Running VMs in the cloud has become a big part of the modernization of IT infrastructure for most businesses. However, even though those VMs that are in the cloud, the backup mechanisms that many IT shops use to provide disaster recovery (DR) capabilities are essentially the same as they would use for on-premise VMs. They often use legacy technologies that require a lot of resources and are difficult to scale.
Microsoft’s recently released Azure Backup for SQL Server Virtual Machines (VMs) is designed to address these issues by providing a modern cloud-based backup solution for SQL Server VMs running in Azure. Like you would expect from a DR/backup solution, Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs enables you to protect your SQL Server databases from application and user errors.
Azure Backup for SQL Server Virtual Machines (VMs) is an Azure cloud-based service that provides an enterprise scale, zero-infrastructure backup solution. It eliminates the need to separately deploy and manage your own backup solutions for SQL Server VMs running in Azure. There is no need for a separate backup server, agent jobs or writing complex backup scripts. Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs enables you to centrally manage and monitor the backups for both standalone SQL Server Azure VM instances and SQL Server Azure VM instances that are part of an Always On Availability Group.
Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs uses the native SQL Server backup APIs and it provides full, differential and log backups. You can monitor the backup jobs using SQL Server Management Studio. To get started with Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs, you use the Azure Portal to configure the service and create policies that specify the backup schedule and retention times for your SQL Server VM backups. The backups are stored in the Azure Recovery Services Vault and you can monitor the backup jobs using the vault’s dashboard.
Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs provides the ability to perform one-click restores – eliminating much of the complexity associated with point-in-time transaction log restores where you might need to first restore a full or differential backup followed multiple transaction logs. Microsoft states that Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs will provide a 15-minute recovery point objective. Backups can be scheduled to occur every 15 minutes and they provide built-in encryption at rest and during backup operations. You can specify that the service sends email notification for any backup or restore failures.
Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs is a monthly billable service. Pricing is based on paying for both the SQL Server instance costs and the storage costs. Instance costs are $30 per month for instances less than or equal to 500 GB. For instances that are more than 500 GB there is an additional $30 monthly charge for each additional 500 GB increment. Storage is based on Azure Blob storage and is priced per gigabyte per month. Organizations have the option of using locally redundant storage or they can opt for geo-redundant storage which is about twice as expensive but also adds an additional layer of DR protection.
As more of your businesses critical infrastructure moves into the cloud it’s important that you make sure your DR technologies are keeping pace with your infrastructure changes. Azure Backup for SQL Server VMs provides a modern cloud-based backup solution for your SQL Server VMs running on Azure. You can learn more about the service at About SQL Server Backup in Azure VMs and you can find more details about pricing at Azure Backup pricing.