New GA from Microsoft ensures improved Azure Storage and Backup


Microsoft is getting ready for production as Azure services receives GA status. The services that reached GA include Azure ExpressRoute monitoring, additions to the Azure Storage service and Azure Backup service, and the Azure Redis Cache Geo-Replication service.

Azure Backup has a new capability at GA, called “application consistent backup for Linux VMs”. It enables users to take consistent snapshots of Linux-based Azure virtual machines that are running applications. “To ensure transactional consistency, applications need to be quiesced and there should be no unfinished transactions when taking a VM snapshot,” Microsoft explained, in a media announcement this week.

IT pros can make that happen by running two scripts in the Azure Command Line Interface, which are “used to quiesce application IOs. According to the announcement, Microsoft had previewed this application consistent backup for Linux VMs capability for Azure Backup last year. It’s been used to support applications such as “Oracle, MySQL, Mongo DB, SAP HANA, and PostGreSQL.

Another advantage to using application consistent backup for Linux VMs with Azure Backup is that it permits the recovery of specific application files without the need to restore the entire VM. Next, the Azure Site Recovery service is also getting an improvement for organizations that tap virtual machines using managed disks. It’s now possible to set up Disaster Recovery service in such scenarios, Microsoft announced this week.

The open source Redis caching capability used to ensure the availability of applications running on Azure datacenters is known as the “Azure Redis Cache” service. It has now received georeplication support available at the GA status, according to the announcement.

Access to Azure Redis Cache Geo-Replication requires having two Azure Redis Cache instances, and organizations also have to use the “Premium” subscription option. Setup is typically done using the Azure Portal. Microsoft recommends that customers “always co-locate in the same Azure Region” for optimal performance.


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