Sunday, May 15, 2016

Using Azure Resource Manager when backing up files

A while back I wrote an article about how to use Azure file backup. You’ll find that article here:

Azure desktop backup

That was using the older Azure Service Management (ASM) or ‘classic’ deployment. However, now the newer Azure Resource Manager (ARM) is available. That means that if you are looking to do anything in Azure you should now be using ARM. So here’s how you do Azure file backup with ARM via the portal.

image

Start by logging to Azure portal:

https://portal.azure.com

image

The first you’ll need to do is generally create a Resource Group in which the backup vault can live. An Azure Resource Group is simply a container for a range of Azure services. To create or view a Resource Group select the Resource groups item from the menu on the left.

image

In this case you’ll see there are no existing Resources Groups so select the Add button at the top of the page.

image

Give the new Resource Group a name, select the Azure subscription you wish it tied to and finally a region for the Resource Group.

Select Create when complete.

image

You’ll then typically see a notification that the Resource Group has been created as shown above.

image

If you return to the list of Resource groups and refresh the page you should see the item you just created.

Close all the open blades and return to the desktop canvas.

image

Select the Browse button at the bottom of the menu on the left. This will display a further menu listing all the available Azure services. From this list locate and select Recovery Service vault.

image

Most likely a vault will not already exist so select the Add button in the top left to create a new vault or container to put backup data into.

image

Give the vault a name, select the Azure subscription you wish to use as well as the Resource Group previously created. You can create a new Resource Group here as well if you wish but best practice is to create the Resource Group prior. You can also select the location for this vault.

When complete, select the Create button.

image

You’ll receive a notification that deployment of the new vault has commenced.

image

After a few moments the vault deployment will complete.

 image

If you now return to the list of Recovery Services vaults and refresh the list you should see the item you just created as shown above.

Select the new Recovery Services vault to continue.

image

Select the Backup icon at the top of the page.

image

This will commence a wizard. In the Backup Goal blade select On-premises for the option Where is your workload running? Then place a check in Files and Folders for the option What do you want to backup?

image

A message box will then appear below your selections. Select this.

image

Exactly as before, you’ll need to download and install the Azure backup software onto the destination. Part of this installation will also require the connection to the Azure Recovery vault so you’ll also need to download the vault credentials to be used during this configuration.

Select the Download Agent for Windows Server or Windows Client on the machine you intent to backup.

Once the file has downloaded, run it.

image

Select the locations for the installation and then select Next.

image

Enter any proxy information and select Next to continue.

image

Select software update option and then Next to continue.

image

Select the Install button.

image

The installation process will proceed.

image

Select the Proceed to Registration button to continue.

image

Ensure you have downloaded the vault credentials and saved them to the same machine you are installing the backup client on.

image

Browse to location of the downloaded vault credentials and select them. They will be verified and if all is good you should see the vault details appear in the dialog as shown above.

Select Next to continue.

image

Enter a passphrase to protect the data being backed up in the vault. This is effectively the encryption key for the data. If you lose or forget this then you won’t be able to restore the data.

Best practice is to use the Generate Passphrase button to create a complex passphrase. You then need to save that file with the passphrase somewhere. Ensure you copy this file to ANOTHER location so it is not only found on the machine being backed up. Because if the backed up machine fails you want to have this passphrase retrievable so you can restore.

Select Finish when complete.

image

The process should complete without error. If there is an error simply press the Back button and repeat the registration process again.

Ensure that the Launch the Azure Recovery Services Agent option is checked and select the Close button.

image

You should now see the Microsoft Azure Backup console displayed as shown above.

You can now configure the backup of files and folders from this machine to the Azure Recovery vault as normal and outlined in the original article. I’ll cover this process again in more detail in an upcoming post.

The important thing here is that the Azure Recovery vault has now been configured with the Azure Resource Manager which is the preferred method you should use going forward with Azure.