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Implement backup and recovery

4. Backup Reports

Now backups are so important in this day and age that we do have reports and alerts and things having to do with our backups. So if we go into the Recovery Services vault, we can see that under management there are backup reports and alerts. We can also set up alerts, diagnostic settings, et cetera. I'm going to go into diagnostic settings to start. Right now, we don't have any diagnostic data being collected. So let's start by turning on diagnostics. Okay.

Now, as usual with diagnostics, we have a number of ways that we can collect the diagnostics. We can put that into a storage account, we can stream it into an event hub that causes other things to happen, or we can send it to log analytics. Now, we know that Azure monitoring by Logan and Andy is one of the central ways that monitoring happens within Azure. So I'm going to hook this up to my existing logins. Now, what do we want to be sent to log analytics? Well, obviously, something happens; a backup report is what we want. There are a lot of Azure site recovery events, and we're going to talk about those when we talk about Azure site recovery. But we want our backup information sent to the log analytics.

So let's just give this new diagnostic one a name, and then we can see. So it's not retroactive. But from this point forward, any AzureBackup activity will be sent to Loganalytics. So we can view that within Azure Monitor. If I hit refresh, then I can see that exists. So from there, obviously, we can go into login so we can do our sophisticated reporting within Azure login analytics. Azure also has this concept of backup reports. And so we can use their Power Bi, which is their business intelligence reporting suite, to really create reports—beautiful, dynamic reports that we can drill down on to get information on our backups. In order to do that, we need to use a storage account to store diagnostics. And then we're going to use the Azure backup content, Power Bi, to pull that data from a storage account in order to do that tour. So you could use log analytics like we setup, or if PowerBI is your thing and you love creating reports, then you can. You have to set that up as a storage account in gnostics. And then there's a configuration step within PowerBI.

5. *NEW* Soft Delete for VM Backups

Now, Azure's released a new security feature called the "Soft Elite" for recovery as vaults. If you're not familiar with the term, A soft delete is when you go and delete something, but it doesn't really get deleted right away. There is a delay between the time that you initiate the delete process and when it actually gets deleted. This allows you to change your mind. Now, the reason this is a security feature is because if somebody were to hack into your account and delete your virtual machines, they would then also maybe want to delete your backups, and that would really get you in trouble. So not being able to do a backup because you can restore within a 14-day period is a security feature. Now, this is a brand new Navy default vault for Recovery Services vaults.If you have an older recovery services vault, you can turn this on. Now, in Azure, the soft delete process takes 14 full days. So if you need to delete, there is a 14-day period where it's still available for you. That means you can delete it, and once you undelete it, that file is available to recover from and things like that. On the 15th day, if you have not undeleted the file, it gets automatically deleted. Now, that's explained. This graph is from the Microsoft website. Pretty much, that's what's being explained here: after 15 days, if no user action is required, the data gets permanently deleted. And if you stop that undelete within 14 days, then you can actually resume the backup jobs and get your virtual machine going again, or you can store from that backup, etc.

6. *NEW* Azure Site Recovery / ASR to Site-to-Site Replication

One of the most important things for you to understand when it comes to the Sam is how to setup a solution for high availability in Azure. And so in various parts of this course, we're going to talk about load balancers, and we're going to talk about contributing. The work spread over multiple machines actually reduces the chance of failure and increases your availability. But what do you do if the entire region goes down?

Now, I don't want to scare you, but it happens once every couple of years when the East US region is not available. So in those instances, you have what's called disaster recovery. And so you have to have a copy of your environment ready to go in case of disaster. Now, in the case of Microsoft Azure, there's a technology called Azure Site Recovery, which will make a copy of your entire solution and basically have it ready to deploy. It's not like having multiple versions of your application running at the same time, but it is sitting there synchronised with all of the data and all of the drives up to date in synchronization. But as soon as something happens and you initiate a failover, those virtual machines can spring to life, and you'll be up and running within, let's say, less than half an hour. And so that is a disaster recovery scenario.

It's not high availability in the sense that you don't experience any downtime, but it is high availability in the sense of being able to recover quickly from a disaster with minimal data loss. And so in this video, we're going to be taking a look at a virtual machine, network interface, card, managed disk, etc. from one and replicating it to another using Azure Site Recovery. Now, I have a virtual machine here that's running in the Westus region. It's a standalone virtual machine. Now, machines actually come with a number of resources. Alongside of it, we've got a network interface and a public IP address. There is, of course, a disk, a virtual network, NSG, etc. So to run a virtual machine, one actually creates a number of resources. Now what I want to do is set up a disaster recovery plan. For this. I'll go under the virtual machine under operations. You'll see there are two somewhat related services. One is called backup, and the other is called disaster recovery. Let's go into disaster recovery. It's going to take a second to load. Here's what it does: We're given what is sometimes a familiar interface.

If you know anything about Custody B or Azure SQL Database, it is a very similar interface where you're given a map of the world and then you're given the option to replicate this virtual machine into another region. So we're running in. I think we said west of us. And so we're being offered East US. too, as did the replicated region. So we want to basically be running in California and be running in this area that looks like Georgia or the southeastern United States here, right? But if we don't want that, We can choose the other regions, and I suppose we can just pick it from the drop-down list here. I can choose Canada, the East US, the West US, etc. For this reason, I'm going to accept the connection. Now one of the concepts with cloud computing is this "paired region" concept where there is a high-speed connection between these two data centers, and that's why this is the best pairing for this region. So every data centre has at least one other data centre with which it has a very high-speed connection with. Okay, so I'm going to replicate this VM in West US into East US too, going to advanced settings.

Now it's going to be put into the same subscription, although I could put it into a different subscription. It's going to create a brand new resource group in East US 2. It's going to create a brand new VNet in East US 2. And since this is a single instance in Westyes, it's going to create it as a single instance, it's going to create a new account, and it's going to create a new recovery services vault. If we open that up, we can see new recovery services, vaults, etc. Okay, we allow ASR to manage the settings, et cetera. It's going to create a new automation account for Windows. So I'm going to say "review." Now, this is basically going to set up a second network and all that stuff in the East US-2 region. So let's say we start replication. Now, this is obviously going to take some time. This is something that is not done in a matter of only a few minutes.

Well, it's deployed the recovery services vault, but there's a lot of stuff to do, including the copying of the managed disk, etc. Now that we've started that job, it gets a little bit confusing. If you go back under operations and disaster recovery for those five or 10 minutes, it looks as if nothing happened. It's going to ask you to set up the disaster area again. It's going to present you with the map, and you're going to think, "Man, it doesn't look like anything happened." Now if I go in there, it's been about half an hour, I guess. And we can see here that the disaster is 97% synchronized. So we're in the process of doing the synchronisation for the East US Two region, but if you got in there before it was all set up, it would look like nothing was going on. Now we can switch over to the recovery services vault. So I'm going to go up to the dashboard. I happen to have the recovery services vault on my dashboard, but you can actually start typing "recovery services vaults." I only have one. So east of us two lies the vault.

Now the recovery services vault contains backups and contains replicate disaster recovery jobs. And so it's almost like a storage account for backups and replications. So I'm in my recovery services vault, and I can even go to this overview screen. I've got no backups that are configured currently. But if I go under site recovery, I can say that there is one healthy replicated item. If I go down under monitoring, I can see site recovery jobs.

This is where you can monitor the status of this. So once you've kicked this off and it's created a recovery services vault, you can come under monitoring and jobs and you'll see these things moving toward success. Now everything's been set up: the jobs, the policies, and the VM, which has been enabled for replication. So it does take quite a while. I mean, it could take half an hour. Well, actually, you can see here that I kicked this off at 726, and it took 13 minutes to get to this point. I think the replication even took a while to solely go back under protected items and replicated items. We can see that the VM that we started is at 97%, so we're still in a state where we have to wait for it to complete, and we will do that.

7. *NEW* ASR Test Failover

So I'm back in the recovery services vault. I go under replicated items, and I can see that this virtual machine that I replicated has a health replication as a protected status. And so far as the Recovery Services Vault is concerned, this machine is backed up and ready to go if anything were to ever happen. We can get this created in East Texas, like I said, within a few minutes. In fact, let's go over to the virtual machine in question, so that's in this resource group, there's the virtual machine. Scroll down into Operations and Disaster Recovery, and we can see sort of a dashboard for the disaster recovery for this specific virtual machine. So you can see, there are two ways to access this. Go to the Recovery Services Vault, and we can see what is protected by that vault, or we can go into the resource, and we can see that the replication operation is ready to go.

Now, in terms of this disaster's recovery, we have two options here. You can see the buttons at the top. One says failover, the other says test failover. Now, as you would expect, a test failover allows you to test the disaster recovery without damaging the source. Essentially, this machine in the West US would not be at all impacted if I were to click Test Failover. It would basically stand up the machine in East US too. I can test it, I can verify it's running, and all my files are there. And then you'll see the next machine say "clean up test failover." And so then I can basically say yes; I verify that the failover worked correctly. And again, this does not impact the running VM at all. If I am safe, Fill over. Then this basically breaks the replication, gets the new machine running in east US 2, and no more data would be copied over from west. And so that is more of a permanent operation; this is more of a more of Let's go into east US too.

I'm going to go into my resource groups here, and I can see that there's a new resource group with the same name as SQS with the hyphen. And if we go into this resource group, we can see that the virtual network is waiting to go. Virtual networks don't have any cost associated with them, and the disc is waiting to go. But discs do have a cost associated with them. So having this ASR disaster waiting to go doesn't have the same cost as having a duplicate virtual machine running, but it does have some cost. There are storage costs for this data transmission between the West and East US too. Those gigabytes that are being transmitted will be priced at those prices as well. So data transmission and the cost of this disc are not necessary, and the virtual machine does not have those necessary, does not have a cost.The ASR would have a cost for its storage too. So there is some cost to having this run.

All right, so what I'm going to want to do is test this disaster recovery failover. In order to do that, I need a test virtual network. And so, in the same group in East UStoo, I'm going to create a virtual network. So I'm going to go under "networking" and "virtual network," running it in that resource group, and giving it a name, "Z test V net." I'm going to put this into US to the same extent that I'm going to set the defaults for everything else and I'm going to say "create," since it's just some entries in a database somewhere. This is going to go very quickly. So let's go back to the dashboard, back to the original resource group, go into the virtual machine, and go into disaster recovery. And what I'm going to do is initiate a test failover that takes a second to load. You can see that you don't really have a choice. You're going from west to east, too. I only have one recovery point because I just created it.

But over time, there is a chance of having multiple recovery points. I do have to choose the network to deploy it to going. I'm going to put the test VNet that we just created to the test, and I'm going to say, "Okay." And so now we're trying to get the virtual machine started in East US 2 so that it mimics the West US 1. As you would expect, this should take a few minutes, but it shouldn't take too long because this is the disaster recovery. If it took more than five or ten minutes, then it would be less useful as a high-availability tool. So we'll give that five or ten minutes, and hopefully when we come back, we will have tested everything and be up and running. All right, so I got out of this. I'm back in operations. I'll go back to the virtual machine, back into operations, and disaster recovery. And we can see that the last successful failover has now been updated to say there are no issues. Okay, so we saw that that worked, but to really know that it worked, let's go over to the other resource group, and we can see there's a VM zerotest, and now there are the discs as well as the test virtual network that we created.

So we can certainly verify, if we had an application running or a website, that this machine was working and could do whatever it is that this machine is intended to do. So it is running and operating as expected. So now the last step of this is to go back to the original VM, go back to operations, this recovery, and click cleanup, test failover. And so I can say, it looks great. I did some sort of validation on it, and I can say the testing is complete. Delete test failovers and virtual machines. And so this is going to go off and undo the deployment that it just did. So that's how we tested a failover. Now, for a real failover, like I said, it would actually be harmful to the replication process, and so testing is what we do until we have a real disaster.

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Comments * The most recent comment are at the top

Naveed Sharif
Apr 25, 2024
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Apr 24, 2024
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Apr 22, 2024
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Apr 20, 2024
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