In the current XenApp Disaster Recovery solution, you need to set up two different XenApp data centers, both fully active and capable of supporting the other in the event of disaster. From the capital and operational cost, this approach can be very expensive, as you need to pay for the duplicate resources. But with Azure Site Recovery, this can be all managed for you by Microsoft in Azure.

What is Azure Site Recovery?

Azure Site Recovery is Microsoft’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution and provides disaster recovery capabilities by orchestrating replication, failover and recovery of virtual machines. Azure Site Recovery supports a number of replication technologies to consistently replicate, protect, and seamlessly failover virtual machines to secondary site or to Azure.

Why use Azure Site Recovery to protect your XenApp deployments

Using Azure Site Recovery, you can eliminate the need for a secondary data center. Azure Site Recovery can protect on-premises Hyper-V, VMware and physical machines by continuously replicating the VM data to Azure storage account.

Once your on-premises XenApp environment is being protected using the ASR and data gets replicated through the Azure Site Recovery, all virtual machines are configured as a VHD virtual disks, which get linked to a virtual machine profile. It is important to note that the virtual machines themselves are not running, as long as the recovery process itself is not initiated. Basically, you are only consuming Azure storage, which makes this solution great from a cost perspective. It’s only when the recovery process starts (your XenApp VMs boot up), that it will start to incur compute costs consumption. Azure Site Recovery offers a simple pricing model that makes it easy to estimate costs. For detailed pricing info see Site Recovery Pricing.

Azure Site Recovery is secure and reliable, it continuously monitors the replication and health of the protected virtual machines from Azure. All communication between your on-premises XenApp environment and Azure is sent over SSL encrypted channels. All of your data is encrypted both when in transit and at in Azure storage. You can perform failover testing with Azure Site Recovery without impacting your on-premises production environment.

We have tested the Disaster Recovery solution using Azure Site Recovery for XenApp deployments based on Hyper-V and VMware.

For step-by-step guidance for implementing the disaster recovery solution for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop deployments using Azure Site Recovery, check out this white paper.

As always, your questions and feedback are welcome.

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