Enable Multiple Backups Per Day for Azure VM

4 Min. Read

Azure Backup ensures your backup data is stored securely by leveraging the built-in security capabilities of the Azure platform role-based access control (RBAC), encryption, and the new enhanced policy that support multiple backups per day and back up trusted launch VMs. In addition, with the new capabilities for soft-delete, Azure Backup protects against any accidental and malicious attempts for deleting your backups.

In this article, we will show you how to enable multiple backups per day for Azure VM with Azure Backup.

Introduction

With a powerful architecture built into Azure, Azure Backup does all this for you in a simple, secure, and cost-effective manner without needing you to worry about anything at all.

Low RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is a key requirement for Azure Virtual Machines holding business-critical data updated quite often. To ensure minimal data loss in the event of a disaster, patch or unwanted changes to your application, organizations may prefer to take backups more frequently than once a day.

After the recent announcement of multiple backups per day for Azure Files support, the Azure Backup team enabled multiple backups per day for Azure IaaS VM as well in public preview. This will augment the security and protection of your critical Windows and Linux virtual machines running on Azure.

Azure Backup now supports the Enhanced policy that is needed to support new Azure offerings such as configuring multiple backups per day and Trusted Launch VM which are supported with enhanced backup policy only.

Prerequisites

To follow this article, you need to have the following:

1) Azure subscription – If you don’t have an Azure subscription, you can create a free one here.

2) You need to have at least one Azure Recovery Services vault is created. Please check the following quick start guide to create and configure a Recovery Services vault.

3) At least one Azure virtual machine is deployed in the desired Resource Group. Please check the following quick start guide to create a Linux or Windows virtual machine.

4) At the time of this writing, you need to enroll your subscription to activate Multiple Backups Per Day, write to the Azure Backup team at askazurebackupteam@microsoft.com.

5) Create an Enhanced Backup Policy (more on this in the next section).

6) Configure Multiple Backups Per Day for Azure VM (more on this in the next section).

Create an Enhanced Backup policy

Once you enroll your subscription to activate Multiple Backups Per Day for Azure VM, take the following steps:

First, we need to create an enhanced policy sub-type and then protect the VM.

1) In the Azure Portal, select a Recovery Services vault to back up the VM.

2) Under Backup, select Backup Policies.

3) Click +Add as shown in the figure below.

Add backup policy
Add backup policy

4) On Select policy type, select Azure Virtual Machine.

5) On Create policy, perform the following actions:

> Policy sub-type: Select Enhanced type as shown in the figure below. By default, the policy type is set to Standard.

Create an enhanced backup policy
Create an enhanced backup policy

> Policy name: (i.e. MBPD-VM-Backup-Policy).

> Backup schedule: You can select frequency as Hourly/Daily/Weekly. By default, the enhanced backup schedule is set to Hourly, with 8:00 AM as the start time, Every 4 hours as the schedule, and 24 Hours as duration. You can choose to modify the settings as needed as shown in the figure below.

Enhanced Protection Policy
Enhanced Protection Policy

> Instant Restore: You can set the retention of recovery snapshot from 1 to 30 days. The default value is set to 7.

> Retention range: The options for retention range are auto-selected based on the backup frequency you choose. The default retention for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly backup points are set to 180 days, 12 weeks, 60 months, and 10 years respectively. You can customize the values as per the requirement.

6) Once you enter all the details, click Create to create the enhanced backup policy.

Let’s consider another backup scenario as follows:

A user wants to take 4 backups a day. He/She wants the first backup to be triggered at 1 am and no backup of the day should trigger after 10 pm. To meet this scenario, you created the following  enhanced backup policy:

> Frequency: Hourly

> Start time: 1 am

> Schedule: Every 6 hours

> Duration: 21 hours (the difference between 10 pm and 1 am)

Configure Multiple Backups Per Day

Once you create the enhanced backup policy, you can start protecting Azure VM with multiple backups per day.

You can enable backup only through the Recovery Services vault or from the VM Manage blade. At the time of this writing, Configurations of Backup, Alerts, and Monitoring for Trusted Launch VM are currently NOT supported through the Backup Center.

1) In the Azure Portal, select a Recovery Services vault to back up the VM.

2) Click +Backup as shown in the figure below.

Add Backup
Add Backup

3) On the Backup Goal page, select Azure where your workload is running and then select Virtual machine as default. Under Step: Configure Backup, click Backup.

4) On the Configure Backup page, select Enhanced as policy subtype, and then select the enhanced backup policy that you created earlier.

5) Under the Virtual Machines, select Add as shown in the figure below.

Add Virtual Machines
Add Virtual Machines

6) The Select virtual machines pane will open. Select the desired Azure VM to back up using the enhanced policy. Then select OK.

Select virtual machines
Select virtual machines

> The selected VMs are validated.

> You can only select VMs in the same region as the vault.

> VMs can only be backed up in a single recovery services vault.

7) Last, select Enable backup as shown in the figure below. This deploys the policy to the vault and to the VMs and installs the backup extension on the VM agent running on the Azure VM Trusted Launch.

Enable backup
Enable backup

Once the backup is completed, you can verify the backup status under the Backup items > Azure Virtual Machine, and then select the protected Azure VM with multiple backups per day.

Please note that for hourly backups, the last backup of the day is transferred to the vault. If the backup fails, the first backup of the next day is transferred to the vault.

That’s it there you have it!

Summary

In this article, we showed you how to enable multiple backups per day for Azure virtual machines with Azure Backup.

Low RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is a key requirement for Azure VM holding business-critical data updated quite often. To ensure minimal data loss in the event of a disaster, patch or unwanted changes to your application, organizations may prefer to take backups more frequently than once a day.

Azure Backup now enables you to create an enhanced backup policy to take multiple backups a day. With this capability, you can also define the duration in which your backup jobs would trigger. It empowers you to align your backup schedule with the working hours when there are frequent updates to Azure virtual machines’ content.

> Learn more on how to protect critical backup operations with Multi-User Authorization (MUA) for Azure Backup.

> Learn more about Azure VM Backup Enhanced Policy.

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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