Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is an excellent option for your Disaster Recovery (DR) needs:
- If you are running the on-premises data center or physical machine and are worried about the initial cost of new hardware.
- Setting up on-premises DR procurement and setup is costly and time-consuming.
- Planning to migrate resources to the cloud in the future.
- Setting up DR – Offsite or onsite.
- If you are looking for availability and scalability in the long run
You will encounter the following challenges when you plan to have DR offsite.
- Setting up networking infrastructure and security
- No KB article is available for the simplest way to configure the ASR server.
- Downtime to install the software agent on the infrastructure.
You will need below information to setup the configuration server:
- Nic with the static IP for the source on-premises infrastructure
- Azure Admin account to config for Azure
- VMware On-Prem hostname or IP address
- vSphere domain admin cred to configure the Azure Site Recovery
- Port 433 and 9443 need to open for a secure connection between the On-prem and Azure environments.
When you plan to start Azure Site Recovery, build an on-premises configuration server using Azure Site Recovery for disaster recovery of VMware VMs and physical Machines to Azure. The configuration server must prepare and coordinate communications between on-premises VMware and Azure and manage data replication.
Below are the steps for managing the configuration server after deployment:
- Create on-premises VM and per recommended by the data size CPU 4core, RAM 12 and HDD 500 GB (Cache the temp data)
- Register your Configuration server on-premises.
- Download the Configuration server virtual machine template.
- Import the Configuration server virtual machine template into your vCenter server using the Deploy OVF Template wizard.
- Connect to the virtual machine’s console once it has successfully booted up.
- Complete the Windows Server installation by accepting the license agreement and setting up an Administrator account.
- Once the Windows installation is complete, install VMware PowerCLI 6.0 on the Configuration server.
- Launch the Azure Site Recovery Configuration Manager wizard and follow the steps to register your Configuration server with Azure Site Recovery.
- Sign in to the on-prem VM you created for the config server and Start Azure Site Recovery Configuration Manager from the desktop shortcut.
- Another way you can access the configuration server remotely is from https://ConfigurationServerName/:44315/. Or you can access the server via RDP Sign in with administrator credentials.
- After sign-in, select Add vCenter Server/vSphere ESXi server to associate a different VMware server with the configuration server.
- Please enter the details like vSphere IP address and credential, and then select OK.
- To update the credentials used to connect to the VMware server for automatic discovery of VMware VMs, choose the account and click Edit after sign-in in.
- Enter the new credentials created to access the On-prem VM, then select OK.
- Create the Vault account on Azure and set up the Network between on-premises to Azure.
- Once the Network and Vault account is set up, install the Agent on the replication server & start the initial replication.
- Once replication is complete for the protected server, please feel free to initiate the test failed over.
- After the test failed over, feel free to clean up the test-failed infrastructure and check the recovery vault account health.
Benefits of Azure Site Recovery for DR
Once you set up the ASR using the configuration server and data starts replicating from On-prem VMware infrastructure to Azure, you can quickly fail over and fail back once needed. It will also help you to migrate the workload to the Azure cloud without much effort.
- Reduces operational and maintenance costs.
- Easily add/remove the critical server from the replication.
- No limitation on infrastructure - you can easily upgrade the configuration server and add more servers for replication.
- Once ASR setup and data start replicating, it’s easy to manage.
- Replicates the data offsite.
- In case of DR or ransomware, easily commit the changes for the restore point.
- RTO/RPO up to 5 seconds to 15 minutes
- No data loss in the transition
- When you need to switch the load or think about migrating it from On-prem to Azure, will it help you efficiently cut the load from On-Prem?
- Replication will be on secure connections 443 and 9443 using the automation account.
- Maintenance will be low every year or twice a year. ASR Agent and configuration server need to be updated.
- Set up Azure monitoring in case of failure and integrate it with the ticketing system.
- Data availability as per Microsoft Azure SLA 99.99 is available.
Senior Cloud Consultant