How to Use Azure Active Geo-Replication and Auto-Failover Groups to Minimize Database Failure

September 15, 2017

Active Geo-Replication has been a built-in feature of Azure for over a year now. This powerful disaster-recovery solution ensures that your data will be available in the event of an outage or inability to connect to the primary database – significantly reducing the likelihood of downtime. This intuitive tool makes it easy for users to replicate a database to a datacenter anywhere in the world with just a few clicks. Once auto-failover is activated, you gain the ability to automatically recover multiple databases from the secondary region.

While some downtime is still a part of life within every organization, Active Geo-Replication significantly reduces the scale and time required to bring your databases back to life. The addition of Auto-Failover Groups takes this one step further by removing the need to update the connection information in the application during a failover.

You simply need to follow these basic steps to automatically failover your application using active geo-replication:

How to Use Active Geo-Replication

1. Setup active geo-replication for your database
Assuming your database has already been migrated to Azure SQL, browse to the database in the Azure portal and select “Geo-Replication” under settings. Select the secondary region and fill in the required fields. When done, click create and wait for replication seeding process to complete.
Setup active geo-replication

2. Setup an auto-failover group
On the Failover Group continuation page, select the secondary database server. Update the failover policy if needed (defaults to automatic). Then select a name for your failover group.

setup auto failover group

3. Update your connection strings
Update the connection string of your application to point to the fail over group (example:

update connection strings

4. Test it!
You can manually failover the primary database. This will put the secondary database in read/write mode and the failover group will direct traffic to that database.

Active Geo-Replication has proven to be a valuable tool in helping IT ensure they are effectively supporting the business. By automatically managing geo-replication relationships, connectivity, and failover scale, Active Geo-Replication reduced the amount of downtime, as well as creates more time for IT to focus on other value-added initiatives that can drive the business forward.

Are you an Azure customer interested in learning more about Geo-Replication? Would you like to learn more about other ways you can significantly reduce IT workload? Contact us to discuss your current options and needs, and to learn more about our Managed Services solutions that can help you develop flexible, cloud-first strategies to meet the demands of business today.

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