Microsoft teams up with Symantec to deliver Azure cloud disaster recovery

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Microsoft and Symantec have partnered to launch a disaster recovery service, based on the Windows Azure platform and the security giant's storage software so businesses can protect critical data in the event of failure at a primary datacentre or other disaster.

Symantec said it would run its Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows and Veritas Volume replicator disaster recovery (DR) software on the Windows Azure cloud platform.

The new application will increase the ability of Symantec's current business continuity offerings for Microsoft, offering on-premise-to-cloud disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).

Symantec said its new service offers companies a quick, cost effective DR solution and enhanced protection for business critical applications.

The new service lets organisations improve recovery times in the event of an on-premise outage, by ensuring real-time replication of critical application data and offering end-to-end recovery coordination from the data up the stack to the application. The companies claimed that organisations can avoid managing a DR site themselves and instead benefit from the cloud services provided by Windows Azure.

Windows Azure is growing rapidly as a platform, and Symantec has seen many of its customers using it as part of a new delivery model for computing resources, accordning to Deepak Mohan, senior vice president of Symantec's storage and availability management group.

"With Symantec's proven high availability technology, and Microsoft's cloud platform, organisations can rest assured that their business will keep running in cases of disasters and outages,"he said.

Microsoft corporate vice president of developer and platform evangelism Walid Abu-Hadba added: "Symantec's service aims to extend the built-in reliability of Windows Azure and help customers recover on-premises applications and data with a disaster recovery and business continuity solution utilising complementary technology from both Symantec and Microsoft."

Analysts said that many companies have been looking for a way to automate the recovery of production data and to keep important applications running in the event of an outage that has the potential to disrupt business for hours.

“Leveraging cloud computing as a Disaster Recovery (DR) target addresses business continuity needs for organisations that cannot afford a secondary site or at-a-distance failovers for mission-critical, virtualised workloads,” said Jean Bozman, research vice president at IDC.