Microsoft Azure – Single Instance SLA

Microsoft announced on Monday a significant improvement to their Service Level Agreements in respect of a single instance Virtual Machine in Azure – now offering 99.9% availability!

Many organisations with legacy line of business applications are nervous about moving those workloads to the Cloud owing to the SLA provided by the cloud vendor. Often those legacy applications are unable to take advantage of scale-out features and therefore reside on a single instance server, which in turn suffers from relatively poor SLA commitments.

Microsoft have done extensive work to improve availability of the Azure infrastructure, including innovative machine-learning to predict failing hardware early and offering premium storage to help improve reliability and performance of attached disks – the net effect of this work is that they can now offer single instance virtual machines in Azure with 99.9% availability, allowing organisations to take advantage of the agility of the cloud without compromising on their expectations of availability.

To qualify for the single instance virtual machine SLA, all storage disks attached to the VM must use Azure Premium Storage which offers both high availability and performance (80,000 IOPS and 2,000 MBps throughput).

To put that SLA into context that’s less than 9 hours per year downtime – there are very few organisations capable of running their own infrastructure with single instance line of business applications that can provide that level of availability.

Of course, if your legacy line of business applications do support scale-out then you can continue to build multi-machine high availability by having two or more virtual machines deployed in the same Availability Set or by utilising VM Scale Sets – both of which provide machine isolation, network isolation, and power unit isolation across multiple virtual machines.

If you want to know more about how you can migrate applications and workloads safely, securely and efficiently to Azure then please feel free to contact us here at CoreAzure.

Microsoft Azure Backup – If you have a backup strategy in place, are your backups secure?

 

What is the cost of recovering from the business impact of a cyber-attack? If you have a backup strategy in place, are your backups secure?

While data backups are essential to effective IT security, mismanagement and mishandling of backups can often increase an organisations security woes and with the reported increase in ransomware by the CRN Quarterly Ransomware Report with over 120 separate ransomware families, reporting a 3500% increase in cybercriminal internet infrastructure for launching attacks since the beginning of the year it’s probably a good time to review what measures you have in place to ensure that your backups remain safe.

Having recently reviewed Microsoft Azure backup for a client engagement, it’s new security features for protecting Azure Backup is another testament that Microsoft continues to build security into their cloud services providing security capabilities to protect an organisations cloud backups.

These security features ensure that customers can secure their backups and recover data using cloud backups if production and backup servers have been compromised.

These features are built on three principles – Prevention, Alerting and Recovery – to enable organisations increase preparedness against attacks and equip them with a robust backup solution.

1.Prevention – An additional layer of authentication is added whenever a critical operation like Change Passphrase is performed. This validation is to ensure that such operations can be performed only by users having valid Azure credentials.

2.Alerting – Email notification is sent to subscription admin whenever a critical operation like Delete Backup data is performed. This email ensures that user is timely notified about such actions.

3.Recovery – Deleted backup data is retained for additional 14 days from the date of delete. This ensures recoverability of the data within given time period so there is no data loss even if attack happens. Also, more number of minimum recovery points are maintained to guard against corrupt data.

If you would like to discuss this further, then please contact us on the form below. For more information on how to turn these features on within the Azure platform, simply visit this link.

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