Monthly Archives: January 2018

  • What's the Difference? Azure Backup Vault Vs Site Recovery

    azure vault azure site recovery

    Business consistency needs vary from organization to organization. Larger IT organizations with heavier dependency on applications require more robust business consistency and disaster recovery. However, smaller, less dependent IT implementations may not need as intensive plans for data back-up and recovery as enterprise-class customers. Microsoft Azure provides two different models from which to choose with its recovery services

    · Backup Vault or the newer Azure Recovery Services Vault

    · Site Recovery Services

    The names of these two services suggest they cover the same needs, but they are different models. Backup Vault is used to perform backups that most organizations currently use. With Azure, the Backup Vault/Azure Recovery Services Vault replaces older technology with backup to the cloud. With Backup Vault more granular backup and restoration can be done down to individual files.

    Meanwhile, Site Recovery services is a different model for business recovery altogether. Site Recovery services replicates entire site data, physical servers, VMs and even network services. In this manner, an entire site has redundancy for high availability, failover and failback services. With a Site Recovery subscription, business consistency is achieved through replication either from an on-premise to cloud model or a cloud to cloud model.

    The distinction between Backup Vault and Site Recovery services is that, while both operate by storing data to the cloud for business consistency and disaster recovery, they achieve similar goals differently. Backup Vault uses the traditional method of backup but without the necessity of tape, using the Azure cloud instead. Site Recovery services achieves business consistency by site replication and failover/failback operations.

    Azure Backup Vault

    Azure Backup Vault is a backup solution most familiar to IT personnel where data is backed up so that it can be restored as necessary. The traditional method was to backup to tapes and send them off site. With Azure Backup Vault, tapes and tape drives are no longer necessary as data is backed up to the Azure cloud-based vault. Cost is reduced through the elimination of older equipment and the reduction of restoration time with backed up data always available.

    Backup Vault works as a cloud-to-cloud implementation where cloud-based VMs and data can be backed-up to the Backup Vault without disruption to services. Additionally, on-premise physical servers and VMs can be backed up to the Azure Backup Vault by installing an agent to handle the management of backup policies.

    A wide array of backup components may be used with Backup Vault to accomplish business consistency and disaster recovery goals. Azure Backup (MARS) agent is used for on-

    premise physical and VM server to backup data just like a traditional backup paradigm but without the need for a backup server. System Center DPM provides a wider variety of backup options including Linux OS backups from VMs and even options for on-premise tapes. Azure Backup Server has as many options as System Center DPM without tape support. Azure IaaS VM Backup will backup VM servers but only allows for restoration at the server level.

    Scenarios for the various components differ with some overlap. Also, Linux support among these various components differs, but all are effective ways to protect data for business consistency using a traditional backup model. For more information about Backup Vault components as well as specific OS and application backup support, contact your representative at Royal Discount.

    Azure Recovery Services Vault

    Azure Site Recovery is a new service with more advanced options for large instances and enterprises. Backup Vaults are still supported but can no longer be created since it was based on Azure Service Manager as an early version of the vaults. Recovery Services Vaults are the second version in which Azure Resource Manager model features were introduced. As such, Recovery Services Vault contains features not available in the original Backup Vault. Upgrades to Recovery Services Vault are available and retain backup data as part of the upgrade process.

    New features in Recovery Services Vault include:

    · Enhanced security features for backup that allow for data recovery even if production and backup servers are compromised

    · Central monitoring of hybrid IT environments which extends monitoring of assets from Azure IaaS VMs to on-premise assets from a central point.

    · Role-Based Access Control: there are three built-in roles to manage recovery points in Azure Recovery Services Vault so backup and restore user controls can be enforced.

    · All types of Azure VMs are protected: Premium Disks, Managed Disks and Encrypted VMs are all protected in the new Azure Resource Manager model. Upgraded vaults will retain former Service Manager recovery points while gaining the ability to configure protection policies for the upgraded Resource Manager-based VMs.

    · Instantly restore data from IaaS VMs: whereas Service Manager-based IaaS VMs in Backup Vault could only be restored to the VM level, new Resource Manager-based IaaS VMs can be restored down to the folder and file level within the VM. This new feature provides faster data restoration for both Windows and Linux OS VMs.

    Azure Site Recovery Services

    Site Recovery Services follows a more robust model for business consistency and disaster recovery by allowing full site replication for failover and failback events. With redundant sites, even down to network configurations, business consistency meets high availability standards for larger, more technically dependent organizations.

    With Site Recovery Services, a wide range of requirements can be met and managed to include even manual intervention for more specialized applications. Microsoft has tested many widely used applications and workloads for replication and site recovery. Site Recovery Services even provides burst services for high-demand operational time-frames along with a large number of tools to assess, manage and monitor assets for optimal business consistency.

    Why Choose Backup Vault/Recovery Services Vault?

    Vault-based backup and recovery deployments follow a traditional model of business consistency and disaster recovery by backing up data in a variety of policies, some even with tape systems. On-premise, hybrid implementations without the need for high availability can easily manage backups. Upgrading to Recovery Services Vault for Resource Manager-based features improves backup management and security while retaining the components to allow for flexible backup models that use either cloud or tape backup technology. Additional security features in Recovery Services Vault provide advanced restoration even for compromised systems.

    Why Choose Site Recovery Services?

    With high availability needs, an organization is able to use Site Recovery Services to meet higher demands for business consistency and disaster recovery. Sites are replicated even to the network level while a wide range of applications and workloads can be accommodated for failover/failback events, testing new applications, and increased workload demands all while retaining security through encrypted connections. Site Recovery Services meets the needs for the highest of IT environment demands at cost.

    To determine your business consistency and disaster recovery needs, consider the dynamics of your organization and the demands placed on your IT environment. If high availability for your site is a priority, then Azure Sire Recovery Services may fit your needs. If high availability is not an issue, you may find Azure's vault-based technology to be the best answer for data protection. Consider upgrading your existing Backup Vault to Recovery Services Vault to leverage new, advanced features. Have questions? Learn more at - To request more information on cloud services, speak with our Microsoft licensing experts at 1-877-292-7712.

  • Azure Site Recovery Migration & Deployment Guide

    azure site recovery migration

    Starting from the Beginning

    All the research has been completed. All the decisions have been made to use Azure Site Recovery. Now the real work begins with planning the deployment. Beyond creating an Azure Portal account and budgeting for cloud storage and other services, decisions must now be made to execute the move to the cloud and/or site recovery. Current information is needed for determining what VM servers can be migrated or replicated to the cloud.

    Fortunately, new and old customers of Azure services alike can take advantage of one tool to assist with planning and completing a Site Recovery implementation. The Site Recovery Deployment Planner for VMware and Hyper-V presents a handy set of features that easily assists with planning your Site Recovery project, so you can successfully complete the project while meeting all the requirements defined for business consistency and disaster recovery.

    How the Deployment Planner Assists

    The latest version of the planner is now available for enterprise customers and provides insights into an IT environment. The tool delivers enterprise customers with three key types of information:

    1. Customers with either VMware and/or Hyper-V VMs can determine the scope of their on-premises network requirements based on their current number of servers and application demands.

    2. The planner also assists with calculating storage requirements for satisfactory replication to Site Recovery storage.

    3. Also, the planner assesses infrastructure needs for test failover or application failovers.

    With these key data points, customers can determine their precise infrastructure requirements to estimate their total costs involved for meeting disaster recovery needs. With the tool, total cost estimates and licenses can be determined for an associated subscription with currency specified to generate a report that includes needs and pricing for compute, storage, network and Site Recovery. The tool's reporting can be completed without installing any software or creating a negative impact on the existing VM environment since it collects performance data directly from VM environment host servers (either Hyper-V or VMware hosts).

    Information Gathered by the Deployment Planner Tool

    By using the planner, the following information will be extracted to discover infrastructure topography and meet project objectives with precision:

    · Compatibility Assessment - VM servers are assessed for eligibility for use in Azure with Site Recovery

    · Network bandwidth needs versus Recovery Point Objects (RPO) - this provides estimates for required bandwidth for delta replication, expected throughput for Site Recovery between on-premises equipment to Azure, what RPO can be achieved given existing bandwidth, and any impact to RPO for choosing a lower bandwidth.

    · Required Microsoft Azure infrastructure - determine the following factors based on VMs: type of storage needed (standard or premium), the total number of accounts necessary (standard or premium) when setting up replication, storage-account placement of all VMs, how many cores will be needed for test and application failovers, and Azure VM size recommendations for on-premise VMs

    · Required on-premise infrastructure - the required free storage of volumes for Hyper-V volumes for successful replication, copy frequency maximums for Hyper-V replication and requirements for the number of process and configuration servers for VMware replication to Azure scenarios.

    · Guidance for initial replication batching - the planner determines the number of VMs that can be initially replicated.

    · Estimates for disaster recovery (DR) cost with Azure - specifics for total DR cost with detailed cost analysis for each VM

    · Determining growth estimates - future demands for on-premise workload and demand growth are assessed for future planning and budget projections.

    Deployment Planner Modes and Output

    The planner runs in three modes to generate effective reports, so enterprise customers can create the most complete picture of their IT needs and the scope of the project:

    1. Profiling mode gathers information for on-site VM equipment and existing VMs to gain an overall profile of performance by connecting to host servers for Hyper-V or VMware hosted VMs. A number of performance counters are gathered over several days up to a month for an accurate picture of site needs for storage, compute, network, and Site Recovery infrastructure as well as bandwidth discovery.

    2. The planner summary mode generates a report from the data created while in profiling mode. A generated report in the form of a spreadsheet details: current information, creates recommendations, determines storage needs, details which VMs are compatible and which are not, assesses Hyper-V requirements for storage and batching as well as provides cost estimates.

    3. Network bandwidth is determined with the Throughput Calculation mode. With this mode, bandwidth needs, and recommendations are provided even if throttling is necessary.

    With the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner, enterprise-class customers can achieve all expectations and requirements from Microsoft Azure for best outcomes of deployment. To learn more about Microsoft Azure Site Recovery and the Deployment Planner for VMs, contact our experts at - Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.

  • Azure Portal Changes - ARM - What You Need to Know

    Microsoft Azure Portal

    Azure Classic Portal Closes

    Azure portal has been in use for some time now with all new features available. Azure Classic Portal will no longer be available as of 1/8/2018 and, while users need not be concerned with their access to resources, there are new features available in the updated version of Azure Resource Manager. Find out what you can expect from the Azure portal change.

    First, Azure Classic Portal users shouldn't be concerned with the change. All services and resources will be retained in the new portal. All functions and features are improved as the closure of the previous version allows Microsoft to streamline portal management functions.

    New Portal, New Features

    The latest version of Azure Portal, also known as Azure Resource Manager, features several new features, allowing users to take advantage of resource management improvements over Azure Classic Portal:

    · Search features improve user resource management by finding objects with greater ease. Available from the navigation bar, productivity is much easier as users can find anything from resources, to documentation to services with a quick search.

    · New browsing for resources adds additional improvements for managing Azure components and assets. Using a variety of filters, you can now browse through resources for monitoring and management information whether by subscription, location or both.

    · Users can also execute actions on multiple Azure resources for quicker, easier management. For instance, one, or several VMs can be chosen for starting with just a few clicks.

    · Additionally, Azure resources can now be better managed with tags. Resources can now be grouped using these tag annotations to find them by customizable grouping such as applications or type. Tags are even available for review of billing information and multiple resources can be annotated or removed from tags at one time.

    · The ARM interface is now consistent for ease of use. Common overviews of VMs and other resources are displayed including metrics, available actions, resource information, core platform capabilities and much more. Appearance patterns are consistent across type of resource to reduce confusion during management functions.

    · Users can now customize the portal by views, observing what's most important for resource management needs in Azure. Customizations include items in the left navigation bar, 4 available themes, support for 18 languages, browse list columns, and the following…

    · A variety of dashboards provide visual information designed to afford users with timely, helpful monitoring information and access to resource management. Dashboards can be managed by dragging and dropping tiles or with programmatic controls, then shared with other Azure portal users. For example, these fully customizable dashboards could include Azure Resource Manager tiles for Data or Actions. Add a VM instance to these tiles to respectively see information or available commands.

    · The integrated console allows both GUI and command line control, the latter via use of Cloud Shell. Shift to either Bash or PowerShell with a click and gain authenticated, browser-based command-line functions.

    · Azure Resource Manager provides many resource management templates for improved control of automation in the Azure environment. With over 600 searchable templates, users can find batch commands and edit them for specific uses. Quick-start templates can be loaded and executed from the gallery, then saved to a library of customized templates. Additionally, templates applied to any resource or grouping is displayed in resource information along with code for running automations for even an entire group whether in CLI, PowerShell, .Net or Ruby

    · Azure Advisor displays essential information for cost and planning. Available in the left navigation pane, the advisor is a valuable tool for obtaining best recommendations for cost, security and planning and more for all subscriptions in an account.

    · The new Azure portal offers improved resource monitoring. The monitor is also available in the left Navigation Bar and uses the same UX patterns as discussed earlier for ease of use.

    · Additionally, the Azure portal allows for greater ease of resource cost optimization. Users can easily understand charges in the Azure portal with a single click to analyze billing and cost effectiveness.

    · Users now have access to needed resource information via the Azure Portal Mobile App, available anytime, anywhere. Connection and control of Azure resources are just a touch away after downloading the app to a mobile device.

    · The Azure portal also provides access to preview upcoming changes to the portal so that users can provide feedback before implementation of new features and updates. Clicking the Preview stamp allows you to engage with new features and send your feedback.

    The new Azure portal offers all the necessary features plus new ones with ease of use and flexibility that user's need. Find the portal and or explore other solutions like Azure Backup. To learn more about Microsoft Azure Portal accessibility and features, contact our experts at - Your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.