Wobble-prone Azure has rolled out a new service that lets users protect data even in the event of a regional catastrophe, by replicating data across three availability zones in the primary region, as well as moving it to a secondary geography.
The “geo zone redundant storage” (GZRS) service is available in a preview and has been designed to provide at least 99.99999999999999% (16 nines) durability of objects over a given year in the event of a catastrophe in the primary region.
The release follows what Azure CTO Mark Russinovich described as “three unique and significant incidents that impacted customers” since last September.
These were datacenter outage in the South Central US region in September 2018, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) challenges in November 2018, and DNS maintenance issues in May 2019.
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GZRS is currently available at discounted preview rates.
Art Khlobystin, senior product manager at Azure wrote in a blog that when using: “Geo Zone Redundant Storage, you can continue to read and write the data even if one of the availability zones in the primary region is unavailable.
“In the event of a regional failure, you can also use Read Access Geo Zone Redundant Storage to continue having read access.”
The service marries Azure’s high availability zone-redundant storage (ZRS) with protection from regional outages provided by its geo-redundant storage (GRS).
GZRS users can optionally enable read access to data in the secondary region with read-access geo-zone-redundant storage (RA-GZRS) if applications need to be able to read data in the event of a disaster in the primary region.
Azure Redundancy Service
The increased redundancy options from Microsoft follows similar redundancy efforts by AWS and Google Cloud who both in the last year have offered a regional or zone-based back up service.
Amazon’s AWS Backup provides a centralised backup console, a set of backup APIs, and a command line interface to manage backups across six core AWS services.
The service allows users to automate and consolidate backup tasks previously performed service-by-service, removing the need to create custom scripts and manual processes. This service works with AWS’ cross-region replication that enables automatic copying of data buckets across multiple regions within the AWS cloud infrastructure.
Last year Google introduce a duel-regional option for its users. With duel-region storage the user gets to select a second region for their data to be stored and accessible in the event of local server downtime.
Geoffrey Noer Product Manager at Google Cloud Storage wrote last year that: “With this new option, you write to a single dual-regional bucket without having to manually copy data between primary and secondary locations. No replication tool is needed to do this and there are no network charges associated with replicating the data, which means less overhead for you storage administrators out there. In the event of a region failure, we transparently handle the failover and ensure continuity for your users and applications accessing data in Cloud Storage.”
Microsoft recommends using GZRS for applications requiring consistency, durability, high availability, excellent performance, and resilience for disaster recovery.