Getting Started with Azure Backup: Protect Windows Server with MARS Agent
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Getting Started with Azure Backup: Protect Windows Server with MARS Agent


Hello everyone, I am Swati Sachdeva from Microsoft Azure Backup Product team. In this video, you will learn how to backup your Windows Server to Azure using the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services agent, also referred to as the MARS agent. MARS agent can backup your files as well as the system state directly to Azure, without the need for any local storage. So let’s understand how it works. This is your Azure portal and this is your on-premises Windows Server from where you want to backup the files and the system state. Backing up your Windows Server is a 4-step process. First, create the Recovery Services Vault. This is where all your backups will be stored. Next, download the MARS agent installer and the Vault Credentials file from the Recovery Services Vault on your system. Install the MARS agent on your system Next, register your server with the Recovery Services Vault using the Vault Credentials downloaded in the previous step. Lastly, configure the backup policy such that the MARS agent initiates the backup from the server to the Vault. Let’s switch to the demo now. Once you have an Azure subscription, go to the Azure Management Portal. Now for any kind of backup that you wish to take you necessarily need to have a Recovery Services Vault. You can create your Vault by following the steps in the part 1 of this video series, the link of which is also shared in the description box below. For the purpose of this demo I’ve already created a Vault, so I’ll simply open it. This is the Vault dashboard. Let’s configure our first backup Click on ‘Backup’ in the ‘Getting Started’ section of the Vault settings blade. This will open the backup wizard. Specify the location where the data you want to protect is running Since we want to protect an on-premises server, we’ll select ‘On-Premises’ in the drop box. Next, specify your intent – What is it that you want to backup? Well, I would like to backup both my system state as well as the files hence I’ll choose both the options from the list. Clicking on ‘Prepare Infrastructure’ will now launch a 2-step process First, download the MARS agent installer on your server. And next, download the Vault Credentials file and save it anywhere on your system. Now run the MARS agent installer and follow the steps as indicated in the installation wizard. Register your server to the Recovery Services Vault by providing the Vault Credentials file downloaded and saved a while ago. Next, enter a passphrase of your choice, or you can also generate one and save it to a secure location, preferably a location outside of the server being protected. You will need this to restore your backup later After the registration is successfully done, launch the MARS agent by clicking on Close. This is the MARS agent console. As you can see, currently there are no backup jobs scheduled. So I’ll go ahead and click on ‘Schedule Backup’ to configure the backup policy for my Windows Server. Click on ‘Add items’ to select what all you want to backup. Select the system state to backup the system state of your server. Similarly, select an entire data volume or specific files or folders that you want to protect from your server. Next, configure the backup and retention policy for the system state. You can choose between daily and weekly backup. You can also specify multiple days in a way to take your backup. Under the retention policy you can configure the daily weekly or monthly recovery points. Similarly, configure backup and retention schedules for files and folders. In this step you need to choose between the initial backup type. You can choose to either directly backup the data to Azure over the network. Alternatively, you could choose to backup the data to a disk first. This option is useful to expedite your backup process in case your initial data is very heavy, or you have a low bandwidth. The data from the disk can then be sent to Azure. For the purpose of this demo, I will select the first option. Next, review and confirm your backup policy details. Click on Finish such that the backup agent can create the backup schedule to protect your server. In case your first backup is still a few days away, it’s always a good idea to take an initial backup by clicking on the ‘Backup Now’ option You can monitor your backup in the Azure portal by clicking on the ‘Backup items’ in the Recovery Services Vault settings blade. Click on the Azure Backup agent and choose the file or system state for which you want to monitor the backup That’s all for this video. Thank you for watching!

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