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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery in Azure paired regions

Disaster Recovery in Azure paired regions

Azure regions are geographic groupings of data centers. One or more data centers in a region can be grouped. Azure provides its users with the flexibility of deploying applications in regions close to their data centers. The Azure region’s proximity to data centers helps reduce latency and increases the workflow’s speed while connected online. 

Each Azure region is grouped or paired with another Azure region residing in the exact geographic boundaries except Brazil South. The Azure region pairs are at least 300 miles far from each other. The vast distance between the region pairs ensures that disaster in one region doesn’t affect the other region. So, even if one of the regions experience disruptions in services owing to disaster, the primary region fails over to the secondary region of the region pair. This pairing enables business continuity and recovery of data even if a disaster affects one region. These two regions are connected over a low latency network. 

A hypothetical paired region
A hypothetical paired region

Google Cloud Load Balancing Features

Azure provides two business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. 

– Azure Backup Service – This service helps keep backups of data and recover data in case of disaster. The data is backed up to Azure. So, even if you accidentally delete an important file or chunks of vital data or even your VM, you can recover them with this service. Azure backup helps you to create consistent backups across several VM disks. This can be done by geo-replicating the backup vault during the creation. 

Services within Azure like Geo-Redundant storage helps in automated replication of data to the paired region. With Geo-redundant storage (GRS), your data is automatically replicated three times in primary and secondary regions. The GRS is enabled default when you create an Azure storage account. 

Azure Backup Service

– Azure Site Recovery Service – This service helps to replicate workloads running on VMs from the primary region of the Azure region pair to the secondary one. It also helps in replicating workloads running on VMs on-premises to a secondary Azure. So, systems and infrastructure working in different regions remain protected.

Azure Backup Service - Central Management

Using Azure DNS and Azure Traffic Manager, one can design resilient application architecture that can withstand the primary region’s failure. 

Benefits of Azure Region Pairs

– Legal viability 
One region of the Azure region pair resides within the same geographic boundary, which helps in meeting requirements for data residency for legal purposes (tax, judiciary, etc.) 

– Auto replication
Services within Azure like Geo-Redundant storage helps in automated replication of data to the paired region. With Geo-redundant storage (GRS), your data is automatically replicated three times in primary and secondary regions. 

– Maximum disaster recovery 
Out of the paired regions, one is prioritized for recovery. 

– Sequential updates 
Updates for the Azure system are rolled out sequentially to prevent failure in case of corrupt updates, minimized downtime, and nullify bugs. 

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