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Microsoft

Hi folks, Ned Pyle guest-posting today about Storage Replica and Windows Admin Center’s new ability to create partnerships to Azure on the fly, a great option for customers who don’t have a secondary disaster protection site. This is available right now if you download build 1910 or later of WAC.

 

If you’re not experienced with Storage Replica, it’s a block replication feature we first released in Windows Server 2016 and updated in Windows Server 2019. Besides its zero-loss synchronous option, it has an async mode that’s great for far-off datacenters like Azure. When a disaster has taken out your site, replicating between buildings in the same campus won’t be of much use; Azure can act as your safety net. The odds of an Azure datacenter going offline at the same time as your own is unlikely except for national disasters, and that will mean you give zero damns about your business because civilization has crumbled. Fun to think about!

 

In the past, you’d run WAC, build a couple servers, then connect them with an SR partnership and start protecting that sweet data. With our new Azure VM create option in WAC, you can create your user's source server on-premises, select the partner, and create the matching machine in Azure. No chance to get disk sizes or sector geometry wrong, no manually installing services, joining the domain, or using the Azure portal - we even size the VM and set the correct matching OSes. It’s Ned-proof! ;)

 

Let’s see this in action:

 

 

The requirements for using WAC and SR to create Azure VMs are straightforward:

 

 

I really like this feature because it makes deployments consistent; I hate jumping between tools just because one wasn’t built to do what I need. Azure VMs are a legitimate part of the disaster protection story for a business, no matter their size, and aren’t used nearly enough for continuity. You might have your doubts about cloud computing, but it’s extremely difficult for all but the largest organizations to reach the type of uptime and regional coverage that Azure brings to even the smallest shop.

 

Remember, this isn’t a preview – it’s shipped!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this new feature, it’s going to save some of your organizations someday. If you have questions, hit me up on twitter or DM me on TechCommunity.

 

- Ned Pyle

2 Comments
Occasional Contributor

What is the main difference between this and Azure Site Recovery?

Microsoft

@bwdur Hi. The main difference is ASR is VM replication only. Application replication, in industry terms. Storage Replica is agnostic block replication, it doesn't know or care about workload. Whichever one you decide to use comes down to your scenario-specific features. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/storage-replica/storage-replica-overview

 

I've talked about this "when to use" at a number of conferences, those decks and videos are available. Here is one example from Ignite 2017, see the 50:10 mark: https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/Microsoft-Ignite-Orlando-2017/BRK3325