As we continue to look to Windows Azure as a way to provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to our customers, I want to remind you that Windows Azure can also handle the backups for your on-premises infrastructure and your cloud based infrastructure. Now you are thinking, storing my backups within the same infrastructure as my workloads, isn’t that like storing the backup tapes on top of the server they are protecting? No, this is a new paradigm and another place where we need to think outside of the traditional “box”. One of the many strengths of Windows Azure is that it is geographically distributed. Yes, you’ve got it. Put your infrastructure in a region close to the business and put the backups in a region (or different geography) farther away from the business.
I took a screen shot of the different regions and geographies available when creating a virtual machine and when creating a backup vault, and here are my choices:
As you see, some of the regions are the same between the VM placement and backup vaults, but we have a choice of 6 regions to choose from for each solution. Since I am located in Tennessee, which is still Central US, I place my virtual machines in either the Central US or East US datacenters. What I have found is that every subscription does not have access to all of the datacenters, but we make sure to give each subscription multiple regions and geographies to choose from.
Looking at these datacenter choices, this gives us the ability to run our Infrastructure in one region, say Central US, while storing our backups in a different region, say West US. The Windows Azure Trust Center describes how we manage and replicate your data for additional redundancy. The Windows Azure Trust Center also shows the location of each of these geographies. Some companies may want to ensure all of their data remains in the US while other companies my need to ensure that their data is never stored in the US. Because of our datacenter locations, Windows Azure can accommodate both of these requirements, as well as many others.
I will talk more about backups, but I wanted to get you thinking about how Windows Azure can provide more capabilities than initially come to mind.
Until next time,