Q. What is the Azure Backup for IaaS VMs capability?
A. Microsoft recently announced support for IaaS VM backup using Azure Backup. This capability is transparent to the Azure VM. It requires no restart nor does it need an additional agent running within the VM while still leveraging VSS inside Windows VMs. This gives an application consistent backup (while a Linux backup provides a file system level consistent backup).
The Azure Backup of IaaS VMs is managed through the Azure portal providing a centralized management experience. The backup also supports incremental backups. To enable the backup perform the following:
- Select Recovery Services in the Azure management portal
- Select an existing Backup Vault or create a new one
- Select the Registered Items tab
- Click the Discover action which creates a discovery job to find workloads that can be protected
- Once the discovery is complete click the Register action which will display all the VMs that were discovered and then VMs can be selected which will cause the VM extension to be added to the VM which enables the interaction of the backup process with VSS inside the VM
- Finally select the Protect action which opens the protected items screen. VMs that have been registered will be displayed and can be selected then the next page of the dialog allows a policy to be selected or created which sets the backup options such as frequency, time and retention range.
Once configured the Dashboard shows basic information or use the Jobs tab for detailed information. VMs can be restored via the Protected Items tab by selecting a protected VM which will allow the specific backup instance to be selected.