With VM Backup, you can send a redundant copy of your backups to an Azure Cloud Storage Account, this is ideal for Disaster Recovery purposes. To do so, please follow the steps below:
- Ensure you are running 7.5 or later to make use of this feature. Click here to download the latest version
- You must be running the Unlimited Plus Edition/Subscription in order to get access to this feature
Note: If you are planning to run restores to Azure make sure that the Azure datacenter you're selecting supports spinning up VMs.
A. Set up your Azure Storage Account
- Sign in or Sign up to your Azure Portal account on https://portal.azure.com
- Go to [Storage Accounts] > [Create]
- Fill in the options on screen.
Ensure you select Standard performance.
Choose your preference for Replication redundancy. More information about Azure Replication Options can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/azure/storage/storage-redundancy
Also, please see Azure Storage Pricing for pricing information for the different redundancy options.
Offsite Backup Server backups are encrypted (256-Bit AES) natively through the product.
- [Enable version-level immutability support] under the Data Protection tab must be enabled if you wish to use Immutable (WORM) backups. This will automatically enable Versioning. This must be disabled for locations that are not immutable.
- CGo through the rest of the settings and click [Create] to complete the storage account creation
- Within the storage account you have just created, browse to [Containers] and create a new container to store your backups. Take note of the Container Name as you will be required to enter it later on. Private (no anonymous access) should be picked here.
- Once created, we need to get the 'Connection string' to enter into VM Backup. There are 2 possible ways you can get this:
- Access keys
Locate the connection string for your account from [Settings] > [Access Keys]. You will need to use this in the next step to add your Azure location in VM Backup.
- SAS (Shared Access Signature)
The second option, should you be required to make use of a 'SAS (Shared Access Signature)' instead of an 'Access key' you can generate one from [Settings] > [Shared access signature]
The advantage of a Shared access signature is that you will be able to restrict an IP or a range from which requests are accepted. Note that this is also possible to do at the storage account level, using the Firewall.
You can also set an expiration date/time, so if for instance you wish to give it a 1 year expiration you will need to generate a new one and re-enter it in VM Backup.
IMPORTANT: Ensure that you set a reminder to regenerate your Connection string if you have given it an expiration date otherwise offsite backups will start failing with a '403 Forbidden Error'.
To generate your Connection string, ensure that you leave all options ticked, then set your preferred expiry date, choose whether you would like to restrict 'Allowed IP addresses' and click [Generate SAS and connection string]. Then, simply scroll down and locate your Connection string/SAS token. You will need to use this in the next step to add your Azure location in VM Backup.
- Access keys
Note: Each VM Backup installation should make use of a different Azure Storage Account.
B. Configure your new Azure Storage Account as an Offsite Backup Location
To use your Azure Storage Account as an offsite copy location for your VMs, please proceed as follows:
- Open the VM Backup management console and go to [Setup] > [Backup Locations]
- Click Add Offsite Location:
- Choose the [Cloud Backup to an Azure Storage Account] option and click [Next]:
- Enter the Container Name and Connection String/SAS token generated above, then click [Test Connection] to verify you have the details.
- Once the connection test is successful, click [Finish] and the new Offsite Location will appear in your Backup Locations list as below. To change the Connection String you can click the Edit (pencil) icon.
- Lastly, select the VMs you wish to assign to this rotation and Drag and Drop them from the VM list on the left into the newly created Azure location, then click [Save Changes] to complete.
Once done, either start an Offsite Copy manually from the [Offsite Copies] menu, or wait for your next Scheduled Offsite Copy job.