Disaster Recovery solution within Azure – Part 2

On the previous post (see here), I create the Recovery Service vault that is required to configured the Site Recovery infrastructure to protect the workloads, in order to have a Disaster Recovery solution within Azure. In the post, I will show how you can protect your workloads (Azure VMs) from one region into another region.

First step is to prepare the infrastructure. Azure Site Recovery have many scenarios that you can protect the workloads, but in these case, I will only cover the Azure VM protection to another region.

As mention on the previous blog post, my workloads are running on the West US 2 region. After creating the Recovery Services vault on East US 2 region, I need to prepare the infrastructure.

To step up the infrastructure follow the steps:

  1. On the Recovery Services vault, click on Site Recovery, under GETTING STARTED
  2. It will open another blade. Click on Prepare Infrastructure

  3. Select Azure – PREVIEW, under Where are your machines located?
  4. Make sure that you select To Azure on Where do you want to replicate your machines to?
  5. Click OK

  6. Fill all the details required:
    1. Source Location – is the region where your workloads are running
    2. Azure virtual machine deployment model – make sure that you select Resource Manager
    3. Source resource group – is the recourse group where your workloads are running
      NOTE: If you have more than one resource group on the same region, you must run this setup again, to add more workloads located on another resource group.
  7. Click OK to proceed
  8. Select the workloads that you want to protect.
  9. Click OK

  10. On the Configure settings blade, click Create target resources button to conclude the preparation of the infrastructure.
    NOTE: Under Target location, by default choose the location where you create the Recovery Services vault, although you can select another region where do you want to replicate too. It’s not recommend that you choose the location where your workloads are running.

  11. If you do want to change the default settings, then you can click on Customize. Otherwise you can skip to the last step.
    There are two different settings that you can customize:

    1. Resource group, Network, Storage and Availability sets – On this setting you will configure witch resource group, network, storage account and availability set your workload will run, when your failover the virtual machine.
    2. Replication policy – is where you change the name of the replication policy, RPO and the frequency of the replication.
  12. If you want to change any of the following setting:
    1. Target resource group – This is the Resource group where your workload will run in case of failover. On the drop down, list you will see only the resource group available on the region that you previous select. Although you can either create a new (by default) or use an existing one.
    2. Target virtual network – This is where you can define witch network your workload will run in case of failover. On the drop down, list you will see only the networks available on the region that you previous select. Although you can either create a new (by default) or use an existing one.
    3. Storage accounts
      1. Target Storage – This is where your workload will be replicated too. On the drop down, list you will see only the storages accounts available on the region that you previous select. Although you can either create a new (by default) or use an existing one.
      2. Cache Storage – This is where your workload will be replicated too. On the drop down, list you will see only the storages accounts available on the region that you previous select. Although you can either create a new (by default) or use an existing one.
    4. Availability sets – This is availability set that your workload will be running in case of failover. On the drop down, list you will see only the availability sets available on the region that you previous select. Although you can either create a new (by default), use an existing one or choose not to set an availability set (Not Applicable option).
  13. After you change the settings that you want, click OK

  14. If you want to change the policies setting, these are your options:
    1. Choose by creating a new policy or an existing one.
      NOTE: If you are running these for the first time, it’s recommended that you create a new policy. Although if you are running for the second or more times, you can either choose an existing policy (if the settings are the same) or create a new policy, if the settings are different. It’s not recommended that you create new policies with the same settings.
    2. Name – This is where you can change the name of the policy
    3. Recovery point retention – This is where you can configure how long do you want to keep each recovery point.
    4. App consistent snapshot frequency – This is where you can choose the frequency of the replication.
  15. After you change the settings that you want, click OK

  16. Click Enable replication button, to start the workload protection.

  17. After the configuration is done. Azure will start to replicate the workload from on region to another. The time of the replication it will depend on the size of the disks attached to the workload.

All this process is live. That means you don’t have any downtime while Azure is doing the initial replication.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
Azure MVP

azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Disaster Recovery solution within Azure – Part 1

We know that in the Public Cloud, special Azure, we are cover by the SLA. Although some organizations like to be redundant where it comes to critical workloads. In this post I will cover how you can setup a Disaster Recovery solution within Azure.

In this case I have all my critical workloads running on West US 2 region and the East US 2 is my disaster recovery site.

The first step is to create the Recovery Vault. The Recovery Services Vault is feature inside Azure that makes everything work, as also known by Azure Site Recovery. You can have as many Recovery Services Vaults as you want. Each Recovery Services vault will have its own storage account associated, that means if you create more than one Recovery Service vault you will have more than one storage accounts.

When you create a Recovery Services vault, you need to choose the region where you want to store those workloads. That means the Recovery Services vault is acting as your destination, because of this it’s not recommended to create on the same region that your workloads are running.

To create the Recovery Services vault, follow the steps:

  1. Click on the Create Recovery vaults button
  2. Insert the following details
    1. Name
    2. Select the subscription that you want to create the Recovery Services Vault
    3. Create or Select an existing Resource Group
    4. Choose your location (this need to be a different region of the workloads that you want to protect)
  3. Click on the Create.
  4. After the creation of the Recovery Services vault, you just create the infrastructure require on Azure to setup all the services need.

There are some considerations when you create a Recovery Services vault to protect you workloads within Azure (this considerations are only for this scenario).

  1. At this present moment, you only create the infrastructure that supports Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup. You are not done yet. The next step is to configure either or both services (Site Recovery and Backup).
  2. If you want to use the Recovery Services for Site Recovery, you need to prepare the infrastructure that will support that. In this case, you need to decide what type of workloads you want to protect from where to Azure. If you want to protect workloads within Azure (i.e between regions), your source workloads (where they are running) should be in a different region. For optimal utilization try to use the “direct” DR Azure site (EastóWest or North óSouth).
  3. You can protect different regions to the same Recovery Service vault. Although the workloads should not be running on the region, that your Recovery Services is created.
  4. You don’t need to setup any VNet-to-VNet between the regions. Recovery Services uses the backbone of Azure, to connect to the workloads that you want to protect.

 

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
Azure MVP

azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Implementing Azure Site Recovery – Part 4 – Managing and Automating

After I post the series of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Planning considerations, I received an enormous quantity of feedback how It should be implemented, following those considerations. So, this is the last post of a series of 4 (see the first post here, second here and third here), about how to implement Azure site recovery based protection on the scenarios describe on the previous series posts.

If you want to visit the series where I talked about the ASR Planning Considerations, you can do it by select the right scenario:

After an on-premises computer appears in the portal with the Protected status, you can perform test failovers, planned failovers, or unplanned failovers. When you do so, the sequence of events differs, depending on the type of failover you choose:

  • In case of a test failover, you specify the Azure virtual network you want to fail over to. To prevent any possibility of impacting the production environment, this should be an isolated network. Site Recovery provisions a new Azure virtual machine in the virtual network by using replicas of the virtual disks that are residing in the Azure storage account. The protected virtual machine stays online. After you complete your testing, Site Recovery automatically delete the Azure virtual machine.
  • In case of a planned failover, Site Recovery shuts down the protected virtual machine to prevent the possibility of data loss. Next, it provisions the corresponding Azure virtual machine by using replicas of virtual disks residing in the Azure storage account. It also places the new virtual machine in a commit pending state. You must perform the commit action to complete the failover. The commit removes any existing recovery points in Azure storage.
  • In case of an unplanned failover, Site Recovery provisions the replica Azure virtual machine by using replicas of virtual disks residing in the Azure storage account. You can instruct Site Recovery to attempt to synchronize protected virtual machines and shut them down, but, in this scenario, such an action might not be possible. Alternatively, you can specify to use the latest recovery point available in Azure storage. Site Recovery will place the newly-provisioned Azure virtual machine in a commit pending state. You must perform the commit action to complete the failover. The commit removes any existing recovery points in Azure storage.

Note: With all three types of failover, if you enabled data encryption when you are running the Azure Site Recovery Provider setup, you must provide the encryption certificate as part of a failover.

When performing planned or unplanned failover, once your primary site is back online, you should protect the Azure virtual machines and establish reverse replication. This will allow you to fail back to the on-premises location without data loss.

Recovery plans

While it is possible to perform failover and failback of individual protected computers, it is more beneficial from the standpoint of business continuity to orchestrate disaster recovery of multiple computers. Site Recovery supports this scenario by allowing you to create recovery plans.

A recovery plan consists of one or more recovery groups, which serve as logical containers of protected virtual machines. You arrange groups in a sequence that dictates the order in which Site Recovery failover and failback bring the protected virtual machines online. Within this sequence, you can add pre and post actions. Each action can represent a manual recovery step or an Azure Automation runbook. By using Azure Automation, you have the option to fully automate your disaster recovery. You can also use it to provision and configure additional Azure components, such as load balancers.

Site Recovery uses a context variable to pass several parameters to the Azure Automation runbook. You can use these parameters to customize runbook activities. These parameters include:

  • RecoveryPlanName: Name of the Site Recovery plan.
  • FailoverType: Type of failover (test, planned, or unplanned).
  • FailoverDirection: Direction of the failover (from the primary site to Azure or from Azure to the primary site).
  • GroupID: Identifier of a group within the recovery plan.
  • VmMap. Collection of virtual machines within the group.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Implementing Azure Site Recovery – Part 3 – For VMware Virtual Machines and physical server

After I post the series of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Planning considerations, I received an enormous quantity of feedback how It should be implemented, following those considerations. So, this is the third post of a series of 4 (see the first post here and second here), about how to implement Azure site recovery based protection on the scenarios describe on the previous series posts.

If you want to visit the series where I talked about the ASR Planning Considerations, you can do it by select the right scenario:

In this post, you will step through a sample implementation of Site Recovery with the on-premises primary site and the secondary site that is residing in Azure. Your intention is to protect on-premises VMware virtual machines and physical servers. In this scenario, you are using VMware vCenter to manage your vSphere hosts. Your implementation will consist of the following tasks:

  1. Creating an Azure virtual network in your Azure subscription in the Azure region that meets your disaster recovery objectives.
  2. Creating an Azure storage account in the same subscription and the same region as the Azure virtual network.
  3. Setting up an account on the vSphere host or vCenter server to facilitate automatic discovery of VMware virtual machines.
  4. Preparing the configuration server to allow outbound access to the Azure URLs listed in the previous lesson and installing vSphere PowerCLI 6.0.
  5. Creating a Recovery Services vault in the same subscription and the same region as the storage account and the virtual network.
  6. Specifying the protection goal of your implementation. When using the Azure portal, this is the first task in Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure of the GETTING STARTED Wizard and involves answering the following two questions:
    1. Where do you want to replicate your machines? Select the To Azure option.
    2. Are your machines virtualized? Select the Yes, with VMware vSphere Hypervisor option.
  7. Setting up the source environment. This consists of the following steps:
    1. Adding the configuration server entry that is representing your on-premises configuration server.
    2. Downloading the Site Recovery Unified Setup installation file and the Recovery Services vault registration key to the configuration server. Run the installation by using the newly downloaded setup file and, when you receive a prompt, provide the vault registration key. As part of the installation, you will set up an instance of MySQL Server and specify its admin credentials. You will also be able to designate the port TCP 9443 on which the server will send and receive the replication data. You can modify it if needed.
    3. Running CSPSConfigtool.exe on the configuration server and adding the account you set up in step 3 that will perform automatic discovery of VMware virtual machines.
    4. Adding the vCenter server and vSphere host entries that are representing your on-premises virtualization environment in the Azure portal.
  8. Setting up the target environment. As part of this step, you must specify the post-failover deployment model. In this walkthrough, you will choose Resource Manager, but Site Recovery also supports the classic deployment model. At this point, you will also have a chance to verify that you can use the virtual network and the storage account that you created earlier to host replicas of protected virtual machines and their disks. You have the option to create the virtual network and the storage account if this is not the case.
  9. Setting up replication settings. This step involves configuring a replication policy and associating it with the configuration server you added in step 7.1. The policy includes settings such as copy frequency, recovery point retention, app-consistent snapshot frequency, and initial replication start time.
  10. Confirming that you have run the Capacity Planner. The wizard will include a drop-down list from which you need to select Yes, I have done it in order to successfully complete the Preparing infrastructure step.
  11. Selecting the VMware virtual machines and enabling their replication. This consists of the following steps:
    1. Installing the Mobility service on the virtual machines you intend to protect. You can perform the installation by initiating it from the process server, either by using your existing software deployment solution such as System Center Configuration Manager or doing it manually.
    2. Configuring Step 2: Replicate Applications of the GETTING STARTED Wizard in the Azure portal. You must specify the vCenter server or vSphere host you selected in step 7.4. In addition, you must select the process server if you installed it on a computer other than the configuration server. You also must select the Azure virtual network and the storage account you want to use to host replicas of protected virtual machines and their disks. In addition, this step involves selecting the VMware virtual machines that you want to protect. For each virtual machine, you can designate the account that the process server will use to install the Mobility service. You can also select disks that you want to exclude from replication and specify the size of the replica Azure virtual machine. Finally, you also must choose a replication policy that you want to take effect in this case.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga

Implementing Azure Site Recovery – Part 2 – For Hyper-V Virtual Machines in SCVMM Clouds

After I post the series of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Planning considerations, I received an enormous quantity of feedback how It should be implemented, following those considerations. So, this is the second post of a series of 4 (see the first post here), about how to implement Azure site recovery based protection on the scenarios describe on the previous series posts.

If you want to visit the series where I talked about the ASR Planning Considerations, you can do it by select the right scenario:

In this post, you will step through a sample implementation of Site Recovery with the on-premises primary site and the secondary site that is residing in Azure. Your intention is to protect on-premises Hyper-V virtual machines. In this scenario, you are using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage your Hyper-V hosts. Your implementation will consist of the following tasks:

  1. Creating one or more Azure virtual networks in your Azure subscription in the Azure region that meets your disaster recovery objectives.
  2. Creating an Azure storage account in the same subscription and the same region as the Azure virtual network.
  3. Creating a Recovery Services vault in the same subscription and the same region as the storage account and the virtual network.
  4. Preparing for the mapping of on-premises virtual machine networks to the Azure virtual networks. You need to make sure that all virtual machines you intend to protect are connected to the virtual machine networks you will be mapping to the Azure virtual networks.
  5. Specifying the protection goal of your implementation. When using the Azure portal, this is the first task in Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure of the GETTING STARTED Wizard and involves answering the following four questions:
    1. Where do you want to replicate your machines? Select the To Azure option.
    2. Are your machines virtualized? Select the Yes, with Hyper-V option.
    3. Are you using System Center VMM to manage your Hyper-V hosts? Select the Yes option.
    4. Are you managing the recovery site with another System Center VMM? Select the No option.
  6. Setting up the source environment. This consists of the following steps:
    1. Adding a System Center VMM server entry representing your on-premises VMM environment and selecting the VMM cloud that is hosting the virtual machines that you intend to protect.
    2. Downloading the Azure Site Recovery Provider setup file and Recovery Services vault registration key to the VMM server. Run the installation using the newly downloaded setup file and, when you receive a prompt, provide the vault registration key. You will also receive a prompt to accept or modify an SSL certificate for encryption of disks uploaded to the Recovery Services vault. Finally, you will have the option to enable synchronization of cloud metadata for all VMM clouds. Optionally, you can select individual VMM clouds that you want to be visible in the Azure portal.
    3. Downloading the setup file for the Azure Recovery Services agent and installing it on each Hyper-V host in the VMM cloud that is associated with the virtual machine network you will be mapping to the Azure virtual network.
  7. Setting up the target environment. As part of this step, you must specify the post-failover deployment model. In this walkthrough, you will choose Resource Manager, but Site Recovery also supports the classic deployment model. At this point, you will also have a chance to verify that you can use the virtual network and the storage account you created earlier to host replicas of protected virtual machines and their disks. You have the option to create the virtual network and the storage account if this is not the case. Finally, you must also configure network mapping between virtual machine networks and the Azure virtual network.
  8. Setting up replication settings. This step involves configuring a replication policy and associating it with the VMM cloud you selected in step 6.1. The policy includes settings such as copy frequency, recovery point retention, app-consistent snapshot frequency, and initial replication start time.
  9. Confirming that you have run the Capacity Planner. The wizard will include a drop-down list from which you need to select Yes, I have done it in order to successfully complete the Preparing infrastructure step.
  10. Selecting the VMM cloud and enabling its replication. This is part of Step 2: Replicate Applications in the GETTING STARTED Wizard. You will need to specify the VMM cloud you selected in step 6.1. You also will need to select the Azure virtual network and the storage account you want to use to host replicas of protected virtual machines and their disks. You also have the option to choose the target subnet. In addition, this step involves assigning the name to the target virtual machine and choosing its operating system. Finally, you also have to choose a replication policy that you want to take effect in this case.

Cheers,

Marcos Nogueira
azurecentric.com
Twitter: @mdnoga