Microsoft Azure: Cloud Backup And Recovery

This is one of the great features to back up files and data from your Windows client OS (like Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 machines) to Azure. To implement backup and recovery feature in Azure you must create a backup vault in the geographic region where you want to store the data.

Steps shown below will walk you through: the creation of the vault you will use to store backups, downloading a vault credential, the installation of a backup agent, and an overview of the backup management tasks available through the management portal.

Create Backup Vault

  1. Go to Management portal.

  2. Click on “+New” at bottom left page, Go to RECOVERY SERVICES >>BACKUP VAULT>>QUICK CREATE.

  3. Fill Name, select Region and click on CREATE VAULT button at bottom right corner as shown below.

    Note

    It can take a while for the backup vault to be created. To check the status, you can monitor the notifications at the bottom of the portal. After the backup vault has been created, a message will tell you the vault has been successfully created and it will be listed in the resources for Recovery Services as Active.

    new

  4. Now click on newly create backup vault and go to Dashboard.

Create Certificate and upload it to Azure portal

Microsoft Azure Recovery Services use digital certificates to authenticate the server uploading data to a backup vault. The certificate must be valid (not expired), have a minimum key length of 2048 bits, include the Client Authentication Enhanced Key Usage (EKU), and should be located in the local computer certificate store on the server. The certificate must include a private key, and the validity period cannot exceed three years.

Use following command to create local certificate of your system, It should be run in Visual studio Command Prompt.

makecert.exe -r -pe -n CN=TempBkupCert -ss my -sr localmachine -eku 1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.2 -len 2048 -e 01/01/2016 TempBkupCert.cer

Note - Here 01/01/2016 expiry date is used which falls into 3 years validity. You can change it considering today’s date.

Once you create certificate install it on your system, by right clicking on Certificate file and click install.

Once the vault has been created, highlight the vault, select the Dashboard, and then click Manage Certificate. And upload the installed certificate to Azure portal. This creates the relationship between your system and Azure Account.

Account

Download Vault credential & Azure Backup Agent from Portal

From Dashboard we will do two things, download the Azure Backup agent software, and generate and download the vault credentials.

credentials

  1. Install the Azure Backup agent on the server.

  2. Run the MARSAgentInstaller.exe on the system you are backing up.

    backing

Connect Windows Server Backup to Azure Recovery Vault

Once you complete installation, click on Proceed to registration button or you can run it from start menu>>Microsoft Azure recovery Agent>>Microsoft Azure Backup.

Following are the steps to proceed to registration,

  1. No need to enter proxy configuration click on Next button,

    configuration

  2. Complete the Proxy Configuration screen as required for your network, then move on to the “Vault Identification” screen and click the button to browse and select the vault credentials file you downloaded in step 3.

    Identification

  3. On the next screen, enter a passphrase. This passphrase which will be used to encrypt all your data before it is sent to the server. You can have a passphrase automatically generated for you but remember to write it down or have the file somewhere – you will need this passphrase to recover your data!

    passphrase

  4. That’s it, the registration should be complete and your server should now show up under “Registered Items” in your Azure Recovery Vault,

    Vault

Configure a folder or files for backup

Now it’s time to take Backup some files, In the Microsoft Azure Backup program, select “Back up now” (This will take backup immediately). However there is option to schedule your backup in that case you can select Schedule Backup option.

Steps to Backup Folder from Windows Client to Azure

  1. Click on “Backup Now” in Action pane in top right corner.

    Backup Now

  2. Select the folder you want to take backup on Azure.

    folder

  3. Click on backup now, will trigger backup process from Windows client to Azure. It will take some time depending upon the size of the folder.

    backup

  4. Once Backup is completed you can see its status on backup Agent Wizard in Jobs panel with Message as Backup as shown below.

    backup

    Note - you can also check the status in Event viewer as shown below.

    status

  5. Now go into Azure portal and check the backup is appeared there as shown below,

    backup

Recovery of Backup File from Azure to Windows Client

Following steps are used to recover your data from Azure Backup vault to Windows Client Machine

  1. Click on Recover Data in Action pan on Top right panel.

    Recover

  2. Select This Server where you want to recover Backup data from Azure backup vault. Click Next button.

    Next

  3. Select browse from Files and click next.

    browse

  4. Now this will ask you to select drive , please select drive from where you have previously backed up your data. (in our case it was c:/ drive).

    Then It will populate below screen, Click Next button.

    browse

  5. Select Folder which you have previously backed up(in this case it is c:\TempFile_Upload) and then click Next.

    Folder

  6. Select location where you want to recover your backup data as shown below and then click Next button.

    Next

  7. After clicking Next It will show you confirmation screen to recover data, Click on “Recover Now” button. That’s it, it will start recovering data from Azure backup Vault to Windows Client system.

    Recover

    After completion this Wizard will show you below message as Recovery :

  8. Check the Recovery folder where you will find all the data recovered from Azure Backup Vault.

    Recovery folder

References:

  1. http://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/documentation/articles/backup-configure-vault/
  2. http://blogs.technet.com/b/rmurphy/archive/2014/12/02/microsoft-azure-backup.aspx
  3. http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/12/16/azure-backup-announcing-support-for-windows-client-operating-system/
  4. http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/12/16/azure-backup-announcing-support-for-windows-client-operating-system/
  5. http://www.thomasmaurer.ch/2014/12/how-to-backup-a-windows-client-to-microsoft-azure/