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How to set up Azure Backup on a Windows PC

One of the most important priorities for organizations, regardless of their size, is ensuring the safety of their data. Downtime, caused by a ransomware attack, server crash, or any other disruption, poses a direct threat to an organization’s survival. To safeguard against this, a data backup is essential. It enables businesses to recover rapidly from data loss incidents and resume operations without disruption.

The Declining Efficiency of Traditional Backup Methods

Traditional backup methods have been reliable for a long time. However, due to the massive growth of digital data, these solutions are struggling to keep up. Traditional methods rely on manual processes that are prone to human error and are time-consuming. IT personnel often need to carefully select, copy, and store data on external devices or tapes, which can lead to oversights and inefficiencies.

Additionally, traditional backups are managed across numerous devices, servers, and locations, quickly becoming a logistical nightmare with each new endpoint or data repository. This makes maintaining backup schedules and ensuring compliance with organizational policies increasingly challenging. As data grows exponentially, organizations using traditional backup solutions face storage constraints, performance bottlenecks, and rising costs associated with expanding on-premises backup infrastructure.

Why Use Azure Backup?

Azure Backup is a cost-effective, secure, one-click backup solution that scales to meet your backup storage requirements.

  • Centralized Management: Backup Center provides a comprehensive solution to manage, govern, and optimize data protection at scale from a single, user-friendly interface.
  • Automated Backups and Storage Management: Backup automation eliminates the need for manual intervention, enabling organizations to schedule backups at regular intervals and reducing the risk of data loss. Azure Backup supports hybrid storage environments with a pay-as-you-use model, automatically allocating and managing backup storage.
  • Application Consistency: Data from virtual machines can be backed up and restored with application consistency using Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for Windows and pre- and post-processing scripts for Linux.
  • Flexible Backup Options: Offers diverse backup options, including file and folder, virtual machine, SQL server, and application-specific backups, allowing organizations to protect their vital data as needed.

How to Set Up Azure Backup on a Windows PC

Create a Recovery Services Vault

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Navigate to: Backup Center > Overview pane > Vault > Recovery Services vault > Continue.
  3. On the Recovery Services vault pane, enter:
    • Subscription
    • Resource group
    • Vault name
    • Region
  4. Select: Review + create > Create.
  5. After the vault is created, you can view it in the list of Recovery Services vaults. (Note: This process takes a while. You can view the status in the Notifications area at the upper right.)

Setting Up Storage Redundancy for the Vault

  1. Select the new vault from the Recovery Services vaults blade.
  2. Navigate to the Manage section in the Settings blade and select Backup Infrastructure.
  3. Select Backup Configuration and choose the necessary storage replication option:
    • Choose Geo-redundant if Azure is the primary backup storage endpoint.
    • Choose Locally-redundant if otherwise.

Configuring the Vault

  1. Navigate to the Getting Started section on the Recovery Services vault blade.
  2. Select: Backup > Getting Started with Backup blade > Backup goal.
  3. Select: On-premises for “Where is your workload running?” (Since your Windows server/computer is a physical machine and not Azure).
  4. Select: System State for “What do you want to back up?”
  5. Select OK.
  6. On the Prepare infrastructure blade that opens, select Download Agent for Windows Server or Windows Client. In the download pop-up menu, select Save.
  7. To save the vault credentials, select Download on the Prepare infrastructure blade. In the download pop-up menu, select Save.
    • (By default, the MARSagentinstaller.exe file and the vault credentials download to your Downloads folder.)

Install and Register the Agent

  1. Double-click on the MARSagentinstaller.exe.
  2. Choose a location for the installation and cache folder.
  3. Provide your proxy server info, username, password details, and the downloaded vault credentials.
  4. Ensure you save the encryption passphrase in a secure location.

Setting Up the Backup

  1. Open Microsoft Azure Recovery Services agent > Schedule Backup > Next > Add Items > System State > OK > Next.
  2. Select the required Backup frequency and the retention policy.
  3. Select Finish > Close.

Initiating Backup

  1. Open Microsoft Azure Recovery Services agent > Back Up Now > System State > Next.
  2. Review the settings on the Confirmation blade and select Back Up.
  3. Select Close. You will be able to view the Job completed status in the Backup console.

By following these steps, you can effectively set up Azure Backup on a Windows PC, ensuring your data is protected and easily recoverable in case of any data loss incidents. Azure Backup offers a robust, scalable, and secure solution for modern data protection needs.

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