How to get started with Azure Backup | Protecting an IaaS VM

How to get started with Azure Backup | Protecting an IaaS VM


Hi I’m Utsav Raghuvanshi, Program Manager with the Azure Backup team at Microsoft and I welcome you to this video series to help you get started with Azure Backup. In this video, we will talk about Azure Backup and how you can easily start protecting your virtual machines already running in Azure. Azure Backup is Microsoft’s cloud-based service that helps you protect your data in a simple, cost effective and, most importantly, secure manner. Thus giving you the ability to easily protect your data no matter where it is, whenever you want. Azure Backup offers a single solution to manage backups across your entire hybrid environment and protect your Azure resources like Azure Virtual Machines, SQL Servers running in Azure VMs, Azure File Shares; as well as on-prem resources like Virtual Machines, Files and Folders, Windows system state, SharePoint, Exchange and SQL Server workloads. At a fundamental level, Azure Backup does this by storing all this data safely in a Recovery Services Vault Creating a Recovery Services Vault is hence a basic requirement and this is also very backup journey typically begins. So let’s start with creating a Recovery Services Vault which is a simple 2-click process. In the Azure portal go to ‘All Services’ and search for ‘Recovery Services Vaults’ in the search bar. Clicking this will take you to the ‘Recovery Services Vault’ blade. Once there, click the ‘+Add’ button to start creating a new Vault. While creating a new Vault you will be required to fill in details, like the name you wish to choose for your Vault, the subscription and the resource group you want it under, and the location of the Vault. You can also choose to pin your Vault to your dashboard for easy access. Once done, click ‘Create’ and in just a few seconds your Vault will be created and ready to use. If you’ve pinned your vault to the dashboard, you can access it anytime you want by simply clicking on it. Being a new Vault you can see the number of items being backed up right now is zero. There are also multiple options on the left-most blade of the Vault that you can explore. For example, for the list or number of items being backed up you can simply click on ‘Backup items’. You can keep track of all your backup jobs by clicking on ‘Jobs’. At this point let’s also talk about the Storage Replication Type for your backups which may be Locally-Redundant Storage or Geo-Redundant Storage,
otherwise simply referred to as LRS and GRS. When your Storage Replication Type is LRS, 3 copies of your data are stored at the data center location selected by you. But when you select GRS, 3 copies of data are stored at a paired location apart from those at the selected location, thus adding more protection to your data. However, GRS will have higher costs due to greater storage use. By default, Recovery Services Vault is configured to have Geo-Redundant Storage which you may change to Locally-Redundant Storage as per your requirements. An important thing to note here is that you can only change the Storage Replication Type before you configure any backups to your Recovery Services Vault. To change the Replication Type, Go to ‘Backup Infrastructure’ in your Vault, navigate to ‘Backup Configuration’, and make the desired selection here. So now, you have a Recovery Services Vault which is where your data gets stored. Now we’ll see how to start protecting your IaaS Virtual Machine in Azure by storing its data into the Recovery Services Vault you just created. One thing to note over here is that your Recovery Services Vault and your virtual machine should be in the same region. Generally speaking, there are 3 ways to start backing up your virtual machines in Azure. You can do this through the Recovery Services Vault. Through the virtual machine blade. Or while creating a new virtual machine in Azure. For our demo we are backing up a Windows Server 2016 virtual machine. However, the same methods applied to other virtual machines also. Let’s start with the first method. This is also the preferred method if you wish to configure backups on multiple VMs at the same time. To do this go to your Recovery Services Vault and then click the ‘+Backup’ button on the top. The first dropdown asks you the location of the workload which you wish to take a backup of, whether it is on-premises or in Azure. Since our VM is already there in Azure, we select ‘Azure’ here. The next dropdown asks you for the kind of Azure resource you wish to secure. In our case, this is a ‘Virtual Machine’ so we select that and click the ‘Backup’ button at the bottom. Next you will be required to set up your ‘Backup Policy’ which defines when and how often your backups take place, and how long your data is to be retained for. You can create a new backup policy or use an existing one. Here we are creating a new one. As you can see Azure Backup offers the grandfather-father-son scheme to retain backup data. Once you click ‘OK’ you will see a list of your existing VMs for your subscription present in this region. You just need to choose the ones that you wish to backup. And click ‘OK’. Click ‘Enable backup’ to finish configuring your backup. You can track the progress by going to your Recovery Services Vault and clicking ‘Jobs’. On navigating to ‘Backup Jobs’ we see a configure backup job is still in progress. And a few seconds later it gets completed. At this moment, your machine is protected and your backups will start happening as per your backup policy. Using the next approach you can easily start backing up your virtual machine through the virtual machine blade by simply navigating to the virtual machine and clicking ‘Backup’ on the left-most blade of the virtual machine. This would bring you to the ‘Enable backup’ blade. Here you can specify backup related details like we did before and click ‘Enable Backup’ to start backing up. And hence, you just started backing up your machine with a simple one-click process! Easy right? The third method to start backing up a VM is to configure backup while creating the virtual machine itself. For this, while creating the virtual machine, under the ‘Settings’ blade simply scroll down to ‘Backup’ and click ‘Enabled’. You will be required to fill in details like we did before. Once done, simply click ‘OK’ to start backing up your machine as soon as it gets created! You can also track the deployment of your backup configuration through the Recovery Services Vault like we did before. Who says safety always comes with difficulties? So stay safe and thanks for watching!

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