• 2 min read

Introducing Backup Pre-Checks for Backup of Azure VMs

Use Azure Backup's Backup Pre-Checks to identify and resolve Azure VM config issues to ensure successful backups

Over the past couple of weeks, we have announced multiple enhancements for backup and recovery of both Windows and Linux Azure Virtual Machines that reinforce Azure Backup’s cloud-first approach of backing up critical enterprise data in Azure. Enterprise production environments in Azure are becoming increasingly dynamic and are characterized by frequent VM configuration changes (such as network or platform related updates) that can adversely impact backup. Today, we are taking a step to enable customers to monitor the impact of configuration changes and take steps to ensure the continuity of successful backup operations. We are excited to announce the preview of Backup Pre-Checks for Azure Virtual Machines.

Backup Pre-Checks, as the name suggests, check your VMs’ configuration for issues that can adversely affect backups, aggregate this information so you can view it directly from the Recovery Services Vault dashboard and provide recommendations for corrective measures to ensure successful file-consistent or application-consistent backups, wherever applicable. All this without any infrastructure and at no additional cost.

Backup Pre-Checks run as part of the scheduled backup operations for your Azure VMs and complete with one of the following states:

  • Passed: This state indicates that your VMs configuration is conducive for successful backups and no corrective action needs to be taken.
  • Warning: This state indicates one or more issues in VM’s configuration that might lead to backup failures and provides recommended steps to ensure successful backups. Not having the latest VM Agent installed, for example, can cause backups to fail intermittently and falls in this class of issues.
  • Critical: This state indicates one or more critical issues in the VM’s configuration that will lead to backup failures and provides required steps to ensure successful backups. A network issue caused due to an update to the NSG rules of a VM, for example, will fail backups as it prevents the VM from communicating with the Azure Backup service and falls in this class of issues.

Value proposition

  • Identify and Monitor VM configuration issues at scale: With the aggregated view of the Backup Pre-Check status across all VMs on the Recovery Services Vault, you can keep track of how many VMs need corrective configuration changes to ensure successful backups
  • Resolve configuration issues more efficiently: Use the Backup pre-check states to rank which VMs need configuration changes. Address the “Critical” Backup Pre-Check status for your VMs first, using the specific required steps and ensure their successful backups before addressing the “Warning” Backup Pre-check states for your VMs.
  • Automated execution: You don’t need to maintain or apply separate schedules for Backup Pre-Checks as they are integrated with existing backup schedules and therefore are assured to execute automatically and get the latest VM configuration information at the same cadence as their backups.

Getting started

Follow the steps below to start resolving any issues reported by Backup Pre-Checks for Virtual Machine backups on your Recovery Services Vault.

  • Click on the ‘Backup Pre-Check Status (Azure VMs)’ tile on the Recovery Services Vault dashboard.
  • Click on any VM with Backup Pre-Check status of either Critical or Warning. This would open the VM details blade.
  • Click on the blade notification on the top of the blade to reveal the configuration issue description and remedial steps.

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