Microsoft, Symantec Team Up on Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Symantec's "disaster recovery as a service" offering would enable businesses to use Microsoft's Azure cloud to protect data and applications.

Microsoft and Symantec are developing a disaster recovery service that leverages Microsoft€™s Azure cloud platform and Symantec€™s storage software to enable businesses to protect critical data in the event of a disaster or failure at a primary data site.

The idea behind the "disaster recovery as a service" platform is to give businesses of all sizes the ability to recover business-critical applications and data in the event of a disruption by leveraging the public cloud capabilities in Microsoft€™s Azure, according to officials with both companies.

Businesses using Symantec€™s Veritas Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows, and Veritas Volume disaster recovery software would be able to extend the solutions to the Azure cloud, giving them another level of data protection and disaster recovery. Microsoft€™s cloud platform could be used as an off-premise solution in the case of a disaster of some sort€”from storage failures to network problems to power outages€”that would give companies quick access to their data and applications and keep their businesses running.

The combination of technology from Microsoft and Symantec makes sense, according to Deepak Mohan, senior vice president of Symantec€™s Storage and Availability Management Group.

€œWindows Azure is growing rapidly as a platform, and we are seeing many of our customers utilizing it as part of a new delivery model for computing resources,€ Mohan said in a statement. €œWith Symantec€™s proven high-availability technology, and Microsoft€™s cloud platform, organizations can rest assured that their business will keep running in cases of disasters and outages.€

A key differentiator in Symantec€™s offering, which was announced June 11 at Microsoft€™s TechEd conference, from similar solutions that use public clouds in their backup plans is that Symantec€™s not only lets businesses save their data, but also protect their applications, according to Symantec officials.

Businesses using Symantec€™s Veritas solutions in their primary data centers would extend the solutions into the Azure cloud, according to Symantec officials. In the event of a disaster or outage, an automated process that replicates the data and applications to the cloud would kick into action, keeping the business running.

Symantec officials expect the cloud-based disaster recovery service to be operational next year, with information regarding pricing and other issues being settled by then.

€œWindows Azure is designed to provide resilience and availability,€ Walid Abu-Hadba, corporate vice president of developer and platform evangelism at Microsoft, said in a statement. €œSymantec€™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 utilizing complementary technology from both Symantec and Microsoft.€

The disaster recovery as a service platform is the latest effort in availability and disaster recovery pairing Symantec and Microsoft, according to Symantec officials. The two also partner in this area around Microsoft€™s Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server Hyper-V virtualization technology.