Learn how to achieve disaster recovery in Azure with 5 best practices
Azure offers a comprehensive and scalable backup and disaster recovery solution seamlessly integrated with the existing on-premise data protection systems. It allows organizations to automatically restore services during unpredictable circumstances such as malicious attacks. However, to ensure uninterrupted operations, follow these best practices for Azure disaster recovery.
Develop A Fool Proof Disaster Recovery Plan
- One of the best ways to ensure the success of a disaster recovery strategy is thorough planning. Start by building a robust disaster recovery plan and verify its effectiveness before implementing it. Follow these helpful tips for developing and testing your disaster recovery plan:
- Evaluate the consequences of application failures before creating a plan. Tailor your recovery plan to address the critical aspects. Assign a role overseeing disaster recovery planning, including testing and automation.
- Define a process for contacting support services and provide instructions for escalating issues to help avoid unnecessary downtime caused by repeated recovery attempts. Additionally, use cross-region recovery capabilities for mission-critical applications.
- Include a backup strategy that covers the transactional and reference data. Regularly test the backup restoration process, including manual steps, and automate tasks whenever possible.
- Configure alerts for all Azure services used by your application. Train relevant staff members on executing the plan effectively. In addition, conduct regular disaster recovery simulations to validate and improve your plan.
Operational Readiness Testing
- Another best practice is to test your disaster recovery plan before implementing it. Operational readiness tests should be performed for the failback to the primary region and failover to a secondary region. These tests allow you to verify that your application’s dependent services remain synchronized after restoration during the disaster recovery.
However, it may be challenging to determine the effect of changes to systems and operations on failback and failover functions. Therefore, it is best to test these functions to avoid problems in real scenarios. Azure supports its users by offering failover tests for disaster recovery drills. In addition, an outage can be simulated by shutting down Azure services.
Understand The Impacts Of Dependent Service Outage
- Determining the impact of disruption in service on your overall application is crucial. Consider how the application will respond to such service outages. Evaluate each service independently, especially those that have built-in features.
This will help enhance their availability and resiliency. A disaster recovery plan as a whole can be strengthened by thoroughly examining the capabilities of each service.
Define Processes For Network Outage
- A successful disaster recovery plan must define processes for network outages, as it can potentially result in the inaccessibility of applications, impacting your operations. However, this issue can be resolved by running most applications with reduced functionality.
Plan For Regional Failures
- Azure is separated physically into units called regions. Some of these regions support availability zones, offering more resilience during outages. Regions with availability zones can be used to improve applications’ availability.
However, your disaster recovery plan should include events that can cause an entire region to become inaccessible. In a disaster or outage in one region, having data and software in another active region ensures continuity. In addition, replicating data and implementing redundancy across regions safeguard against regional failures.
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