Tag Archives: disaster recovery

Azure Backup to Protect your Data from Disaster – Part 2

In my previous post I explain what Azure backup is and its features. If you not read it yes you can find it here. In this post I am going to explain how to configure azure backup and how to use it to back up your data.

Create Azure backup vault

1)    Log in to the Azure Portal
2)    Click on +New and then in search type “backup” and press enter


3)    From the list click on Azure Backup


4)    Then it will open the feature page. It will give you brief description about azure backup feature. Click on “create


5)    Then it will open up the azure management portal and give you option to create the backup vault. Type the name for the vault and also select the region you need. Then click create vault


6)    Then it will create the vault


7)    Now we need to download azure vault credential file. On-premise backup agent need to register with backup vault in order to backup data. Azure vault credential file is a certificate generate by the portal for each backup vault. Then the public key of the file will upload to the access control service. This file will use during the initial agent registration process. This credential file only valid for 48 hours. So if you need to register another machine you need to download the latest credential file from portal. Even someone else manage to get the keys it will prevent them using it to connect the backup vault. To download, click on the backup vault and then dashboard.


8)    Next is to download the backup agents. It is can find on the same page.


Backup On-Premises Data

Now we have the backup vault created in cloud and next step is to start the agent install and register process.

1)    Log in to the on-premises server or pc you like to backup as administrator
2)    Download the agent and latest vault credential file as explain on previous
3)    For demo I am using an on-premises DC server which running on windows server 2016 TP4. Double click on MARSAgentInstaller.exe to start the agent install
4)    In first window select the folder path for installation and cache. You can change the paths as you like.


5)    In next window you can define proxy settings if you behind proxy server. Click next to continue


6)    In next window it ask to allow windows update to update agent if any update available. Click on next to continue after selection


7)    In next window click on install to start the agent installation


8)    After install, need to start the registration, click on “Proceed to registration


9)    In next window it ask to brows for the vault credential file which is downloaded from the portal. Then click next to proceed


10)    In next screen you can define a passphrase to encrypt and decrypt backup data. You must save this information as, if you do not have this info you will not be able to use backup data in recovery process. Then click on finish to complete the register process.


11)    Once it’s done we can start to setup backup jobs by launching agent.


Azure Backup Job configuration

1)    To configure backup job, double click on Microsoft Azure Backup icon in on-premises server


2)    After open the console, you can start to configure schedule backup using “Scheduled Backup


3)    Then it start the console, click next to continue


4)    In next windows can select the data you need to backup, then click next to proceed


5)    Here we can define the schedule for the backup, click next to proceed


6)    In next window we can define the data retention policy. You can keep data up to 99 years. Once done click on next to proceed


7)    Next step is to define the initial backup settings. You can either do it via internet or offline seeding.


8)    Next it will give the confirmation about backup and click on finish to exit


Now it’s all done, let’s check azure backup portal to see the registration status.
Under the registered item now we can see the new server we added and its status.


Under the protected items can see the status of the protection, how many recovery points etc.


Recover an Item

Let’s see how to recover a file easily.

1)    Launch the azure backup console in local computer
2)    Click on Recover Data Option
3)    In wizard you need to select where the backup was generated. For demo I am trying to restore to same server.


4)    Then in next window can select recovery mode. Then click next to proceed


5)    Next we need to select the volume, date, time to recover from


6)    Then in next window select the file or folder to recover


7)    Next we can define if its need to restore to original or alternative location. Also what to do if the item with same name exist in the location.


8)    Then click on “recover” to get the file


9)    As we can see its recovered the file successfully at the end.


Hope this article help you to understand the azure backup in operations.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Azure Backup to Protect your Data from Disaster – Part 1

Data is the value for any organization operations, so it’s important to make sure organization have access to its data in any time. Backup of valued data will ensure seamless access to data in a disaster. Businesses uses different type of backup technologies, tools to backup data. It can be traditional tape backups, on-premises backup, off-shore backup etc. each of these technologies, tools got their own characteristics.

Azure Backup is a solution where you can bring your backups to cloud. Let’s see why it’s different from other solutions.


Zero Capital investment – Disaster recovery solutions are costly. You need to buy additional storages, spaces in remote data centers, software licenses, support contracts etc. when all these adds up its not cheap. But with azure backup you can start the backup without any of the above concerns.   All you need to do is enable the service in azure portal. Then in next minute you can start to back up your data in to the cloud.

Minimum maintenance cost – Maintaining disaster recovery solution is not easy either. When the data grows you need to plan for the expanding your backup infrastructure as well. Also need to consider about software upgrades, staff training etc. But if you use azure backup, Microsoft taking care of all these maintenance problems for you.

Protect Data from anywhere – your data can be in different formats and in different geographical locations. Also some data may in cloud. Azure backup can protect your data from anywhere and all you need is internet access. In disaster it will be available to you from anywhere as well. 

Replacement for Tape – even tapes are old school backup type still organizations are using it for long-term retention. With azure backup you can keep your data up to 99 years. Also it’s available to you in low cost and faster recovery than tapes.

Secure – When people talk about the cloud service a common question you get is how secure it is. With Azure backup, the data will be encrypted before it leaves your infrastructure. Then it will be deliver via secure connection and will be store in azure datacenters as encrypted data.

Reliable – Azure backup will store 3 copies of your data in azure datacenter and in additional you can save copies in remote datacenters in different geographical locations.

Throttling – when you backup data over internet one of the problem people face is bandwidth. With bandwidth throttling we can control the impact of backup jobs to company uplinks. Ideally backup jobs can use the full benefit of bandwidth in off-peak times.

Compression – Data will be compressed before it upload in to azure. So it will use less bandwidth and less storage.

Advanced Workload Protection– Azure backup can integrate with SCDPM (System Center Data Protection Manager) and can use to protect enterprise workload such as SharePoint, exchange, SQL servers, Hyper-V VM. It also gives Granular restore capability such as mailbox recovery for Exchange, DB level recovery for SQL, and ILR for SharePoint. DPM works seamlessly with the Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) writer to ensure that consistent versions of virtual machines are captured and protected without affecting virtual machine access.

Offline Seeding – The initial backup for large servers over internet is pain. Azure backup allow you to create initial backup locally and can deliver to the nearest azure datacenter for upload.

In next post let’s see how we can configure azure backup and start protecting data.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Image source: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/fundamentals-introduction-to-azure/

Step-by-Step Guide to clone a Domain Controller

From Windows server 2012 Microsoft introduce feature to allow clone on domain controller. It helps to quickly restore a domain controller in event of failure and also it helps to deploy test environments easily when needed.

In previous, if you clone a domain controller, it will not allow to deploy on same domain or the forest without running sysprep to remove security information before cloning. Then afterwards you need to promote the domain manually. But now when clone domain controller it will do the sysprep and promote process automatically.

For the demo purpose I am using a windows 2012 R2 domain controller which is deployed in Hyper-V environment.

1)    Log in to the Source Domain controller as Domain admin or Enterprise administrator
2)    Go to Server Manager > Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers


3)    Then go to “Domain Controllers” OU. Select the DC needs to clone and right click to select properties.


4)    Go to member of tab and click on Add.


5)    Then add security group Cloneable Domain Controllers and click ok.


6)    Close the mmc and load the windows PowerShell with admin rights. Then type and enter Get-ADDCCloningExcludedApplicationList . This will check the system if there is program which will not compatible with the clone process.


7)    If it’s comes up with list make sure those services are removed before clone.
8)    After cleanup process type
New-ADDCCloneConfi gFile –Static -IPv4Address “” -IPv4DNSResolver “” -IPv4SubnetMask “” –CloneComputerName “DC2” -IPv4DefaultGateway “” -SiteName “Default-First-Site-Name”

In here I specify the ip address information it (the clone server) will hold. Also the computer name and site name.


9)    Once its pass and completed the process, exit from the console and the server.
10)    For next steps we need to turn off the source domain controller. So before proceed make sure organization is aware about the downtime and the impact.
11)    Load the Hyper-V manager and right click on the DC which needs cloning. Then select Turn-off.


12)    Once its turn off, right click on DC and select export. Then select the path to save the export file.



13)    Once export process is completed, right click on the source dc and click on start.
14)    Then in Hyper-V go to Action > Import Virtual Machine


15)    It will open up the import wizard and click next to continue.


16)    In next window specify the folder path to the exported DC. Then click next.


17)    Next window to select the DC and click next


18)    In next window from the list select “Copy the virtual machine (create a new unique ID )” option can click next.


19)    In next window it ask for the VM path. You can leave default or the different path based on your requirement. Once done click on next.


20)    Next it’s ask for storage folder. Again it can change as per requirement. Once done click next.


21)    Then it gives a summary page. Click on finish to start the import process.


22)    Once import is completed, right click on the clone dc and click on start.
23)    It will runs under several stages preparing the AD.


24)    Once process is completed, l logged in to the server as domain admin. In Domain controller OU I can see the new clone dc. Also under site and services I can see the cloned dc located correctly.



This is the end of the post and if there is any question feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com