Getting started with – Azure Backup

gstarted-backup

We continue our series of “Getting Started” articles, with most up-to-date information I use with Microsoft Partners and customers when enabling them with Azure infrastructure services. I follows the same structure which is: getting started, training videos if available, then reference architectures, capacity planning and pricing information.

Backup is generally not creating a lot of excitement in IT teams, that’s the very least we can say. The fundamentally difficult parts of it are:

  1. defining data retention and archival policies.
  2. defining the appropriate sizing for the solution.
  3. executing the offsite data copy policy.

I’m not even talking about testing the restore of the backup, because people usually don’t do it Winking smile

Here’s really why Azure can help:

  1. You only have to size for the local backup storage system, archival is done is the cloud.
  2. With all hidden costs of tape systems included like offsite processing, storage on cloud is very likely to be always cheaper than any on-premises storage.
  3. You can easily test restoring data in a separate and isolated environment.
  4. You can easily backup files on servers and client with a small backup agent
  5. You can easily backup your applications running on Hyper-V on Vmware with Azure Backup Server.

Here’s what you need to get started building solutions on Azure:

Overview video

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/videos/what-is-azure-backup/

Overview article

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-introduction-to-azure-backup

Training Videos:

https://mva.microsoft.com/en-us/training-courses/hybrid-cloud-workloads-storage-and-backup-8335?l=QeQ9Uyay_6204984382

Pricing reference:

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/backup/

Technical References:

Azure Virtual Machine Backup: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/backup-azure-vms/

Microsoft Azure Backup: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/backup-azure-backup-windows-server/

Microsoft Azure Backup Server: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/backup-azure-dpm-introduction/

Architecture references:

Azure Backup Limitations – http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/28395.azure-backup-limits.aspx

Security features for protecting hybrid backups using Azure Backup – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-azure-security-feature

Third parties’ backup solutions supporting Azure

Commvault – https://www.commvault.com/solutions/by-technology/virtual-machine-and-cloud/microsoft-azure

Veaam – https://www.veeam.com/cloud-connect.html

Veritas – https://www.veritas.com/solution/azure

Service updates information

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/?product=backup

When you have deployed the solution and want to go further with Automation, there’s a pretty nice course on Microsoft OpenEDX: https://openedx.microsoft.com/courses/course-v1:Microsoft+AZURE210x+2016_T4/about 

If you want to get started on Azure the good way, you can register to IT Pro Cloud Essentials, it includes online trainings, MCP vouchers and  monthly free credits to use Azure: https://www.microsoft.com/itprocloudessentials/en-US 

Feel free to connect with me and provide feedbacks!

Arnaud

Getting started with – Azure Site Recovery

<updated 14th march 2017>

gettingstarted-asr

In this series of “Getting Started” articles, I will post the most up-to-date information I use with Microsoft Partners and customers when enabling them with Azure infrastructure services. I follows the same structure which is: getting started, training videos if available, then reference architectures, capacity planning and pricing information.

Disaster Recovery Plans aka DRP is one the most ungrateful work in IT. Because basically you are going to prepare for some situations that will be painful and difficult. However, this is a good exercise to protect against one of the most prevalent laws in IT: “Anything (Everything) will fail at some point, and very likely at the worst time”.

It puts you in a state of mind that most of people don’t like.and you will ask your boss money for something that you hope will never be used.

That’s where the cloud can help, for both virtualized and non virtualized workloads. Here’s how in 4 easy steps:

  1. First step consists of replicating your production workloads as they are running.
  2. Second step is to automating the disaster recovery plan execution.
  3. Run the workloads in Azure.
  4. Replicate your virtual machines back to your datacenter.

Overview video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOOwMQPBKfM

Overview article

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/site-recovery-overview/

Training Videos

https://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Azure-Site-Recovery

Technical References

Azure Site Recovery support matrix – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-support-matrix

Prepare for Azure Site Recovery deployment – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-best-practices

Migrate AWS workloads to Azure – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-migrate-aws-to-azure

Architecture references

VMware and Physical Servers to Azure – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-vmware-to-azure

Hyper-V to Azure – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-hyper-v-site-to-azure

VMM to Azure – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-vmm-to-azure

Network planning for disaster recovery: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-network-design

Workload guidance

What workloads can you protect with Azure Site Recovery? – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-workload

Active directory and DNS

SQL Server

Sharepoint

Dynamics AX

Exchange

SAP

Running automation in ASR – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-runbook-automation 

Sizing & capacity planning

Capacity planning: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/site-recovery/site-recovery-capacity-planner

Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner: https://aka.ms/asr-deployment-planner-doc 

Pricing reference

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/site-recovery/

Service updates information

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/?product=site-recovery

When you have put the infrastructure in place and are in the process of fully automating the disaster recovery plan, you need skills on Azure Automation. There’s a pretty nice course on Microsoft OpenEDX: https://openedx.microsoft.com/courses/course-v1:Microsoft+AZURE210x+2016_T4/about 

Feel free to connect with me and provide feedbacks!

Arnaud

My Azure IaaS Toolbox

iaastoolbox

<last update 31/01/2017>

As I help customers and partners to build VM and various infrastructure services on Azure, I started to accumulate a lot of tools to make life easier. Here is my list, feel free to comment and share yours, I’d be happy to learn about new ones!

 

Storage

Tool Platforms Notes
Azure Storage Explorer (Microsoft) Linux, Windows, Mac Nice UI to manipulate storage in Azure.
AzCopy (Microsoft) Windows Command line context to upload/download storage content.
Cloud Explorer (Red Gate) Windows GUI free tool from Red-Gate to explore Azure storage.
CloudXplorer (Clumsyleaf) Windows Classical tool from Clumsyleaf.
Trucks   Because sometimes it’s just too big, send your disks to Azure and we import it for you.

 

Networking

Tool Platforms Notes
http://www.azurespeed.com/ Tests the speed of Azure Services from your IP location to the rest of the world.
Message Analyzer Windows Network traces and so much more.
Network Monitor (netmon) or WireShark Windows, Mac Netmon 3.4 still works on Windows 10, as an alternative to WireShark.
Fiddler (Telerik) Mac, Windows, Linux, etc. Web debbuging proxy for fun and profit.
tnc (PowerShell) Windows 8.1 Tnc is a tool built-in Windows 8.1 and later, allows you to test network connectivity and latency on various ports.
PortQryUI Windows TCP and UDP Port Query fairly old tool, preset with common Windows Ports and services.

 

Compute

Tool Platforms Notes
Remote Desktop Connection Manager Windows Classical multi windows RDP client.
MobaXterm Windows Multi windows SSH client combined with SCP capabilities.
Virtual Machine Readiness assessment Windows Toolset used to evaluate a VM’s readiness for Azure. Gives you a detailed report of the machine state.
Certification Test tool for Azure Certified Windows This tool allows you to self-assess your VM configuration against Azure best practices for certification (prerequisite for the Marketplace).
Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Plugin Windows Allows you to manage your Azure resources from VMM.

 

General Automation

Tool Platforms Notes
PowerShell Windows Direct MSI Setup, avoiding the infamous WebPI. Script center to find examples: Browse script center
Cross platform CLI Linux, Mac, Windows The cross platform command line interface for Azure.

 

Documenting platforms

Tool Notes
http://armviz.io/ Visualize a JSON template graphically
http://www.azuredockit.com/ Generate a documentation or diagram of a deployment
Azure, Cloud and Enterprise Symbols, Icon Set – Visio stencil, PowerPoint, PNG, SVG Complete Visio and PNG illustration to document your Azure deployments
Reference Architectures Link to reference architecture and cloud design patterns
Visio File for Reference Architectures Mandatory for all cloud architects!
Architecture blueprints Architecture diagrams and blueprints for various services, can copy/paste the SVG resources from the webpage.

 

Azure Templates Authoring

Tool Platforms Notes
Visual Studio Code Mac, Linux, Windows Very nice tool to edit JSON templates for Azure and Azure Stack.
Visual Studio Windows Complete IDE for your application, includes a comprehensive support to edit and consume Azure resources directly.
Azure SDK Installation Mac, Linux, Windows, etc. Contains installers for all platforms.
https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates Templates and quick starters for JSON templates.
Git Desktop Mac, Windows Allows to sync your Github repos on your laptop.
https://resources.azure.com/ Allows you to query API in JSON format “graphically”.
Azure Container Services Engine Mac, Windows, Linux ACSEngine helps you build ARM templates for your clustered Docker deployments.

 

Hope this was useful, please comment and have fun on Azure!

Arnaud