Operation System Supported
In the current version (in preview) we can create backups for Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7 (64b with SP1).
Using management tools we can specify users that have access to this backups. In this way only authorized users can access the backup content.
We can manage the backups using different tools from Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 essential or System Center 2012. For all of this, we are using DPM (Data Protection Manager) to manage the backups. The cloud storage that is used to create the backup itself can be seen like a local disk.
The current SLA for Azure Backup is 99.9% availability. For backup storage, I would say that this is more than enough for normal use cases.
Geo-Replication of backups
Because the storage that is used for backups is part of Azure Storage we have different features inherited from Azure Storage like geo-replication features. This mean that our backups will exist in more than one data center.
This mean that your backup is replicated in 2 different datacenters, having 6 different copies.
The backup mechanism is smart enough to store only the deltas of each backups. This mean that the size of our backups will not reach an astronomical size.
The connection between on-premises and cloud is a secure connection. In this way no one can stay on the wire and read the content of your backup.
All the content that leave your on-premises machines is encrypted.
No initial investment
You pay only the space you use. You don’t need to book X TB of space and pay in advance.
On top of a secure connection and encrypted content, the content is compressed to reduce the space that is required to store your backup.
The connection that is establish between on-premises and cloud is based on a certificate and a set of credentials – so called vault credentials.
The format of the volume that is backed can be only NTFS.
Azure backups cannot be used when:
- Volume is locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption
- Volume is not formatted with NTFS
- Drive type is not fixed
- Volume is read-only
- Volume is not currently online
- Volume is on a network share
Applicable Use Cases
Azure Backups can be used with success in any use case when we need to create backups and to store them in a location where we are sure that backup’s content will not be lost.
- Easy to use and manage
- Incremental backups support
- 6 copies of your backups in 2 different data centers
- No extra charge for outbound traffic or transactions
I don’t know if this is a real limitation but I would really like to be able to use it with network shares also.
When you calculate the cost of Azure Backups you should take into account:
- The size of the backup