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I’m excited to announce the preview of IaaS VM backup capability in Azure using the Azure Backup service to provide enterprise-level data protection for workloads running on Azure IaaS.

This preview delivers the use of policy-driven VM-level backup management capabilities to protect Azure IaaS VMs against accidental deletion and data corruption scenarios. This approach incorporates our established design principles for backup, such as:

  • Providing application consistent backups
  • Storing changes efficiently using incremental backup
  • Central management to monitor backups
  • Single-click restore operations
  • Resiliency in all operations to ensure predictable backup SLAs

To give you a sense of these new capabilities, here’s a look at the user experience of backing up an Azure IaaS VM:

To get started with this preview, the first step is to create backup policies that specify backup frequency and retention schedules for the IaaS VMs in your subscription. These policies are managed from within the “policies” tab (which is navigable from within a backup vault under “recovery services”).

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Figure 1: Example Backup Policy with daily backup frequency and retention of 7 days.

Once you have the desired backup policies in place, you can use a simple backup wizard to seamlessly configure and schedule backups for your VMs. In this preview we’re supporting 30 days of retention.

In addition to scheduled backups, you can also take ad-hoc backups at critical points in time, such as before applying a patch or performing test operations. Customers are able to restore backed up VMs using a really simple workflow. You can also configure backup for both Windows and Linux VMs with the same backup policy – all from the same UI.

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Figure 2: Configuring protection for multiple VMs using a single policy.

After configuring this protection, the VM’s that are being backed-up can then be tracked through the “Jobs” page. You can next use the filters to narrow down the list and click on the job to get even more details.

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Figure 3: View status of backup tasks in the Jobs page.

If you want to see a list of the VM’s being protected, they are all listed on the “Protected Items” list. This page gives you a handy snapshot of the health of the virtual machines’ backup. For even more insight, you can sort on the status of each VM to see any with errors and take action to address the problem.

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Restoring a VM is as simple as selecting the VM you want to restore and then clicking on “Restore.” Now, with a surprisingly minimal set of inputs, you can have a complete copy of the VM restored from an earlier point in time.

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Visit the IaaS VM backup documentation page to learn more about:

  • VM discovery
  • The new “Jobs” page
  • More info on how to back up your IaaS VMs
  • And you can even test drive it for yourself by creating a new backup vault and VM

If you have in-depth questions or want to learn more, visit the Azure Backup forum – and you can also share your ideas about other features you’d like to see added to the backup/restore of Azure IaaS VMs.

 

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