Working with Azure Backup services

When you are looking for some decent and reliable backup SaaS software for your (cloud) environment you end up with services offered by for example Acronis, Symantec or Barracuda. Microsoft jumped in on this and recently introduced: Azure Backup. This post will go in to more details about what the Azure Backup service has to offer and how you are able to configure it.

Azure Backup is available as a service within the Microsoft Azure Management portal and can be created within a few clicks:

Click New, then point to Data Services, then point to Recovery Services, then click Backup Vault, and then click Quick Create. Now select the Region for the backup vault and click Create Vault (It will take about 10-15 minutes to create your backup vault).

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After the backup vault is created, you are able to view its configuration within the management panel.

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Now it is time to add a server to the Azure Backup service so it can be backuped. To achieve this, the servers needs to be registered in the backup vault. First of all, download and save the vault credentials:

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Afterwards download the backup agent for the right platform:

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In case of this walkthrough we will add a Windows Server 10 machine to the backup vault. This means we download the backup agent using the first option as this agent is compatible with server 2008 R2 SP1 and higher.
Now that we have all the files required for registering our machine, we can connect and copy the files over. The next thing we do is run the executable and install the backup agent.

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After the installation is completed, you can proceed to the registration of the server. At this point you have to import the generated vault credentials file so the server can be validated by the azure backup services.

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Now generate a passphrase to encrypt your backups. Remind to save this key at a save location as it is required to recover data.

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And that’s it! Your server is registered with the just created backup vault within Microsoft Azure. Now it is time to configure your backup schedule and run your first backup using Azure Backup.

Open up the Azure Backup agent and click Schedule Backup.

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This will open up a wizard which will let you configure:

  • What files and folders you want to backup.
  • What files and folders you do not want to backup.
  • At what time and day the backup should occur.
  • The retention time of the backup.

After you have completed the wizard you can see the scheduled job in the Microsoft Azure Backup agent. The scheduling of backups can also be configured within Data Protection Manager as the agent does integrate with the System Center product.

Probably you do not want to wait for scheduled job to run. So click Back Up Now and enjoy the action!

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After the backup is completed, you can open up the backup vault within azure to check if the backup was successful.

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And you are ready to backup and restore files to and from the cloud!
At this point in time the Azure Backup does only support file backup and is not able to backup the system state of a machine. The first 5 GB are free so give it a try! For more info check:

http://azure.microsoft.com/nl-nl/documentation/articles/backup-configure-vault/