Cloud protection with Windows Azure Backup

Sky Blue

Registering with the GUI

To start managing the backup, open the management console in the home screen, preferably using wbadmin.msc. You will find a shortcut if you search for 'Windows Azure Backup'. Next, select Online Backup in the menu; this is below Local Backup in the backup management utility on Windows Server 2012/2012 R2. The console checks the installed agents. Click Register Server .

Active Directory Optional

In the wizard, select the certificate with which the agent will log into Windows Azure. You can also work with certificates from the Active Directory Certificate Services here. If you select the certificate during the server setup, the wizard checks whether its counterpart is available in Windows Azure. After that, you can connect to the vault you created previously (Figure 4).

Figure 4: While setting up the agent, you use a certificate to map it to a vault in Windows Azure.

Next, enter the passphrase for encrypting your data; write this down and keep it in a safe place. If the passphrase is lost, you no longer have access to your data backup. As a final step, complete the process for registering. You can then set up the backup. You will see the registered server on the Windows Azure portal after completing this setup. To do so, press Recovery Services and select your vault. All connected servers can be found via the Servers menu item. In this window, you can also resolve the link.


Once you have registered the server, you can use the management interface (wbadmin.msc) to set up a schedule for your backups, or you can run an instant backup (e.g., for a local backup). To do this, click on Backup | Schedule Backup and specify which files you want to include in the backup.

After configuring the data, set the time of the backup. The process is the same as for using the data backup tool. Next, specify how long you want to keep the backup. The wizard replaces older backups with new backups once the retention period has expired. The backups are kept until a newer backup requires the space.

You can only create one cloud backup job, but you can schedule a parallel local backup and cloud backup. This means that you can, for example, use the local backup to back up all your data, and only back up your most important data in the cloud. You can easily launch the cloud backup job at different times and several times a day.

You can also configure backup jobs in PowerShell using a number of commandlets for the process. First, use New-OBPolicy to create a new policy for the backup and store it in a variable:

$policy = New-OBPolicy

Specify the directory you want to include in the backup using a variable:

$files = New-OBFileSpec -FileSpec C:\data

Next, define the schedule for running the backup. You also store this in a variable:

$sched = New-OBSchedule -DaysofWeek Wednesday -TimesofDay 19:30

Set up a policy for the retention period:

$ret = New-OBRetentionPolicy

If you want to change the setting from the default (7 days) to the maximum value (30 days), use the following command:

$ret = New-OBRetentionPolicy -RetentionDays 30

You can also create the policy to launch the backup at the next scheduled time:

Add-OBFileSpec -Policy $policy-FileSpec $files

Next, link the policy with the schedule you created:

Set-OBSchedule -policy $policy-schedule $sched
Set-OBRetentionPolicy  -policy $policy -retentionpolicy $ret

If this is the first backup after registering the server, be sure to set the passphrase for the backup:

$passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureStringPassphrase -asplaintext \
 -ForceSet-OBMachineSetting -EncryptionPassphrase$passphrase

Then, save the entire online backup encryption policy:

Set-OBPolicy -policy $policy

You can launch a backup that you created previously in PowerShell. To do so, use the Get-OBPolicy | Start-OBBackup commandlet.

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