Microsoft has launched an enhanced version of its Azure Site Recovery (ASR) targeted especially for VMware customers.
The ASR concept allows you to backup virtual machines into the Azure storage, update them and then run the VMs in Azure as a disaster recovery option. Microsoft charges $54 a month per VM instance stored in Azure, but doesn't pay any compute or storage costs until you run the VM, which would make sense as it is only a file until the VM is spun up.
However, VMware already offers a similar disaster recovery service in its own vCloud Air cloud for its customers. Microsoft is banking on the fact that VMware can't match Microsoft for cloud scale or reach: after all the ASR service is already offered in 18 geographical regions compared to the nine (plus two government-only sites in which VMware operates.
That however might not be such a problem as VMware does have a network of partners who operate clouds running its products. That partner network, according to analyst firm Gartner's late 2015 Vendor rating for VMware, is a strength, because the likes of CSC and CenturyLink “have a broader range of capabilities and also offer additional services that are important to midmarket and enterprise buyers, such as security services and managed services.”
VMware remains convinced that an all-VMware hybrid cloud makes life simpler for vAdmins. Microsoft, however, believes differently and has now offered VMware users a broad, simple DR service that not only hurts Virtzilla but the news will also concern other storage vendors and DR software companies.