As we continue with our discussion of backup, the next topic is backup specifically for IaaS virtual machines (VMs). An increasing number of organizations are moving their applications to the cloud with IaaS as the fabric running the apps. Although there are a number of compelling value propositions for adopting cloud IaaS, moving to the cloud does not change the need for backup. The redundancy provided by a cloud solution does not address the issues of data loss or corruption. These corruptions could either be malicious or caused by human errors. Therefore, even for cloud-native applications, backup is still an imperative irrespective of resiliency of storage and compute layers.
Due to the nature of the cloud, however, leveraging existing backup solutions with cloud apps offers neither adequate protection nor desirable cost structures. As an analogy, in the early days of virtualization, backup vendors who specialized in backups of physical servers continued to follow the same approach with virtual machines. Key vendors then transformed the industry by actually taking advantage of the hypervisor layer in backing up virtualized workloads.
In the same vein, a cloud-first approach is required for backing up applications born in the cloud. OMS Backup is designed from the ground up to provide a cloud-first backup solution specifically for this type of application. It uses controls and mechanisms modern IT is already familiar with, like a GFS retention scheme that allows up to 99-year retention schedules and enterprise grade SLAs. Yet it is also purpose built cloud-fabric level protection for apps running on Azure, delivering protection with near-zero impact on production workloads.
OMS Backup is designed to be efficient with resources. For example, it reduces network and storage utilization by transferring only incremental changes. Using technologies such as VSS, OMS backup delivers application consistent backups of your Windows virtual machines. It delivers file-system consistent backups for Linux VMs. Since all of the storage and backup is managed by the recovery services vault, it removes storage management overhead. All of this translates to minimal overhead for maintaining backups, allowing IT organizations to focus on adding value to the business.
OMS Backup supports most configurations of VMs as deployed by enterprises to support their applications, including support for Azure Resource Manager VMs, VMs with disks on premium storage etc. OMS Backup is also designed to work well with other OMS technologies such as OMS Automation to automate repetitive tasks with PowerShell. Let’s look at how it works.
Enabling backup of VMs
Setting up backup for virtual machines requires an Azure subscription and a recovery services vault. Once a recovery services vault is created, setting up backup for virtual machines is a simple three-step wizard:
- Specify backup goal: Specify the intent to protect Azure Virtual machines.
- Select a backup policy: Specify the backup schedule and retention of backup copies. Azure Backup supports up to 99 years of retention using industry standard GFS schema.
- Select items to protect: Specify which virtual machine you want to backup using the policy provided in previous step.
To automate configuring of backups on multiple virtual machines, use the following PowerShell cmdlets:
PS C:\> $policy=Get-AzureRmRecoveryServicesBackupProtectionPolicy -Name “DefaultPolicy”
PS C:\> Enable-AzureRmRecoveryServicesBackupProtection -Policy $policy -Name “V2VM” -ResourceGroupName “RGName1”
Restore a VM from backup
Restoring a virtual machine from the backups stored in recovery services vault can be achieved by a simple two-step wizard:
- Select point in time: Select a recovery point corresponding to the point in time to which you want to restore the virtual machine.
- Specify restore VM configuration: Specify the configuration of the virtual machine you want to create.
PowerShell for recovery services vault provides an ability to restore disks from point in time to a storage account and ability to attach those disks to any choice of configuration for additional flexible choices in VM creation.
PS C:\> $restorejob = Restore-AzureRMRecoveryServicesBackupItem -RecoveryPoint $recoverypointlist -StorageAccountName DestAccount -StorageAccountResourceGroupName DestRG