAC is connected to Azure, you will now setup Azure Site Recovery for the Hyper-V host in Azure. This can directly be done from Windows Admin Center. For example, this will let you select the Azure Subscription you want ASR to connect to. It will let you create a new Resource Group and Recovery Services Vault or use an existing one. After you have done the configuration part, WAC will create the specific Azure resources and configure the Hyper-V host for Azure Site Recovery. This can take up to 10 minutes depending if you are using existing resources or creating new once.

If you have a look at the Hyper-V Replica settings in Hyper-V Manager, you will see that ASR is completely setup and configured.



Azure to Azure Site Recovery

Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines using ASR

Microsoft today announced the public preview of disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines. This is Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for the Azure-to-Azure scenario. With that, you can replicate Azure virtual machines (VMs) from one Azure Region to another Azure Region, without deploying any other infrastructure components such as software appliances. Cross-region disaster recovery (DR) feature is now available in all Azure public regions where ASR is available. Let’s have a quick look at how you can achieve Disaster Recovery for Azure VMs.

The Azure documentation describes it the following way:

In addition to the built-in Azure infrastructure capabilities and features that contribute to a robust and resilient availability strategy for workloads running on Azure VMs, there are several reasons why you need to plan for disaster recovery between Azure regions yourself:

  • Your compliance guidelines for specific apps and workloads require a Business continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) strategy.
  • You want the ability to protect and recover Azure VMs based on your business decisions, and not only based on inbuilt Azure functionality.
  • You need to be able to test failover and recovery following your business and compliance needs, with no impact on production.
  • You need to be able to failover to the recovery region in the event of a disaster and failback to the source region seamlessly.

Azure to Azure VM replication using Site Recovery helps you to do all the above.

Azure to Azure Site Recovery Setup

To set this up, you have to create an Azure Recovery Vault. This Recovery vault cannot be in the same region as the source virtual machines, because if the region is down, you will not have access to the vault.

Azure ASR Configuration Settings

From that, you can choose to create a new Replication and select the virtual machines you want to replicate. You can select the virtual machines you want to replicate. In the end, you choose the target location and create the needed target resources and start the replication.

This will now allow you to failover your virtual machines to another Azure region.

Azure ASR Failover

Source Microsoft

There are some limitations right now, like no support for managed disks or limited operating system support. Check out the Azure Site Recovery support matrix for replicating from Azure to Azure for more support information.

Azure Site Recovery now allows you to replicate Virtual Machines from:

Azure Site Recovery Overview

  • On-premise Hyper-V Servers
  • On-Premise Hyper-V using System Center Virtual Machine Manager
  • On-Premise Physical Servers
  • Virtual Machines from AWS
  • Virtual Machines from another Azure Region

I hope this blog post gives you an overview of how you can use Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for disaster recovery (DR) of Azure IaaS VMs. By the way, if you want to configure on-premises Hyper-V to Azure disaster recovery using ASR, check my blog post about how you can configure this, using Windows Admin Center. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Passed Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

A couple of weeks ago I passed Microsoft Exam 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions, which is focused on implementing and designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure solutions such as Azure Websites or Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS). I think taking this exam and preparing for it was a great idea. Even if I have already done a couple of projects on Azure I still learned a lot during the preparation and you can find some of the best practices. Since Azure is a huge beast and the rapid deployment of new features, you will definitely find some new stuff you didn’t know before during the preparation for the exam. And of course taking new Microsoft Certifications early helps you to stand out in the IT Pro or Developer world. Of course passing exams alone does not make you an expert, but if you have know-how on a topic it’s is always got to have some kind of paper to prove it.

So what are the skills measured for this exam. The exam 70-533 focuses on 6 topics, Azure Websites, Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Storage, Azure Active Directory and Virtual Networks. To my surprise I got a really good score on Azure Websites and of course Virtual Machines, since I used to run several of them on Azure. I also found out that Azure Active Directory is one of the parts I have to invest a little more.

Skills measured

Implement websites (15-20%)

  • Deploy websites
    • Define deployment slots; roll back deployments, configure and deploy packages, deploy web jobs, schedule web jobs
  • Configure websites
    • Configure app settings, connection strings, handlers, and virtual directories; configure certificates, custom domains, and traffic manager; configure SSL bindings and runtime configurations; manage websites by using Windows PowerShell and Xplat-CLI
  • Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics
    • Retrieve diagnostics data; view streaming logs; configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics; monitor website resources
  • Configure scale and resilience
    • Configure auto-scale using built-in and custom schedules; configure by metric; change the size of an instance
  • Manage hosting plans
    • Create hosting plans; migrate websites between hosting plans; create a website within a hosting plan

Implement virtual machines (15-20%)

  • Deploy workloads on Azure virtual machines (VMs)
    • Identify supported Microsoft workloads; deploy and connect to a Linux VM; create VMs
  • Implement images and disks
    • Create specialized and generalized images for Windows and Linux; copy images between storage accounts and subscriptions; upload VHDs
  • Perform configuration management
    • Automate configuration management by using PowerShell Desired State Configuration and custom script extensions; enable puppet and chef extensions
  • Configure VM networking
    • Settings include reserved IP addresses, access control list (ACL), internal name resolution, DNS at the cloud service level, load balancing endpoints, HTTP and TCP health probes, public IPs, firewall rules, direct server return, and Keep Alive
  • Configure VM resiliency
    • Scale up and scale down VM sizes; auto-scale; configure availability sets
  • Design and implement VM storage
    • Configure disk caching; plan storage capacity; configure operating system disk redundancy; configure shared storage using Azure File service; configure geo-replication; encrypt disks
  • Monitor VMs
    • Configure endpoint monitoring, alerts, and diagnostics

Implement cloud services (15-20%)

  • Configure cloud services and roles
    • Configure instance count and size, operating system version and family, upgrade and fault domains, ACLs, reserved IPs, and network access rules; configure local storage; configure dedicated and co-located caching, local and cloud configurations, and local disks; configure multiple websites; configure custom domains
  • Deploy and manage cloud services
    • Upgrade a deployment; VIP swap a deployment; package a deployment; modify configuration files; perform in-place updates; perform runtime configuration changes using the portal; scale a cloud service; create service bus namespaces and choose a tier; apply scalability targets
  • Monitor cloud services
    • Monitor service bus queues, topics, relays, and notification hubs; configure diagnostics

Implement storage (15-20%)

  • Implement blobs and Azure files
    • Read data; change data; set metadata on a container; use encryption (SSL); perform an async blob copy; configure a Content Delivery Network (CDN); implement storage for backup and disaster recovery; configure Azure Backup; define blob hierarchies; configure custom domains; configure the Import and Export Service
  • Manage access
    • Create and manage shared access signatures; use stored access policies; regenerate keys
  • Configure diagnostics, monitoring, and analytics
    • Configure retention policies and logging levels; analyze logs
  • Implement SQL databases
    • Choose the appropriate database tier and performance level; configure point in time recovery and geo-replication; import and export data and schema; design a scaling strategy
  • Implement recovery services
    • Create a backup vault; deploy a backup agent; back up and restore data

Implement an Azure Active Directory (15-20%)

  • Integrate an Azure AD with existing directories
    • Implement DirSync, O365 integration, and single sign-on with on-premises Windows Server 2012 R2; add custom domains; monitor Azure AD
  • Configure the Application Access Panel
    • Configure single sign-on with SaaS applications using federation and password based; add users and groups to applications; revoke access to SaaS applications; configure access; federation with Facebook and Google ID
  • Integrate an app with Azure AD
    • Web apps (WS-federation); desktop apps (OAuth); graph API

Implement virtual networks (15-20%)

  • Configure a virtual network
    • Deploy a VM into a virtual network; deploy a cloud service into a virtual network; configure static IPs; configure internal load balancing; design subnets
  • Modify a network configuration
    • Modify a subnet; import and export a network configuration
  • Design and implement a multi-site or hybrid network
    • Choose the appropriate solution between ExpressRoute, site-to-site, and point-to-site; choose the appropriate gateway; identify supported devices and software VPN solutions; identify networking prerequisites; configure regional virtual networks and multi-site virtual networks

Preparation

To prepare for the exam I used several different resources such as Microsoft Virtual Academy, TechNet, Channel9 and of course Microsoft Azure it self. I also found some great community blogs which have some link summaries:

If you are going to take this exam I wish you good luck.

Update: Microsoft retired some of the Azure exams and replace them by new ones. One of the is the AZ-100 series, which will give you the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator, and is addressing the 70-533.



Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

Disaster Recovery using Azure Site Recovery

Nearly a year ago Microsoft released a Disaster Recovery solution called Hyper-V Recovery Manager. This was basically a hosted orchestration engine in Microsoft Azure which allowed you to orchestrate datacenter failovers using the in Hyper-V build in feature called Hyper-V Replica.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

In 2014 Microsoft invested a lot of work and time to improve this service and in January 2014 HRM changed the name to Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • In January 2014 Microsoft announced GA of the Azure Site Recovery service which allowed you to use it for DR Orchestration between on-premises Hyper-V sites using Hyper-V Replica
  • In July 2014 Microsoft acquired a company called InMage and integrated DR Orchestration between on-premises VMware sites using the InMage solution.
  • In October 2014 Microsoft announced the GA for Azure Site Recovery DR Orchestration between Hyper-V on-premises and Microsoft Azure.

At TechEd Europe, Microsoft announced some new stuff coming in the next couple of months.

  • In November 2014 Microsoft will offer a public preview for Azure Site Recovery using SAN Replication. This allows you to use your existing SAN replication and orchestrate your DR with Microsoft Azure Site Recovery.
  • In 2015 Microsoft will allow you to use Azure Site Recovery to replicate your VMware and physical servers to Microsoft Azure.
  • With Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack, Microsoft integrated Azure Site Recovery as a plan or Add-on property for VM clouds. This allows service providers to offer Azure Site Recovery to customers as an option of a VM Cloud plan or Add-On.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services

This is just a quick overview about the possibilities you have with Azure Site Recovery. I will cover some advanced scenarios in with a series of blog posts in the next couple of weeks. Until then I would recommend you to watch the session with Michel Lüscher and me at System Center Universe Europe where we talked about the Azure Site Recovery solutions before the TechEd announcements.

 

 



Azure Site Recovery

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Preview

Microsoft today announced the preview of Disaster Recovery to Azure called Microsoft Azure Site Recovery. This also replaces HRM (Hyper-V Recovery Manager). Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR) allows you to orchestrate disaster recovery to a second site or directly to Azure.

Microsoft ASR

Both solutions use Microsoft on-prem technology like Windows Server Hyper-V Replica and System Center Virtual Machine Manager and you can start using them via the Microsoft Azure Management Portal.

In addition to enabling Microsoft Azure as a DR site in multiple geographies, this preview also includes an impressive list of features for enabling virtual machine replication to Azure:

  • At-Scale Configuration
    You can configure the protection and replication of VM settings in a private cloud and configure and connect on-prem networks with Azure Networks. Those VM’s are then only replicated to customer-owned and managed geo-redundant Azure Storage.
  • Variable Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
    This feature provides support for near-synchronous data replication with RPOs as low as 30 seconds. You can also retain consistent snapshots at desired frequency for a 24-hour window.
  • Data Encryption
    VM Virtual Hard Disks can be encrypted at rest using a secure, customer-managed encryption key that ensures best-in-class security and privacy for your application data when it is replicating to Azure. This encryption key is known only to the customer and it is needed for the failover of VM’s to Azure. Simply put: All of this service’s traffic within Azure is encrypted.
  • Self-Service Disaster Recovery
    With ASR you get full support for DR drills via test failover, planned failover with a zero-data loss, unplanned failover, and failback.
  • One-Click Orchestration
    ASR also provides easy-to-create, customizable Recovery Plans to ensure one-click failovers and failbacks that are always accurate, consistent, and help you achieve your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) goals.
  • Audit and Compliance Reporting with Reliable Recovery
    DR testing and drills can be performed without any impact to production workloads. This means you get risk-free, high-confidence testing that meets your compliance objectives. You can run these non-disruptive test failovers whenever you like, as often as you like. Also, with the ability to generate reports for every activity performed using the service, you can meet all your audit requirements.

ASR does not only help you in terms of Disaster Recovery, it also allows you to quickly and easily migrate your Virtual Machines to Azure or create a new dev environment.

Check out the ASR session at TechEd 2014 and Brad Andersons blog about the release of the Azure Site Recovery Preview.

Once you’re ready to see what ASR can do for you, you can check out pricing information, sign up for a free trial, or learn more about the product specs.