Leveraging Azure Backup is very easy. Knowing some of the key terms—like recovery vaults and vault credentials—is critical to understanding and working with Azure Backup.
- [Narrator] All right, let's start with the simplest of the Azure business continuity solutions, and that's Azure Backup. I'll be very clear, my friends, I don't mean that this is simple from the standpoint it doesn't really do anything. This is actually an incredibly powerful utility, and another tool you can put in your tool belt to help protect your company's business and data. But it's simple from a standpoint that it's actually fairly easily installed, configured, and you can get up and running within just a couple of hours, if even that. So we're going to start with Azure Backup, and probably the most important concept you're going to see in this course because it applies to pretty much everything that you're going to do is the Recovery Services Vault.
Now just like a vault in a bank, this is where you store all of your important data, all your important information. It is what is the backend for Azure Backup, Azure Backup Server, Azure Site Recovery. When you start replicating your information or just backing up your system state, you're just backing up files and folders, it's all going to get stored in a safe place, and that's the Recovery Services Vault. It's the solution that kind of sits underneath the covers, and in other videos you've seen brief glimpses. In this chapter, we're actually going to show you how to create a Recovery Services Vault from beginning to end, and the multiple options that you have inside of it, because it's important to understand this key concept, because it applies to so many things that you're going to do within inside of Azure, and specifically inside of this course.
It contains your backups, so all of the data that you backup is going to be stored there. To get inside of the Recovery Services Vault you have to do what is called a registration process for your servers. It's where all of your registered servers are stored and just mentioned. It's also your recovery plans for Azure Site Recovery, and there's a lot of other options in here, and when we get into the video, you're going to see all that in another section, what that Recovery Services Vault can do and what it really has. But one of the important things about this vault, it's not where you go to get your data. You actually are going to use tools, so if you used Azure Backup, for example, and you use the agent that's there, you're going to actually use that tool to recover your data, the same with Azure Backup Server.
Now Azure Site Recovery kind of uses the Recovery Services Vault, but at the end of the day, you don't actually browse for your data inside of this, you'll need an agent loaded or a tool loaded to be able to dip into the Recovery Services Vault and actually bring your data back out, but it's probably the most important concept because it applies to pretty much everything that you're going to see inside of this course. Now some other important concepts that we need to know and cover about Azure Backup is first about vault credentials. Vault credentials are essentially how I tie my environment, my tools to the Recovery Services Vault.
It's how I register my servers, I have to have vault credentials. And really this is just a simple concept when you really break it down. If I'm showing everybody this course, and you're watching this course, and your neighbor's watching this course, and your neighbor's neighbor's watching this course, how does your backup tool know how to backup to your Azure environment and your specific Recovery Services Vault? Answer's quite simple, it's your vault credentials. This is kind of your key and passcode, it also does some things under the covers to make sure the data is properly secured as the data is in transit and moving up into the actual cloud environment.
But vault credentials, essentially your key to your Recovery Services Vault. Now two other concepts that I'm going to bring up here are locally redundant storage and geo-redundant storage. Now I bring them up because this is kind of a design point decision you want to make for your Recovery Services Vault, because after you start using your Recovery Services Vault you can't change this decision. What happens is whenever you back something up inside of Recovery Services Vault, by default it's called locally redundant storage or LSR. Now what does that mean? Well, you only pay for the one copy that you're going to use for backup and recovery purposes, but in reality, Azure in the backend actually makes two other copies, so you have three copies inside the Azure Data Center, so that's locally redundant storage.
Now if, for some reason, the region you chose for Azure goes down, you won't be able to access that storage until it comes back up, and from time to time, Azure does have down time, so you have to be aware of that. So geo-redundant storage is the alternative. Now what happens here is that we actually have pairs of these regions, so when you choose south central, you're actually being paired with the Chicago data center, and south central, FYI, is in San Antonio, Texas. There's a great document, and the link is here on the slide for your to look at if you want to see what those regional pairs are, but they're always in the same country of origin, so US doesn't get paired to one of the Europe data centers, it's all within the same environment, and it's all well documented.
But what geo-redundant storage does, now that I have backed up to my one primary data center, and let's say it's San Antonio, for example, in the south central region, it's then going to back that up automatically under the covers, I don't have to do anything other than simply check a box that says GSR, and it's going to take three more copies and put them in the other data centers. So essentially you have six copies of your data inside of Azure. Once again, you're only paying for one. However, when you do do geo-redundant storage, there is an extra charge, you do have to pay for that other copy that's going to go into the other data centers, but the costs are fairly minimal.
It's really up to you what your backup goals and what your recovery goals are as well. Once again, it's all well documented within inside the Azure environment. And the last thing about Azure Backup, this is all agent-based, so when I talk about simple, that's what I mean by this agent. If you've used the Microsoft backup tools before in the past, you're going to notice that when you install this agent it looks the same, smells the same, and it works the same with one exception: it's actually backing your data up to Azure and not to some local storage. So when you use this tool, and say hey, I know how to do this, it's just like Microsoft backup, yeah, you're pretty accurate actually, it's very, very close, but it's a very simple install, it's a very small download to download the agent, and you can get up and running very quickly because of that agent-based tool.
- Examining platform choices
- Creating the Recovery Services vault
- Installing the agent
- Configuring the agent
- Installing Azure Backup Server
- Configuring Azure Backup Server
- Testing failover