DR for Azure IaaS VM: Failover Azure Virtual Machines to another region using Azure Site Recovery

Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is a tool which can be used to protect virtual machines and physical servers by replicating to another datacenter location.

Virtual machines running on VMware vSphere, Hyper-V as well as  physical servers are currently supported in a scenario in which these are  replicated using Microsoft Azure as target.

At MS Ignite 2016 Microsoft showed a new scenario of ASR called ‘DR for Azure IaaS VM’. Using ASR,  Azure IaaS virtual machines can be protected by Azure Site Recovery (ASR) by replicating to another Azure region.

It is not known when ‘DR for Azure IaaS’ will be general available.

ASR is a cost effective DR solution as it only replicates the storage. So on the target site, there is consumption of storage, but there is no replica virtual machine active. Only when a fail over is initiated, VM’s are created in the target site.

ASR offers both failover at the VM level as well as at the application level. For application level replication ASR uses cache storage. This means that writes at the source site are first stored in a cache. This prevents performance impact on the application. Then replication of the data is done using the cached storage.

This video has a good explanation of DR for Azure IaaS VM. Each virtual machine running in Azure has a Site Recovery button. Pressing this button enables the setup of replication to the paired region. All is done automatically.




Azure Site Recovery offers a Recovery Time Objective of about two minutes. It has a feature to create recovery plans which allows to recover VM’s in a preset order and perform tasks like deploying a load balancer.

Recovery can be done by selecting a recovery point. This allows you to go back in time selecting from multiple snapshots.


Steps to configure ASR for replication to another region are described here.

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