How to build a Disaster Recovery Plan using the Cloud? – Part 1

"Fifty-three percent of organizations can tolerate less than an hour of downtime
before they experience a significant revenue loss or other adverse business impact.".......

Azure+AzureCloud and Managed Services


“Fifty-three percent of organizations can tolerate less than an hour of downtime before they experience a significant revenue loss or other adverse business impact.”

Regardless of what kind of business an organization is running, it needs to recover as quickly as possible to provide services back to customers when an unforeseen event happens and brings critical operations to a sudden stop. Not having a proven disaster recovery plan and strategy can deal a big blow to an organizations financial and reputation status, but more than that is the loss of trust from the customer and clients.

Organizations and businesses that do not currently have a plan in place may recognize its importance but struggle with getting started. Those who have not been affected by unforeseen events and costly unplanned downtime may even think that they are immune from disaster. However, it is better to be prepared since the cost of not having a plan in place can pose serious risks for an organization.

According to a study by Enterprise Strategy Group, ‘Fifty-three percent of organizations can tolerate less than an hour of downtime before they experience a significant revenue loss or other adverse business impact”

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is a plan for restoring and accessing your data in the event of a disaster that destroys part or all of a business’s resources. It is a key component involving many aspects of business operations that requires this information to function. The job of a DR plan is to ensure that whatever happens, your vital data can be recovered and mission-critical applications will be brought back online in the shortest possible time.

What kind of disasters are likely to happen?

Business disasters can either be natural, technological, or man-made. To be more specific on the common causes of disasters, below are some of the reasons why an organization must have or reconsider their disaster recovery strategy.

1. Machines and hardware fail
Depending on your hardware and infrastructure design and budget, most devices still fall far short giving an organization a perfect resiliency benefit. No one is immune to a total server breakdown, system crashes or even connectivity or internet downtime.

2. Humans will be humans. They make mistakes.

Even the most cautious can forget a step in an important process causing data loss, the wrong data to being entered or even a mistyped configuration that may cause significant problem on the system. While very common, these mistakes can often be the hardest to prevent and correct.

3. Customers expect SLA promise is delivered
Most customers demand perfection because they know that if your company can’t provide it, the next competitor in line is ready to give it their best shot to win the business. It is very important not to give your customers a reason to leave because of something preventable like an outage in service. With increased competition come lower prices, better service, and less forgiving customers.

4. Customer retention is costly, but customer re-acquisition is even more expensive.
While on average it is much cheaper to retain a customer then to acquire a new customer, re-acquiring an old customer after an IT disaster can be next to impossible. It takes a lot to earn customers’ trust, but after an IT disaster like loss of data or an extended outage in service, trust quickly evaporates. Most IT disasters are deemed absolutely unacceptable to end users.

5. You’re only as strong as your weakest link.
This old saying still perfectly applies in today’s world. No business is immune to IT disasters, but there are many things you can do to prevent them or quickly recover. There is no excuse not to have an IT disaster recovery plan in place – today. Careful planning and execution are key to having all corners of your operations covered and secured in an unforeseen event that can bring an entire site or service down.

Introducing Azure Disaster Recovery as a Service


Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offered as part of the Microsoft Azure suite, working in tandem with Azure Backup to fit a modernized BCDR strategy. With Gartner labelling it a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service, it’s one of the most popular and proven tools in its category.

With ASR, businesses can create customized DR plans, and orchestrate and manage the entire process for workloads located in Azure virtual machines (VMs), on-premises VMs and physical servers, which includes replication, failover and fail back.

To further break down the process:
• Replication: ASR moves your apps and workloads from a primary site to a secondary site by synchronizing the contents of your operating systems and the disks of your servers and virtual machines, hosted on either Azure or an on-premises environment.
• Failover: When an outage affects your primary site, you can access workloads and use apps from your secondary location automatically.

• Fail back: When the primary site is back up again, you can fail back to it seamlessly.
In summary, ASR ensures business continuity is upheld by keeping your business applications and workloads running whenever you might experience outages, and Azure Backup adds further protection for your business-critical data by backing it up to the cloud.

Who is Azure Site Recovery for?

Because you can replicate your applications and failover to Azure to plan for and enable business continuity across cloud and on-premises environments, Azure Site Recovery can help organizations with hybrid infrastructure or even those entirely cloud-first on Azure. It also supports coverage across Hyper-V, Linux, Windows and VMWare virtual machines, and physical servers.

The three uses of ASR are as follows:
1. Azure to Azure: Automatically replicate your virtual machines from one geographical Azure region to another when you experience any downtime.

2. On-premises to Azure: Automatically replicate your physical servers and on-prem virtual machines to an Azure VM with nearly zero downtime.

3. On-premises to on-premises: Use ASR to manage the migration of your data between the primary and secondary on-premises sites – effectively, as a communication channel between the two.
Ultimately, ASR’s native integration with Azure, replication automation capabilities and sets of features makes it a more attractive disaster recovery solution compared to traditional DR models.

Stay tuned for our next blog about Azure Disaster Recovery services and how it can help your organization’s disaster recovery strategy.

Sannel Alcantara

Written by Sannel Alcantara

IT Director

Sannel is very passionate about cloud technologies and how it can be used as a tool to improve everyone’s life. He will get hooked in technology topics that greatly impact people and how they will change the ways we do things in the future.

As a true family man, he believes in work-life harmony and devotes time with his family while still connected at work through the power of cloud. As a self-confessed foodie, he is considered the best chef in world! – rated by his family.

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