Commonly Asked Questions about Azure Backup

Commonly Asked Questions about Azure Backup

This blog entry is dedicated to answering several frequently asked questions about Azure Backup. For the official list of questions from Microsoft Azure as the product is constantly evolving see Azure Backup – FAQ .

· How much can I back up on Azure? Microsoft posted on August 12, 2015 that datasources can be up to 54.4 TBs up from 1.7 TBs.  There was previously a 1.7 TB limit, but the amount of data in the Backup Vault is unlimited.

Here’s the link to the Blog update:  Azure Backup enables backup of large volumes, VMs, databases and more

· Can Virtual Machines be in different Data Centers and share one Backup Vault?  When using Azure Backup from the Azure Portal one IMPORTANT note of interest is that each Backup Vault must be in the  Data Center that has the VMs residing in it or the discovery process will not be able to see and/or register the virtual server. Additionally, each VM must belong to the subscription that the Backup Vault belongs to in order for the machine to be seen during discovery.

· If Azure Files is attached as a network drive it should be possible to see it as a volume and therefore backup it up which is an easy way to get point in time restores for Blob storage files.

· The initial backup of a server is a snapshot of the files on the server and is encrypted and compressed. Typically a 100 GB backup will be compressed to around 60 or 70 GB. Each backup thereafter will be incremental.

· Is there an easy way to learn how Azure Backup works?   Yes, download it to a Windows 10, 8 or 7 PC and play with it. It works for individual machines as well as servers and is an easy way to “kick the tires”.

· How can I clean up my backup storage to keep my storage costs down? At the moment the only way to DELETE historical backups within a backup set is via the Retention Policy agent settings. In other words, the retention period sets the parameters for deleting old unnecessary backups.

· Does the process alert me if a new Backup Agent becomes available? Yes. The agent on the local machine will report if the agent is the most up to date agent and if not it will generate a notification on the dashboard of the out of date agent. If there are problems with the backups one of the first things to check is the version of the agent.

· How can I meet my company’s Backup Compliance Policies? Some company Disaster Recovery Policies require that backups be maintained at a different data center. The only way to meet this requirement is to set up the vault initially as Geo-Redundant and not Local. Geo-Redundant is the default and maintains 6 copies of the data (3 per Data Center).


· How does pricing work? There is a charge for each instance and for the data stored in the Backup Vault. This change recently occurred because it actually enabled pricing to be reduced overall. Geo-Redundant Storage is the default option.  Billing is now correlated to the Storage pricing per GB as stated on the Backup Pricing page.   Once the Vault contains an initial backup the parameter for Local/Geo-Redundant can no longer be modified, so make sure to decide which parameter to use at creation of the Backup Vault.

· Can I throttle the bandwidth the agent uses? Yes. Throttling can be configured according to the time of day and one can additionally specify how much bandwidth should be used.


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