Windows Azure Backup
Windows Azure Backup can help you backup and protect your data in your on-premise data center or cloud environment. This post outlines five possibilities for a Microsoft Azure Hybrid backup architecture.
1. Windows Server backups
With the installation of the Azure Backup Agent, you can back up your Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and greater systems to Microsoft Azure. This is the easiest point of entry as it only requires a broadband Internet connection and a Microsoft Azure account. There is no investment required for hardware or additional software.
This link walks you through the steps to create a backup vault in the management portal, upload a certificate, install the backup agent and manage your backups. The agent is very similar to Windows Server Backup. If you have used that interface, it will be very familiar to you.
2. System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager (DPM)
For organizations that are already invested in DPM or are looking for an offsite copy of their backups in addition to their onsite DPM backup, Microsoft has an Azure Backup Agent for DPM. The set up process is almost the same as with the stand alone server. The architecture provides a highly available offsite back up of the DPM backup environment without the expense of a secondary DPM server.
The workflow is illustrated in the following image:
3. Hyper-V Recovery manager
If you have a Hyper-V environment already or are thinking about deploying one, Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager is worth a look. It protects your System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manger (VMM) clouds by automating replication to a secondary site for data management, disaster recovery and continuity. This is an off-premise automation control system for your private on-premise clouds.
Check out the planning guide for Hyper-V Recovery Manager here.
4. Backup product integration
Most of the major backup vendors have integration points with Azure storage. Some require a VPN connection to Azure. Be sure to investigate if and how a backup vendor implements encryption. Each of the Microsoft backup solutions encrypt the data at the source before uploading and storing it in Azure.
5. Cloud Integrated Storage
Microsoft has an on-premises iSCSI storage array with a cloud-connected back end called StorSimple. This is an automated tiering storage solution that includes SSD, SAS and cloud as a tier (CaaT) storage. I saved this one for last because I think it is one of the most interesting solutions I’ve seen. StorSimple is certified by Microsoft, of course, and also by VMware. It provides primary storage as well as archive, backup and disaster recovery as well as strong encryption for data transferred to Azure.
StorSimple has a slew of efficiency features including thin provisioning, deduplication, thin recoveries and cloud snapshots. This solution does much more than provide a backup target in the cloud, it helps to realize the true value of Hybrid cloud storage. To learn more about data integration and management, please visit our website.