Microsoft Ignite kicked off earlier last week in Orlando, Florida and the Azure Team brought a huge announcement on the Availability Zones service!—the next perpetual resiliency services for Azure IaaS.
Microsoft is always seeking customer feedback to identify ways in which they can bring additional value to customers, having that said, want to introduce one such feature called Availability Zones.
What is Azure Availability Zones all about?
Azure Availability Zones are designed to reduce a single point of failure given an specific IaaS scenario, mainly described as:
“fault-isolated locations within an Azure region, providing redundant power, cooling, and networking. Availability Zones allow customers to run mission-critical applications with higher availability and fault tolerance to datacenter failures.”.
The difference between Availability Sets – Availability Zones – Region Pairs
|Feature||Capability / Provide|
|Availability Sets||High-availability protection from hardware, network, and power failures in a datacenter|
|Availability Zones||High-availability protection against the loss of entire data center(s)|
|Region pairs||Disaster Recovery that protects from the loss of an entire region|
Top Features of Azure Availability Zones:
- Availability Zones (AZ) are physically separated locations within an Azure region
- Each AZ has independent power, network, and cooling
- AZ locations are chosen based on a per-region risk assessment
- AZs are designed to reduce single points of failure in the platform
How can Azure Availability Zones help you?
Lets discuss 3 approaches where Availability Zones can help you increase resiliency:
- High-availability and Disaster Recovery
- Low Latency for synchronous replication
- Protection from data center-level failure
High-Availability and Disaster Recovery:
Native HA and DR support through Availability Zones and Regional pairs. Each AZ enabled region has a minimum of three zones. All regions have one region pair providing data replication with data residency.
Low Latency for synchronous replication:
Zones are close enough to each other for synchronous replication, meaning high-availability for applications and minimal data loss.
Protection from data center-level failure:
Each zone is physically separated with independent power, network, and cooling and logically separated through zone-isolated services.
Example of a web app utilizing Azure Availability Zones
- Each zone consists of one or more data centers within a region
- You can load balance across all your VMs deployed in Availability Zones enabling scenarios with zonal frontends and cross-zone load balancing for the backend
- For regions that do not support Availability Zones, Availability Sets should still be leveraged for HA (and to get SLA).
- Availability Zones protect against local failures and covers a broader set. Planned maintenance just launched as a service and can be a substitute for update domains.
- Availability Sets and Availability Zones are not supported at the same time.
- In the case of Always On the SQL engineering team recommends you spread your nodes equally across the three zones for the highest availability
Want to try this feature?
Don´t forget to check out the Technical Documentation here! http://aka.ms/azoverview