Backing up your VM’s in Azure on a Schedule

This is my tenth post in a series of entry-level posts, as suggested by Tim Ford (b|l|t) in this challenge.
I have not set any scope for the topics of my, at least, twelve (12) posts in this blog category of mine, but I can assure, it’ll be focused on SQL Server stuff. This time it’s going to be about how to backup your VM’s in Azure with the Recovery Services Vaults.

Previous Posts in Entry Level Serie:

Introduction

Finding yourself up that creek w/out a paddle, is not something you should strive to achieve. Hence, do your backups so that when that brownish thinghy hits the rotating cooling thingy, you are able to dodge the bullet in style.

Via the Azure Portal this is actually quite an easy setup. We begin by defining a Recovery Services Vault. If the offering is not immediately available, search for it like this:

searchYou can select to toggle it as favorite, you may want to check back regularly to see if your backup job is running as expected.

Clicking the Recovery Services Vaults presents you with the next dialog. Here you can view all the services you may have running. You can also Add new ones which we are going to do by clicking the Add button.

add

Next dialog lets us set a couple of basics about the service, such as name, resource group and do keep in mind which subscription you are working on, if you have more than one available. Click Create when all attributes are in place.

basics

Once the deployment is complete, you’ll see the notifier alerting you, that deployment has been successful.

deployment

Back to the Recovery Services Vaults, where we can Refresh and observe the newly created Recovery Services Vault.

Test Recovery Service
Now it’s time to add some server to be backed up. By clicking the newly created Recovery Services Vault, Test-Recovery-Service in my example, we get to the overview of the service. Here, we select the option/pane Backup:

Backup Pane

In this wizard we are presented with three (3) areas of configuration; First we need to decide if it’s in Azure or On-Premises. By selecting Azure, we are left with only Virtual Machine as the only option for the backup. On-Premises has more options, SQL Server, Sharepoint and Hyper-V VM’s among others. This example will be about Azure VM’s, hence we selected accordingly.

Step 2 is about the backup policy, or in other words frequency and retention. I am going with the default settings here, but options are great as you can configure retention range for weekly, monthly and yearly backups in parallel.

Backup Policy

When a new backup policy is created, it automatically becomes an option in other Recovery Services Vaults.

In Step 3 we select which VM’s are included in the Vault.

Items to Backup

 

Finally we check everything is as we want it to be and click OK.

Final Wizard

Going back to the overview, we can now observe that the job has been scheduled according to our backup policy definition. Also observe that the backup usage is right where you want it to be, to track and monitor.

Overview

And by clicking the “Azure Virtual Mach…” we get the following overview/status.

Status

But when the job has completed, at the specified time, you will see the time stamps as to when the backups were executed.

Status Final

In my humble opinion, this is so dead simple and easy it’s almost scary – I fear I am missing something, but I seriously doubt it. You might want to keep an eye on spending though, especially if you set up a high frequent backup schedule with a long retention. It can become pricy, but is very reasonable for small installations like this.

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