Backing up to the Cloud: Windows Azure Backup Preview – Part 1

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.04.2013 at 23:59

Windows Azure Backup helps you protect important server data off-site with automated backup and restore.

What can you back up with Windows Azure Backup?

You can manage cloud backups from familiar backup tools in Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, or the Data Protection Manager component of Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Authorized users can easily recover backups to any server.

What other options are available?

For making cloud-based backups of enterprise data including application data, Hyper-V VMs and even VMware, you could consider the StorSimple solution, which is an snapshot-based cloud-integrated storage solution.

Incremental Backups

With incremental backups, only changes to files are transferred to the cloud. This helps ensure efficient use of storage, reduced bandwidth consumption, and point-in-time recovery of multiple versions of the data. Configurable data retention policies, data compression, and data transfer throttling offer you added flexibility and help boost efficiency. Backups are stored in Windows Azure and are “off-site”, reducing the need to secure and protect on-site backup media.


Windows Azure Backup is billed in units based on your average daily amount of compressed data stored over a monthly billing period, at a rate of $0.25 per gigabyte (GB) per month during preview. Once Backup is generally available, it will be billed at $0.50 per GB per month.

For more information on Windows Azure Backup, please visit the webpage. For more information on pricing, please visit the Pricing Details Webpage.

Activating the Preview

1. Open your Windows Azure Management Portal.

2. On the top bar, click Subscriptions and then choose Manage your subscriptions.


3. Choose Preview Features

4.  Activate the Backup feature by clicking try it now.


Getting Started

5. If you go back to your Management Portal, you will now find Recovery on the left pane.


6. Create a new Backup Vault.


7. Once the vault is provisioned, start by clicking Manage Certificate.


To use your own self-signed certificate, follow these steps:

  1. Download Certificate Creation Tool (makecert.exe) from
  2. Open Command Prompt (cmd.exe) with Administrator privileges and run the following command, replacing <certName> with the name of your certificate : makecert.exe -r -pe -n CN=<certName> -ss my -sr localmachine -eku  -e 12/12/2015  -len 2048 <CertName>.cer


I will publish another post soon, which details how you can deploy the backup agents on the server and configure the backups.

See also:

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2 Responses to Backing up to the Cloud: Windows Azure Backup Preview – Part 1

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