​Microsoft launches on-demand Azure backup and recovery

Microsoft is rolling out new features backup and recovery features for enterprise customers with virtualised IT infrastructure across private and public clouds.

Microsoft has announced new preview features for Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery to provide more flexible backup and recovery options for enterprise private and public clouds.

The new features come as part of Microsoft's Availability on Demand service for enterprises with a hybrid cloud strategy, and are aimed at helping those customers move and manage data and applications across on-premise and cloud environments.

The features are targeted at Microsoft's IT pro customers, and follow the company's mobile developer focused announcement this week of Azure App Service.

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The Azure Backup feature update will let enterprise run online backups of Windows and Linux VMs deployed in an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) setup and restore them as needed.

It's designed to support enterprises with on-premise deployments to move capabilities to Azure, such as disaster recovery, analytics, backup, cloud bursting, migration, and development and testing.

To cater for for scenarios where an enterprise network is congested, customers can ship initial backups to the nearest Azure datacentre using the Azure Import/Export service.

The new Azure Site Recovery features, also currently in preview, lend Azure to use as a substitute disaster recovery site, which customers can use to protect VMware virtual machines and physical servers.

Microsoft says the service will offer "near-zero recovery point objective", meaning that data is mirrored to the offsite location constantly. Customers can also choose to configure Site Recovery so as to minimise lost data and switch back to the on-premise VMs when their datacentre recovers. Customers can also use the feature to test new versions of their application and treat is part of their cloud migration strategy.

Microsoft's Azure API Management Premium also hit general availability, allowing customers to host an API Management instance in multiple Azure datacentres and have them automatically synchronised in different regions.

Finally, the company delivered a few updates to Azure Active Director including automatic password rollover to help protect company owned social media accounts, as well as multifactor authentication that can be set up for more sensitive applications.

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