Azure Warm Backup Site



  • Is anyone here using an offline cloud backup site? If so how are you doing it? How long would it take to spin everything up?

    In my azure classes I learned about creating a warm backup site that is offline to save cost. You can set RPO and RTO for each set of resources depending on criticality. The offline backups still cost money to store, and you need to send changes often (defaults are 30 seconds, 5 minutes, or 15 minutes) to have an up to date recovery site.

    Sure cloud storage isnt cheap, but neither is having another datacenter and the infrastructure needed to switch over. Not to mention the amount of man hours it takes to configure an offsite datacenter or colo. With Azure or AWS the networks are created in much quicker logical fashion. It is actually easier to do things right since you can spin up virtual devices with a click of a button.

    I know if you have a large company, offsite datacenter would be cheaper since you have thousands of servers and equipment to worry about. Likely you need a hot site if you are at this scale anyway. This does seem to make sense for SMBs that have a hundred servers.

    Thoughts?



  • @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    This does seem to make sense for SMBs that have a hundred servers.

    This part here has me confused, how many SMB's have hundreds of servers?

    As for having a Warm Site, this likely doesn't fit at all with most SMB's. Standard 3-2-1 backup rule would likely suffice and likely meet or beat their RTO and RPO objectives.

    This is likely for the SME, rather than the SMB market space, and it would require careful consideration. Since the cost of this, over the traditional 3-2-1 is likely more expensive, with what might be a marginal improvement in recovery time.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    This does seem to make sense for SMBs that have a hundred servers.

    This part here has me confused, how many SMB's have hundreds of servers?

    As for having a Warm Site, this likely doesn't fit at all with most SMB's. Standard 3-2-1 backup rule would likely suffice and likely meet or beat their RTO and RPO objectives.

    This is likely for the SME, rather than the SMB market space, and it would require careful consideration. Since the cost of this, over the traditional 3-2-1 is likely more expensive, with what might be a marginal improvement in recovery time.

    If you have a small number of servers you are likely already paying for this with SaaS or PaaS subscriptions.

    I guess It's hard to figure out if this viable or not without having a good cost comparison





  • @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Here is blob storage pricing

    https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/storage/blobs/

    Looking at the blob pricing for Hot, since Cool and Archive aren't being discussed. For a 50TB backup you're looking at $942.08 / month.

    At the Cool level, that is still $512 / month for just the first tier.

    That very clearly is not an SMB pricing model that would be sustainable for the long haul. Archive, is reasonable at $102.40 / month.

    From B2 you could get the same amount of storage for $256 per month! Obviously this is a different use case, storage vs compute capabilities.

    But that is a part of the RTO and RPO conversation. Can we deal with down time, while we get shipped our data (or download it). Or do we require near constant uptime?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Here is blob storage pricing

    https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/storage/blobs/

    Looking at the blob pricing for Hot, since Cool and Archive aren't being discussed. For a 50TB backup you're looking at $942.08 / month.

    At the Cool level, that is still $512 / month for just the first tier.

    That very clearly is not an SMB pricing model that would be sustainable for the long haul. Archive, is reasonable at $102.40 / month.

    From B2 you could get the same amount of storage for $256 per month! Obviously this is a different use case, storage vs compute capabilities.

    But that is a part of the RTO and RPO conversation. Can we deal with down time, while we get shipped our data (or download it). Or do we require near constant uptime?

    Hmmm.. That sounds like we are in the same ballpark at $250 vs $950. It sounds like a huge difference and one is 4x the other, but we have to consider a few things. Like you mentioned we may be able to use cool backup for certain things and possibly archive for some others so I think we could get cost down a bit.

    The other thing is you can boot up recovery site with a click of a button so you dont have to pay the IT man hour costs. Also you can test much more often and fire up recovery site for one hour which may only cost $50-100 on such a small environment. You could do this exercise each month at a very low cost. The other thing you get is less downtime for sure. You are testing your procedure monthly and things will go more smoothly for sure.

    How much is your company paying in IT costs for restoration and how much are they losing in revenue to save a such a small amount of storage.



  • Also you IT generalist guys always complain about never being able to go on vacation because of possible disasters. Now you just have your company call a MSP and have them click a few buttons in Azure. 😛



  • How are you dealing with onsite servers versus offsite? A VPN? The network component can be a PITA to say the least.

    How do you do the tests? Do you disable all the local servers, then boot up the cloud versions?

    I've never actually been through that process - so I'm really asking.



  • @Dashrender said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Do you disable all the local servers, then boot up the cloud versions?

    It's the only way to test and make sure everything works. Of course you'd have to ensure your network is setup to route the traffic to the cloud versions as well.



  • @Dashrender said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    How are you dealing with onsite servers versus offsite? A VPN? The network component can be a PITA to say the least.

    How do you do the tests? Do you disable all the local servers, then boot up the cloud versions?

    I've never actually been through that process - so I'm really asking.

    For a relatively small amount of traffic you can use a VPN through Azure which is really easy to setup. If you need a dedicated connection, you can setup an Azure Express Route

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/reference-architectures/hybrid-networking/

    VPN

    d3140f37-0cc7-44f2-870d-f97a3cbbcbf3-image.png

    Express Route

    14b8dd1a-626b-4c73-b0cd-0dbaeca2eb2e-image.png

    Expres Route with VPN failover

    3d87a27f-a48f-4d39-a8c8-dc16a2924c32-image.png



  • @DustinB3403 said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    @Dashrender said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Do you disable all the local servers, then boot up the cloud versions?

    It's the only way to test and make sure everything works. Of course you'd have to ensure your network is setup to route the traffic to the cloud versions as well.

    Kind of but not really. The only way to test 100% failover is this way, but you can test in other ways like re routing IP or DNS traffic very easily.



  • I was really hoping for more discussion on this. I'd like to hear all your thoughts and pros vs cons.



  • we'd never pay for it. The costs would likely be way to high. The reality is for us - as long as the internet itself is reachable - the rest can be lived without for a few days, even email can be lived without for a few days.
    Our main app is vendor hosted - so, again, if we have internet access - we're mostly getting by.



  • @Dashrender said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    How are you dealing with onsite servers versus offsite? A VPN? The network component can be a PITA to say the least.

    How do you do the tests? Do you disable all the local servers, then boot up the cloud versions?

    I've never actually been through that process - so I'm really asking.

    this is really tough for SMBs. The failover mechanisms can be quite problematic to manage at the network level. Very doable, but a lot of work.



  • @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    I was really hoping for more discussion on this. I'd like to hear all your thoughts and pros vs cons.

    Pro... super flexible and scalable.
    Con... even at really low costs it is very hard to compete with owning your own gear price wise.

    Like all cloud computing, if you don't leverage the elastic features of it, the cost premium for that potential feature makes it hard to justify.



  • For a typical SMB, the amount that they need to restore to get something back up and running isn't all that much. The cost of downtime is typically not that high, and there is a "colder" option of having local or local-ish backups that don't incur so much month cost, and can be restored to cloud without already being stored there.

    Recovery is not as fast, but just as automatic.



  • Warm site is absolutely not anything any SMB I have ever dealt with would pay for. Nor be something I recommended.

    They simply don't have the RPO/RTO needs for that.



  • As for this solution itself? I think the prices are too high and it would sitll be too much work to maintian on going.

    It sounds the the Hyper-V model for replication.

    Replication like this is really, really only for a small group of businesses.

    We had talked about this the other day in the thread with the bank that paid the crypto.

    This type of thing is only good for site loss recovery, because it is replication.

    Very few businesses need that. I mean still thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, need it. But that is a tiny percentage of businesses.



  • @JaredBusch said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    This type of thing is only good for site loss recovery, because it is replication.
    Very few businesses need that.

    Yeah, SMBs are specifically the category most likely to not need site risk mitigation. They need to not lose a server, and to not lose data. But when a site goes down, they are typically "down" until the site is restored and rarely does having a failover location do them much good. But the cost is often very high.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    @JaredBusch said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    This type of thing is only good for site loss recovery, because it is replication.
    Very few businesses need that.

    Yeah, SMBs are specifically the category most likely to not need site risk mitigation. They need to not lose a server, and to not lose data. But when a site goes down, they are typically "down" until the site is restored and rarely does having a failover location do them much good. But the cost is often very high.

    This is definitely true for us. We don't have a space to see patients, we're closed.

    We can reschedule existing surgeries to the hospital - but that would only be under the most dire of situations.



  • @JaredBusch said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    As for this solution itself? I think the prices are too high and it would sitll be too much work to maintian on going.

    It sounds the the Hyper-V model for replication.

    Replication like this is really, really only for a small group of businesses.

    We had talked about this the other day in the thread with the bank that paid the crypto.

    This type of thing is only good for site loss recovery, because it is replication.

    Very few businesses need that. I mean still thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, need it. But that is a tiny percentage of businesses.

    The last two SMBs I worked for must be exceptions
    One was financial and the other was medical.

    The financial business relied on doing loans which are obviously big money. Being down for an hour was not an option. We had about 125 servers on prem with some SaaS stuff as well.

    The medical place did heart monitors and handled huge orders and couldn't afford down time either.

    Both places had under 250 employees and had offside data centers.



  • @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Both places had under 250 employees and had offside data centers.

    But had on prem for their primary workloads?



  • The problem that the typical SMBs face is that they have no failover for the people or site. If the site is down, IT is already off of the table.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Both places had under 250 employees and had offside data centers.

    But had on prem for their primary workloads?

    Yeah - that seemed weird to me.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    @IRJ said in Azure Warm Backup Site:

    Both places had under 250 employees and had offside data centers.

    But had on prem for their primary workloads?

    We had a very old core that only supported a few apps and none of them were SaaS at the time