Announced just last week, Microsoft has officially renamed the decidedly on-premises Hyper-V Recovery Manager to the more Cloud-focused Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR). In addition to the name change, Microsoft has developed into ASR, the ability to deliver protection and failover directly to Microsoft Azure. Prior to the change, data delivery was limited to onsite storage and then could be manually moved to Azure for storage. This new capability helps eliminate redundant operations and provides automated, or orchestrated, data delivery to the Cloud.

Obviously, moving data, particularly corporate data that is automated for Cloud delivery, must be a secure operation. Security still stands alone as the top disparager for companies considering any type of off-premises storage. Fortunately, ASR provides encryption facilities built into the service. And, not just encryption in the Cloud, but the option available in ASR encrypts the data before it leaves the server, meaning data is encrypted during backup, long before it is transferred to Microsoft Azure. And, the data remains encrypted until you say so.

Encryption is a choice, managed during ASR setup. Just select the option to Encrypt Stored Data, and you're good to go.

One other thing to learn is that Azure-stored VMs can be unencrypted and run directly in Microsoft Azure. There's no need to pull the data back down on-premises just to get access or to give access to business users during a local outage or disaster.

ASR is currently in Preview. A trial account can be created here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/site-recovery/