Earlier, we use to carry floppies, USB’s & hard disk drives to access stored files.
Well, now, the time has changed!
Cloud Computing has revolutionized the way enterprises manage and process
applications and drive values from data. It enables users to use multiple apps, help
them in solving workload challenges quickly from anywhere through any device. It
allows users to store large databases and develop complex applications. It also
offers several benefits such as- instant scalability, low costs, security, anytime
anywhere access, high availability, etc.
It also offers different types of cloud service models, such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS.
The information and data stored on virtual servers are maintained and controlled
by cloud computing service providers such as Microsoft Azure, etc.
Microsoft Azure was created in 2010 by Microsoft to provide cloud services for
building, testing, deploying & managing applications through Microsoft data
centers. Azure has more global regions than any other cloud provider. The data
centers are available in 54 regions worldwide. Microsoft offers various services, such as Compute, Database, Storage, Content Delivery, Networking, etc.
What are Azure Regions?
Azure Regions are the geographic groupings of two or more data centers or are the
set of data centers. Azure provides its users, the flexibility to deploy applications
where they wanted. These Azure Regions have data centers where the data is
stored, and it gives this data to its users with low latency.
For the deployment of cloud resources, its better to choose those Azure Regions
which are near to employees, users, or customers. Selecting the nearest Azure
regions can keep the latency down when communicating across the internet.
This Azure Region is a concept of Azure Region Pairs.
What is Azure Region Pairs?
Each Azure region is paired with another region within the same geography, and
this makes a regional pair except for Brazil South, which is paired with a region
outside its geography.
Among these regional pairs or Azure Region Pairs, only one paired region is
updated at a time. The Azure Region pairs offer multiple benefits. These regional
pairs are always located greater than 300 miles apart. These Azure Region pairs are
directly connected and are far enough alone to be isolated from
regional disasters so that the disaster affects only one region.
Suppose, if one of the regions were to experience a disaster, then the services of the primary region will automatically failovers to the secondary region of that regional pair. For example— East Asia region’s pair is Southeast Asia.
These Azure Regions are paired together, within the same geographic regions, for
retrieving our data even after the experience of disaster, and also for the Business
Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) purpose.
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Even if we are running the data centers with Azure, we still need regular backups and be prepared for disaster recovery. There are two disaster recovery services for BCDR solutions:
1. Azure Backup service
This service keeps our data safe and recoverable by backing it up to Azure. Suppose if someone accidentally deletes an important file or folder or an entire Virtual Machine, then by using this backup service we can recover it quickly.
2. Azure Site Recovery service
This is another service of the BCDR puzzle.
It is used to replicate workloads running on physical and virtual machines from a primary region to a secondary region. With the Azure Site Recovery service, we can protect our systems across different regions. This enables to meet compliance needs, app-consistent, etc.
Benefits of paired regions
1. Physical isolation
Each Azure region within a pair is located at least 300 miles apart. This helps in isolation of the pairs so that the regional disaster affects only one region within that pair.
2. Platform-provided replication
There are some services within Microsoft Azure such as Geo-Redundant Storage that provides automatic replication to the paired region.
3. Region recovery order
For maximum disaster recovery, one region out of every pair is prioritized for recovery Out of every pair, the recovery of one region is prioritized.
4. Data residency
A region resides within the same geography for the data residency requirements for tax and judiciary purposes.
5. Sequential updates
To minimize the downtime, the paired regions are sequentially updated.