In the modern digital world, companies have come to rely rather heavily on their IT infrastructure. It makes sense, too, especially since IT infrastructure, which includes data centers, replications, and networks, among other things, has now been firmly established as the foundation of companies' daily operations. Nevertheless, the fact remains that unforeseen events such as natural disasters, power outages, and cyberattacks continue to pose a significant risk for companies about their IT infrastructure, potentially disrupting this crucial infrastructure and resulting in data loss, expensive downtime, and more. Disaster recovery (DR) strategies have become paramount in response to such uncertainty. With this growing dependence on cloud computing, Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform, brings robust disaster recovery solutions to the table, providing protection for business-critical data and applications.

In this blog, I will walk you through some of the most important disaster recovery best practices for Microsoft Azure.

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is an approach whose sole goal is to ensure business continuity during disruptions. The process involves meticulous planning, implementation, and testing of strategic processes that will quickly and efficiently restore IT systems, thus minimizing downtime and data loss for the affected organization.

Microsoft Azure Disaster Recovery: Best Practices to Remember

  • Azure disaster recovery plan: To put together an effective Azure disaster recovery plan, it is crucial to start by identifying critical workloads, applications, and data that are vital for business operations. Your recovery efforts must be prioritized accordingly. The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) time spans should likewise be established and explained. These two factors will also help guide the choice of recovery solution within Azure.
  • Operational readiness testing: Start by educating your IT personnel on disaster recovery procedures, including failover processes, data restoration techniques, communication protocols, etc. Then, it is time to work on a comprehensive Runbook Documentation that clearly provides step-by-step instructions for executing the recovery plan. Finally, a communication plan should be established to identify notification recipients, disseminate information, and ensure effective communication during disasters.
  • Dependent service outage: It is imperative to address dependent service outages in disaster recovery planning. To that end, identify the dependencies by mapping out all connections between apps and services. Next, put together a recovery plan for dependencies, ensuring the restoration of services in the correct order to reduce system downtime. Finally, test the failover scenarios during disaster recovery testing to verify the recovery sequence and find any potential bottlenecks.
  • Network outage: Companies must also ensure redundant network connectivity by setting up several internet connections to the Azure environment. This helps reduce the impact of a single network failure. You must also consider using diverse providers across different locations for additional risk mitigation. Next, it is time to configure traffic routing and failover mechanisms to automatically redirect traffic to a secondary connection if the primary network fails.
  • Plan for regional failures: You can also brace for regional failures by implementing several key strategies such as opting for a geographically dispersed recovery site located in a different Azure region that is distant enough to mitigate the risk of both regions being impacted by the same widespread disaster. Additionally, you can put Geo-Redundant Storage services within Azure to help automatically replicate data across geographically separate locations.This helps ensure data resilience. Finally, make sure to conduct disaster recovery failover testing across regions to simulate complete regional outages.

Final Words
There you have it, folks—following these best practices will allow you to leverage Azure's disaster recovery solutions to build a robust cloud environment for your business.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software.