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Azure Backup enables backup of large volumes, VMs, databases and more

Posted on 12 august, 2015

Program Manager, Cloud + Enterprise
We are happy to announce Azure Backup has increased the size of datasources that can be protected to 54400 GB from 1700 GB. For customers with large volume fileservers (greater than 2TB) that want to backup to Azure this updated feature will be very helpful. It will be applicable to all datasources and measured in the following ways:
Datasource Details
Volume The amount of data being backed up from single volume of a machine. This is applicable for the volumes being protected on both server and client machines.
Hyper-V virtual machine Sum of data of all the VHDs of the virtual machine being backed up
Microsoft SQL Server database Size of single SQL database size being backed up
Microsoft SharePoint Sum of the content and config databases within a SharePoint farm being backed up
Microsoft Exchange Sum of all Exchange databases in an Exchange server being backed up
BMR/System State Each individual copy of BMR or system state of the machine being backed up
  Why 54400 GB? Azure Backup uses VHDX technology to backup these large datasources. The maximum size of the VHDX is 64 TB (65536 GB) and Azure Backup reserves some space for operational metadata. We will continue to optimize and increase the usable space but for this release we have pegged it to 54400 GB.   Pre-requisites:
  1. Azure Backup Agent Version:   This feature is enabled for Azure Backup agents with version 2.0.8715.0 or above. You can verify the Azure Backup agent version number by navigating to the Control Panel --> All Control Panel items  --> Programs and features --> Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent.Azure Backup Agent 2.0.8715
  2. System Center Data Protection Manager Update Roll Up:   For DPM customers, the DPM server version should be UR6 or higher (download the latest UR).
  3. Operating System Version:   This feature has been enabled for machines running on the following systems:
    • Windows Server 2012 or above, for backups of volumes directly to Azure
    • Windows 8 or above, for backups of desktop/laptop volumes directly to Azure
    • Windows Server 2012 or above on the DPM server, for backups via DPM to Azure; the production server backed up by DPM can be Windows Server 2003 or above
  4. Azure Backup Cache Space:  For file servers with a large number of files (>1 Million) in a single volume, the amount of cache space needed for the backups could be up to 20% of the size of the volume. In case you do not have the cache space required, please use the steps mentioned in Azure Backup FAQ to move the cache space location to a drive with sufficient free space.
  Installation: Install the latest Azure Backup agent from the Microsoft Download Center to enable this capability of large datasource backup. By downloading this update you will automatically get all the capabilities released in last few months. KB3033794: Long term retention, offline backup seeding KB3015072: Support for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 KB3058057:  Mandatory update: Backups using Azure Backup agent might fail after December 9, 2015.   Related links/content: