Microsoft: Azure Site Recovery Review

Azure Site Recovery is Microsoft’s disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution that’s designed to help companies keep applications running during unplanned outages.

The Azure products and services by Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft are known on a global scale to be one of the most secure and accessible portfolio and cloud-based and data-focused solutions.

Azure Site Recovery was named a leader in Gartner’s 2019 “Magic Quadrant” for DRaaS.

See below to learn all about Microsoft Azure Site Recovery as a DRaaS solution:

The DRaaS market

The global disaster recovery as-a-service (DRaaS) market was estimated to be valued at $8.8 billion in 2022. It’s forecast to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% from 2022 to 2027, reaching a value of $23.5 billion by the end of it.

Some of Azure’s leading competitors in the global market include: Iland; Commvault; EVault; Veritas NetBackup; ServiceNow Incident Management; and Veritas Backup Exec. 

Azure Site Recovery key features

Azure Site Recovery is a DRaaS solution that can be used in both cloud and hybrid cloud architectures for site data recovery.

It offers site recovery and fail-over testing, minimizing downtime and allowing applications and systems to resume operations through unplanned incidents that affect data integrity.

“Azure Site Recovery replicates workloads running on physical and virtual machines (VMs) from a primary site to a secondary location. When an outage occurs at your primary site, you fail over to a secondary location and access apps from there,” says Siddharth Deekshit, senior program manager, Azure Site Recovery, Microsoft.

“After the primary location is running again, you can fail back to it. Azure Site Recovery helps ensure business continuity by keeping business apps and workloads running during outages.”

Azure Site Recovery is designed to help businesses resume operations during data-related incidents and system outages.

Some of Azure Site Recovery’s key features include:

  • Minimizes unplanned system and application downtime
  • Integrated fail-over testing
  • Built-in scalability
  • Encrypted communication channels
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Multi-tiered support
  • Comprehensive protection of physical and virtual servers
  • Allows for application recovery prioritization
  • Vendor and system-independent
  • Integration with other Azure products and services

Azure Site Recovery use cases

The following case studies highlight how organizations in different industries are using Azure Site Recovery:

iManage

iManage is an application for document and email management, designed to enable professionals to collaborate on work and better manage their time. 

Working predominantly with law firms, iManage needed a solution to ensure data safety and business continuity for their clients.

Choosing Azure Site Recovery, iManage now supports its DR and business continuity efforts through Azure environments in Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, and southeast Asia.

“I had worked with Azure Site Recovery at my previous company. I knew it was reliable and, being baked in Azure, simple to implement,” says Chris Finn, cloud architect, iManage.

“It would have taken an on-premises customer as long to procure the technology for a DR solution as it did to complete our entire Azure Site Recovery implementation. With Azure Site Recovery, we can give our customers absolute peace of mind.”

Since implementing Azure Site Recovery, iManage estimated 60% in savings on the costs of developing on-premises DR solutions and was able to further deepen customer trust.

Finastra

Finastra is a financial software company that offers clients a wide portfolio of products aimed at retail banking, transaction banking, lending, and treasury capital markets. 

Looking to adopt the latest technologies for their infrastructure, Finestra is a firm believer that backups and disaster recovery are essential and non-negotiable standards in the environment they share with their clients.

Performing a fail-over test using Azure Site Recovery, Finastra was pleasantly surprised with the low recovery point objective (RPO) they scored and decided to implement it permanently.

“There wasn’t any heavy onboarding, which is a good thing as it really wasn’t needed. It was so intuitive and easy for our team to use. The documentation was very accurate,” says Bryan Heymann, head of cloud architecture, Finastra.

“The point-and-click capabilities of Site Recovery and the documentation enabled us to onboard and go. It has all been in line with what we needed, without surprises.”

Implementing Azure Site Recovery as their primary DR solution, Finastra was able to move their customer payment space from on-premises to Azure and assure their users of the ability to recover data, with multiple regional servers.

Azure Site Recovery differentiators

Azure Site Recovery stands out in the DRaaS market for several reasons:

Regional availability

Site Recovery servers from Azure are as widespread as the Microsoft global infrastructure. There are 11 regional recovery locations in North America, nine across Europea, and 10 in Asia-Pacific as well as Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

VMware and on-premises VM replication

Azure Site Recovery supports the replication of both on-premises and VMware virtual machines to Azure. This minimizes system compatibility complexities and offers heightened security and protection from the data.

Application-consistent snapshots

With Azure Site Recovery, applications can be kept consistent over fail over. Replication data for recovery through snapshots enable users to capture the entirety of a disk’s data, in addition to all in-process transactions.

Customizable recovery

Users can set up personalized recovery plans that include the fail-over sequences and application and system recovery over the databases and virtual machines. Custom recovery plans can be integrated with Azure’s automated runbooks and include optional scripts for groups of virtual machines.

Non-disruptive testing

Azure Site Recovery allows users to perform non-disruptive fail-over tests and recovery drills without interrupting ongoing replication processes.

BCDR integration

Azure Site Recovery integrates with other business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) technologies. The use of Site Recovery can be limited to a set of servers or workloads, managing the fail over of specific applications, while working alongside other technologies that handle separate segments.

Fail-over planning

Site Recovery supports fail-over flexibility, enabling users to run planned failovers for sections where outages are expected without suffering from data loss or downtime. Systems are automatically returned to the primary recovery point as soon as it’s available.

Azure Site Recovery user reviews

Azure Site Recovery receives mostly positive reviews by users at several review sites, such as:

Gartner Peer Insights: 4.4 out of 5

G2: 4.7 out of 5

PeerSpot: 4.5 out of 5

TrustRadius: 8.6 out of 10

“With a couple of clicks the protection of the VM can be set up to another region in Microsoft Azure,” -a system and software Architect, review of Azure Site Recovery at G2.

“The Azure Site Recovery allows to my company’s SaaS solution to be available in case of the primary region becomes unavailable. Therefore it’s business critical tool for our software.”

“We use this solution mainly for compliance and to a DR and a commitment in RTO and RPO. The most valuable feature is the visibility of what is happening with our business as well as the good reporting and dashboards,” wrote Fernando Cordero, Technology Officer at GikBrain that rated Azure Site Recovery 9 out of 10 on PeerSpot.

Anina Ot
Anina Ot
Anina is a writer who has been writing about security, privacy, cloud computing, and data science for the past three years. She believes technology exists to make lives easier, but many people are intimidated by highly technical topics. She started writing to make tech and privacy more accessible.

Latest Articles

5 Top Security Assessment Trends in 2022

Think about the amount of information that is available today. It amounts to hundreds of zettabytes.  Yet, the bulk of security attention is aimed at...

5 Top Network Segmentation Trends in 2022

Storage has always used architectures that split large amounts of something into smaller segments.  There are disks, drives, partitions, physical and logical volumes, and logical...

Top Penetration Testing Trends in 2022

Penetration testing is growing in prominence.  Instead of defend, defend, defend against unseen attacks that could come from anywhere, a different view is needed: Look...