Allow Storage Replica in Windows Server 2016 to replicate directly to Azure
I think there is a business case for allowing the Storage Replica feature in Windows Server 2016 to replicate directly to Azure, "Storage Replica as a Service" if you will.
The reason for this is to be able to set up a simple DR solution for any volume on any Windows Server 2016. In the case of a disaster at the on-premise datacenter the customer can elect to either set up a new VM in Azure and replicate the data back to that server or set up a new server on-premise and replicate the data back to that server.
This differs from ASR and Hyper-V replica in the sense that only the data is protected and not the server or the application.
This differs from backup in the sense that there is no versioning and it doesn't require any backup software to initiate the recovery process, only Windows Server 2016.