Monday, January 16, 2017

Issues with Azure File Backup on SBS

One of the initial steps that I have been advocating when it came to migrating SBS servers to Azure was the installation of the Azure backup agent (marsagentinstaller.exe) on the SBS box in order to backup files and folders. It was the first step before moving onto more complex operations. After further research, it turns out that doing this will break “other SBS” things.

The reason is that the Azure Backup agent needs at least PowerShell V3.0 per:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-client-automation

Now it turns out that installing PowerShell V3 or higher on an SBS breaks per this:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/sbs/2012/12/15/windows-management-framework-3-0-applicability-on-windows-small-business-server-20082011-standard/

which concludes:

Our guidance at this time is that Windows Management Framework 3.0 should not be deployed on a server running Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard or Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard.

Windows Management Framework 3.0 contains PowerShell v3.0.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t install the Azure files backup agent on an SBS box from what I can determine, because it doesn’t support the minimum required version of PowerShell.

However, the Azure files backup agent will actually install and run on an SBS server. However, it will also as part of that installation install PowerShell v 3.0 which can cause lots of other issues. Thus, even if it can be installed DON’T install it because the components will cause other issues on SBS.

Unfortunately, the Azure file backup agent can only backup files on the host that it is installed on. This means you can’t install it on a members server and backup files across the network that are on the SBS box. However, the way you can do this (in theory) is using Azure application backup, which I’ll now have to go out and check actually operates in an SBS environment.

Makes things tough when your production OS doesn’t support the latest software eh?