Thursday, August 13, 2020

Azure Backup service

You can use the Azure Backup service to back up your Azure VM and your on-premises VM. Azure backup backs up the data, machine state, and workloads running on on-premises machines and Azure virtual machine (VM) instances. The Azure Backup service provides simple, secure, and cost-effective solutions to back up your data and recover it from the Microsoft Azure cloud.

You can back up on-premises and azure virtual machines and data in Azure.

1.       Back up Azure VMs

2.       Back up on-premises machines

Back up Azure VMs

Azure Backup stores backed-up data in a “Recovery Services Vault” (type of storage account). A vault is an online-storage entity in Azure that's used to hold data, such as backup copies, recovery points, and backup policies. When you enable backup then you set schedule for backup according to your requirement.

Steps used for taking the backup of Azure VM

1.       Create Recovery Services Vault with help of azure portal to store data

2.       A backup extension is installed on the VM and create snapshot of it 

a.       Windows VMs, the VMSnapshot extension is installed.

b.       Linux VMs, the VMSnapshot Linux extension is installed.

3.       The extension takes a storage-level snapshot

4.       After the snapshot is taken, the data is transferred to the vault

5.       After the data is sent to the vault, a recovery point is created. By default, snapshots are retained for two days before they are deleted. This feature allows restore operation from these snapshots, thereby cutting down the restore times.

All these steps in one diagram

Back up on-premises machines

You can use the Azure Backup service to back up on-premises machines and apps and to back up Azure virtual machines (VMs). Basically, first we need to setup backup agent on on-premises machine and that agent will push data into “Recovery Services vault” in Azure. That agent name is Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent.


How it works?

Here we will see in detail how to take on-premises VMs backup in azure? As you have seen the above for Azure VMs backup need to install “Azure VM extension” in azure VM that extension take snapshot of VM data and then send to “Azure Recovery Services Vault”. In same way for on-premises VMs backup there is agent (MARS agent) which is responsible to take the backup of VMs then that backup sends to “Azure Recovery Services Vault”.

Steps used for taking the backup of on-premises VMs

1.       Create “Recovery Services Vault” with help of azure portal to store VM data

2.       Once vault is created download backup agent from azure portal

3.       Install backup agent in on-premises VM

a.       Generally, agent we call it Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent. It is responsible to take the snapshot of VM locally

b.       Once it installed need to register with “Azure Recovery Services Vault”

4.       Once it registers with vault then it sends back data from on-premises to “Azure Recovery Services Vault”. It used to send data securely from on- premises to azure.

All above steps in below screenshot 

Why use Azure Backup?

Azure Backup has these key benefits

Multiple storage options

Azure Backup offers two types of replication to keep your storage/data highly available.

Locally redundant storage (LRS)

It replicates your data three times (it creates three copies of your data) in a storage scale unit in a datacenter. All copies of the data exist within the same region. LRS is a low-cost option for protecting your data from local hardware failures.

Geo-redundant storage (GRS)

It is the default and recommended replication option. GRS replicates your data to a secondary region (hundreds of miles away from the primary location of the source data). GRS costs more than LRS, but GRS provides a higher level of durability for your data, even if there's a regional outage.

Scale easily

Azure Backup uses the underlying power and unlimited scale of the Azure cloud to deliver high-availability with no maintenance or monitoring overhead.

Get app-consistent backups

An application-consistent backup means a recovery point has all required data to restore the backup copy. Azure Backup provides application-consistent backups, which ensure additional fixes aren't required to restore the data. Restoring application-consistent data reduces the restoration time, allowing you to quickly return to a running state.

Here short video created by Microsoft for "Overview of Azure Backup" have a look

These are some of the  key benefits of azure. I hope it will help you to understand, how azure backups works in Azure and On-premises.

Keep sharing keep learning. Cheers

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