On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Twitter and Reddit.

This is a session where individuals from the Azure Site Recovery Engineering team are available on hand to answer any questions we may have.

Not all Engineering teams host an “Ask Me Anything” session, but it’s nice that some do (and it seems to be gaining in popularity). In the past, the Azure Backup Engineering team hosted a similar session (which you can read the summary of here: Azure Backup – Ask Me Anything – Session Summary). The Azure Site Recovery Engineering team also hosted a session earlier this year (you can read that summary here: Azure Site Recovery – Ask Me Anything – Session Summary). 

 

If possible, I try to attend these session live, not only to ask questions but collect/collate the responses that I find most “telling” as to what may be coming in the future. 

Here is a summary of some of the responses from the Azure Site Recovery team, which provides insight into what’s coming in the not-too-distant future! I’ve tried to group/organize the points into categories as best I could,  and highlighted keywords to help you skim the content.

PS: If you would like to review the session in full, questions asked, etc. here is the direct Twitter link.

 

Migrations

  • Q: What can you share about work being done to improve the failover readiness checks (similar to the items listed in this article: Prepare a Windows VHD or VHDX to upload to Azure)?
    • A: We are improving the UI to make failover health issues more prominent. We are also adding a few validators based on common failure patterns we see and/or expect in order to make the readiness checks more exhaustive. Stay tuned.

Replication

  • Q: What is the DR solution for files shares on NAS device and how failover to test or have a copy in ASR?
  • Q: Are there any updates on including the feature to control/schedule when replication should occur?
    • At present, there are no plans to provide users with an option to control replication. DR requires failover readiness with least RPO.
  • Q: Will we ever be able to tune the crash-consistent vs application- consistent replications? Like choose the frequency or disable one or the other?
  • Q: How do you handle Hyper-V checkpoint conflicts when DPM is backing up a VM using checkpoint and ASR on the Hyper-V host is trying to checkpoint the same VM to replicate to Azure?
    • A: There are no compatibility issues while using ASR & DPM together, and this is a supported configuration.
  • Q: Will you ever have support for ASR between Availability Zones (For replicating Stateful apps/DB’s between AZ’s)?
    • A: The ASR team is actively working on it and it is in their near-term roadmap, but no ETA as of yet.
  • Q: What’s the latest you can share on ASR being able to include non-Compute resources for replication (ie. Load Balancers, NSGs, ASGs, etc.)?

Failover/Failback

Other

  • Q: Is there any progress that can be shared around including ASR Reports (similar to how we have Backup Reports) in the RSV?
    • A: This is in our backlog but not yet prioritized. We do not have timelines on this yet.
  • Q: What’s the benefit of Azure Site Recovery over Veeam?
    • A: ASR offers continuous replication that gives RPO and RTO in the order of single-digit minutes. ASR also offers rich application recovery capabilities to recover complex applications such as SAP and SharePoint with a single click.
  • Q: When will you support Ubuntu 18.04 LTS?
    • A: Support for Ubuntu 18.04 will roll out in Q4 CY 2019.
  • Q: In the last AMA, you mentioned that a feature was being worked on to allow migrations without using on-premises licenses, and have on-demand licensing. Any updates on that?
    • A: For DR scenarios, your Disaster Recovery Software Assurance benefit covers licensing for Microsoft products. Please refer to Azure Site Recovery Pricing. For migration, Azure Hybrid Benefit is supported with Azure Site Recovery.
  • Q: Are there any updates on a feature to allow us to disconnect a VM from one RSV, and re-connect to another (ie. after region failover), especially for Backup?
    • A: It is not currently possible to move a VM from one vault to another. You need to disable and enable replication again for disaster recovery. @AzureBackup, here is a feature request you might want to consider.
  • Q: Is the possibility of integrating Azure Backup and ASR together (ie. like Veeam), so that backup and replication data require a single data transmission, still being considered?
  • Q: Are there plans to add multi-tenant ASR support from Hyper-V using VMM on-premises to Azure? And/or what workarounds are there today for a customer wishing to migrate their workloads from on-premises to Azure? On-premises the multiple customer VMs are managed within one VMM, but need to be split out into different Azure accounts so that customers will be able to manage their environment once migrated over into Azure.
    • A: Thanks for the input. At present this is not in our plans. We will review the ask and add it to our future roadmap.  Could you add the feedback here: Site Recovery Feedback
  • Q: Any chance you will be implementing some solution involving isolated App Services? While there is a clone and backup/restore option, I really think there is room for a similar solution than what you have on VMs to make life a ton easier. Thanks!
      • A: We do have this in our backlog but currently there is no ETA. Feel free to add this in our User voice: Site Recovery Feedback
  • Q: Are there any plans to support Debian 9 & 10 on ASR? If there aren’t any plans to support those version of distros what is the recommendation to have near azure native DR to another region?
    • A: Yes, we are working on supporting Debian 9 & 10 in coming milestones.
  • Q: Any workaround to update/install the mobility service agent/extension on a VM from the Markeplate with closed OS to perform the replication job? – By close OS I mean that no one would be able to SSH to the VM
    • A: There are no plans to add support for marketplace VMs that run custom OS at present. We will review the ask and add it to our future roadmap.  Could you add the feedback here: Site Recovery Feedback

Conclusion

A big THANK YOU goes out to the Azure Site Recovery team, and their efforts to answer everyone’s questions. I, for one, truly appreciate how interactive, engaged, and supportive this Microsoft team is; with its Clients, Partners, and their Partner’s Customers.