One question my customers regularly ask me:”How do we back-up the Virtual Machines (VM’s) in Azure?” Until now this could either be a tidious task; keeping the VM in the cloud (Yes, I mentioned the “C”-word). Other customers were confronted with a high bill for regress costs when using their on-prem backup solutions to ensure the safety of the VM’s. Now we can create a consistent backup of a VM in Azure, here’s the how-part…
First off, we’ll need an Azure subscription. If you don’t have one at this time, you can always go here and get a free one for thirty days, but you will need a creditcard. I know, in some countries you can’t live without it, in The Netherlands there still are people who don’t own one, or don’t want one. When that one is dealt with, and you’ve got your subscription all set up. You can go over to http://manage.windowsazure.com
First off, we’ll need something to backup, a VM… When you didn’t create a VM in your subscription before, be sure to create one now, because you need something to back-up in a minute…. or two…
Ok, now that’s been taken care of… Let’s set-up this new feature already!
In the sidemenu with all Azure Services, scroll down to “Recovery Services”.
In Recovery Services, choose to create a new Backup Vault.
The creation might take a minute or two, but when it’s created it will show up in the expected manner, under Recovery Services.
When we have a look at the dashboard it will tell us that there are no protected VM’s yet, but that’s to be expected. We’ve only created this Service a few moments ago…. But, let’s continue… Next we’ll need to discover resources that need our protection, like… Virtual Machines.
Click on Registered Items, as below. By default, this will show the protection of Windows Servers, so toggle the view to show Azure VM’s. This also will activate the “Discover” functionality in the bar at the bottom of the screen.
Now the magic starts…. We’ll it’s allmost like magic… sort of… Now the Recovery Service will scan your subscription for any unprotected Virtual Machines present. Selecting the Virtual Machine will ensure you can backup it. It will install another “Extension” inside the VM. Ok, so now we’ve discovered a Virtual Machine we want to protect through a back-up ánd prepped the VM so it can be backed up.. What’s next? Ow yes.. the protecting part itself… We’ll need to define a schedule when our backups take place, how frequently the backup happen and ofcourse how long the backups are retained.
Currently, and I know the Service has just been on-line for a little over a day, ÿou can have a maximum retention time of 4 weeks; a Virtual Machine can only be a member of one (1) backup policy.
Once you’ve decided on retention times and other variables, the policy will show up under “Policies”
Now, how about a test-run, to create a first, back-up, baseline… When you navigate to “Protected Items” you can manually start a back-up job.
This time I’ve shown you the easiest way to do a native back-up of your Virtual Machines in Microsoft Azure. Join me again next time when we restore a Virtual Machine from this backup mechanism…