We’ve talked generally this week about changing your IT strategy to take cloud resources into account.  And last January, this blog reported that we had launched Hyper-V Recovery Manager – a simple, cost-effective disaster recovery solution for replicating virtual machines across sites.  Today we’re adding a powerful new feature in preview that enables disaster recovery protection for your on-premises virtual machines by replicating them to Azure.  We’re also renaming the service to reflect these expanded capabilities.

When first released, the service provided for replication and orchestrated recovery between two of your sites, or from your site to a supporting hoster’s site.  But now you can avoid the expense and complexity of building and managing your own secondary site for DR.  You can replicate running virtual machines to Azure and recover there when needed.  This new feature is in preview.

Whichever configuration you choose, the service provides automated protection, continuous health monitoring, and orchestrated recovery for your applications.

The service protects System Center Virtual Machine Manager clouds by automating the replication of the virtual machines that compose them with a policy-based solution.  It coordinates and manages the ongoing replication of data by integrating with existing technologies such as Hyper-V Replica and SQL Server AlwaysOn.

Site Recovery monitors the state of Virtual Machine Manager clouds remotely and continuously from Azure.  All communications with Azure are encrypted, and when replicating to Azure you have the option of encryption for data at rest.

During recovery, Virtual Machines (VMs) can be brought up in an orchestrated fashion to help restore service quickly, even for complex multi-tier workloads.  Recovery plans are easy to construct in the Azure management portal, and can be as simple or as complex as required by your environment, and can include manual pauses or Windows PowerShell scripts.  Networks can also be customized by mapping virtual networks between the primary and recovery sites.

Recovery plans can even be tested whenever you like without disrupting the services at your primary location.

To better reflect these expanding capabilities, we’re renaming the service Azure Site Recovery in conjunction with the release of this new feature preview.

There are many resources available to learn more about Site Recovery.  At TechEd North America 2014 there was a session about building disaster recovery plans and another about implementing enterprise-scale DR that both included Site Recovery under its old name. 

Visit the Site Recovery web page to learn more

Access Site Recovery planning and deployment guides