Microsoft Azure to get security & disaster recovery boost

Microsoft announces forthcoming disaster recovery & anti-malware tweaks for Azure users

Microsoft Azure users are to benefit from a raft of security and disaster recovery improvements, including enhanced malware and performance protection for virtual machines.

The software giant used the first day of its TechEd conference in Houston, Texas, to tell attendees about some of the new features users of its public cloud service look set to benefit from in the coming months.

These include a revamped version of the Hyper-V Recovery Manager, now dubbed Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, which will be available to preview from next month.

This means end users will soon have the ability replicate and recover virtual machines, workloads and services to Azure if their primary datacentre site goes down.

During the opening TechEd keynote, Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division (pictured), said the changes will make disaster recovery cheaper and easier for enterprises to take advantage of.

“One of the things that differentiates [this] is that it is drop dead simple to use, and you can apply this to every workload in your datacentre,” he said.

“Historically, disaster recovery has been reserved for only the most mission critical applications for most organisations because it’s too expensive and too difficult.

“Let’s have disaster recovery for every one of the offerings in your company. For every one of the offerings your users and customers are using,” he added.

In another move designed to enhance the integrity of users’ Azure deployments, Microsoft confirmed plans to bring anti-malware protection to its public cloud service.

This, Anderson explained, will allow end users to protect not only their Azure hosted virtual machines, but any applications they are building for the public cloud platform.

Boosting end user trust in the performance and security of the public cloud was a key theme of today’s event, and forms part of the vendor’s wider push to get end users to take a more joined up view of the cloud.

To this end, the company also announced the availability of its Azure ExpressRoute service. This lets people connect their on-premise and datacentre assets to the public cloud through a private internet connection to free-up bandwidth and reduce latency issues.

“For the vast majority of you, you’re representative of enterprises who are going to be consuming a combination of private, hosted and public cloud as we go forward,” said Anderson.

“What I would encourage you to do, as you drive to build this cloud culture inside your organisations, is to no longer think of these as separate. But literally think of the public cloud as a part of your datacentre.”