One-click disaster recovery of applications using Azure Site Recovery

28th March, 2017

Disaster recovery is not only about replicating your virtual machines but also about the end to end application recovery that is tested multiple times, error free, and stress free when disaster strikes.

Automate most recovery tasks to reduce RTO

Recovering large applications can be a complex task. It can be difficult to remember the exact customisation steps post failover.  Sometimes, it is not you, but someone else who is unaware of the application intricacies, who needs to trigger the failover. Remembering too many manual steps in times in a disaster recovery scenario is difficult and error prone.

A recovery plan helps gives you a way to automate the required actions you need to take at every step, by using Microsoft Azure Automation runbooks. With runbooks, you can automate common recovery tasks like the examples given below. For those tasks that cannot be automated, recovery plans also provide you the ability to insert manual actions.

  • Tasks on the Azure virtual machine post failover – these are required typically so that you can connect to the virtual machine, for example:
    • Create a public IP on the virtual machine post failover
    • Assign an NSG to the failed over virtual machine’s NIC
    • Add a load balancer to an availability set
  • Tasks inside the virtual machine post failover – these reconfigure the application so that it continues to work correctly in the new environment, for example:
    • Modify the database connection string inside the virtual machine
    • Change web server configuration/rules

For many common tasks, you can use a single runbook and pass parameters to it for each recovery plan so that one runbook can serve all your applications.

Real-world example – WordPress disaster recovery solution

Watch a quick video of a two-tier WordPress application failover to Microsoft Azure and see the recovery plan with automation scripts, and its test failover in action using Azure Site Recovery.

  • The WordPress deployment consists of one MySQL virtual machine and one frontend virtual machine with Apache web server, listening on port 80.
  • WordPress deployed on the Apache web server is configured to communicate with MySQL via the IP address
  • Upon test failover, the WordPress configuration needs to be changed to communicate with MySQL on the failover IP address To ensure that MySQL acquires the same IP address every time on failover, we will configure the virtual machine properties to have a preferred IP address set to

When disaster recovery needs to be evoked, you need to ensure that you are able to successfully recover the those applications in a timely manner.  Azure Site Recovery provides  a platform to enable not just the  tier-1 applications to have a business continuity plan, but offers a compelling solution that empowers an orginisation to set up a working end to end disaster recovery plan for 100% of your organisation’s IT applications.

You can use the powerful replication capabilities of Azure Site Recovery for 31 days at no charge for every new physical server or virtual machine that you replicate, whether it is running on VMware or Hyper-V.  For more information,  please review the following URL additional product information  and if you would like to learn more about Azure Site Recovery and how it can help your business, please contact using the form below.