Microsoft: Azure Backup Review

Azure Backup is a cloud-based backup solution and scalable based on backup storage requirements to back up data and recover it from the Microsoft Azure cloud. 

It is a simple, cost-effective, secure, one-click backup solution, where a centralized management interface makes it easier to define backup policies and protect a wide range of workloads.

Azure Backup is simple to configure and use, offering consistent copies with security features and management controls via the Azure portal. Although it is a cloud-native service, it is also usable on-premises.

Azure Backup solutions can help businesses achieve maximum data protection, and its System Center Data Protection Manager provides optional integrations that enable users to protect both advanced workloads running in the data center.

See below to learn all about Azure Backup and where it stands in the cloud backup sector:

See more: The Best Enterprise Backup Software

The cloud backup market

The cloud backup market was estimated to be valued at $10.61 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach $24.53 billion by 2029, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.56% from 2022 to 2029.

Azure Backup features

Azure Backup is an extremely feature-rich, centralized, and scalable managed backup service. Some of the features of Azure Backup are below:

Centralized and scalable

Azure Backup Center allows users to monitor, govern, manage, and optimize data protection at scale in a consistent and unified way. The backup provides built-in capabilities to safeguard data, so users can recover in the event of accidental deletion, corruption, or ransomware. Users can audit and analyze backup data using the historical data and patterns shown in backup reports.

Isolation and security

Azure Government cloud provides isolation to meet stringent compliance standards, and users can protect business data for workloads, such as SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange, and Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) running on the Azure Government cloud with Azure Backup.

The service ensures the data is encrypted before it leaves the customer’s premises, and encrypted backup data is transmitted securely using HTTPS protocol and stored in an encrypted manner in the Azure Government cloud.

Availability and efficiency

Azure Backup is a highly reliable backup service with 99.9% availability, and it stores data in highly resilient storage — up to six copies in two Azure Government cloud data centers, geographically distributed more than 500 hundred miles apart.

The backup performs incremental backups where it only transfers changed blocks between successive backups and also compresses them before sending them to Azure to optimize network bandwidth and cloud storage.

See more: How Cloud Storage is Used by Good Eats, Toyota Mapmaster, Sheppard Mullin, State of Utah, and Roblox: Case Studies

Azure Backup use cases

Azure Backup is reliable, simple to set up, and easy to use on the servers and local systems. It provides an automated option for data storage and disaster recovery.

“We had to play it smarter and look at alternative solutions that aligned with our budget and our long-term strategy. Compared with our previous backup solution, our Azure solution costs significantly less to run. That, combined with the capital savings associated with the StorSimple devices, have produced a six-digit cost savings.” -Andy Kennell, ICT operations manager, Somerset County Council

“We went into this project knowing we needed to build a new IT baseline infrastructure that integrated our on-premises environment and the cloud. The express purpose was to enable all colleagues to not only work together, but do the same work everywhere. Our Azure hybrid cloud strategy has helped us succeed. Everyone in the IT team has an easier time of it. We’ve consolidated a lot of our back-end resources to Azure hosts, which makes things simple in the sense we don’t need to think about backup power, because Azure backup has it covered.” -Andre De Vet, coordinator of ICT services, Duo+

“With Microsoft, we can run entire workloads or pieces of workloads on-premises or in the cloud; it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Without that hybrid flexibility, we wouldn’t have jumped into Azure as quickly as we did. Our market is always moving faster, and the cloud allows us to be more nimble and aggressive. We can focus more on where we want to go and less on how to get there. We’re no longer worrying about backup, DR, and other operational tasks.” -David W. Pfister, director of global distributed infrastructure and client services, Russell Reynolds Associates

Azure Backup differentiators

Some of the key areas of differentiation for Azure Backup are below:

Automation

To span a large and diverse set of workloads as the Azure estate expands, that requires automating key tasks, including configuring backups for the right machines, monitoring their health, and taking timely corrective action.

Automation in place for backup operations helps to achieve efficiencies while managing at scale. Azure Backup allows for automation of most backup-related tasks using programmatic methods and also reduces the possibility of human error.

Offline backup

Sufficient network bandwidth for remote offices or data centers in certain geographies is not always available. For the transfer of large amounts of data, sometimes initial full backups require offline backup support.

Azure Backup allows offline backup to transfer initial backup data offline without the use of network bandwidth that provides a mechanism to copy backup data onto physical storage devices. The devices are shipped to a nearby Azure data center and uploaded to a Recovery Services vault that ensures transfer of backup data without using any network bandwidth.

Archive tier

Azure Backup allows for the storage of backup data of long-term retention (LTR), per the retention needs defined by an organization’s compliance rules, in addition to Snapshots and the Standard tier. Several Azure services support Archive Tier, including Azure Virtual Machines, SQL Servers in Azure VMs, and SAP HANA in Azure VM, and are now generally available in multiple regions. This support for Azure Virtual Machines provides monthly and yearly recovery points, and for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines, full recovery points.

User reviews of Azure Backup

Microsoft Azure Backup services receive mostly positive reviews and recommendations from several user review sites. Users at G2 rate Azure Backup 4.5 out of 5. Users at Gartner Peer Insights rate Azure Backup 4.4 out of 5, with 87% saying they would recommend it.

Several customer Experience ratings at Gartner Peer Insights are below:

  • Evaluation and contracting: 4.5 out of 5
  • Integration and deployment: 4.6 out of 5
  • Service and Support: 4.3 out of 5
  • Product capabilities: 4.5 out of 5

Users at TrustRadius rate Microsoft Azure Backup at 8.6 out of 10, with several features receiving ratings:

  • File sharing and management: 8.9 out of 10
  • Cloud storage security and administration: 9.2 out of 10
  • Cloud storage platform: 8.6 out of 10

Azure Backup pricing

Azure Backup pricing is based on the amount of storage space the user’s backup data consumes. Microsoft Azure Backup is an Azure-based service used to backup, protect, and restore data in the Microsoft cloud.

The pricing packages of the Azure Backup services are following:

  • Backup for Azure VMs that are 50 GB to 500 GB per instance are $5 to $10 per month, respectively.
  • Backup for On-premises Servers that are 50 GB to 500 GB per instance are $5 to $10 per month, respectively.
  • Backup for SQL Server on Azure VMs starting at 500 GB per instance is $30 per month.
  • Backup for SAP HANA on Azure VMs starting at 500 GB per instance is $98.94 per month.
  • Backup for Azure Files starting at 250 GB per instance is $5 per month.
  • Backup for Azure Database for PostgreSQL starting at 250 GB per instance is $7.50 per month.

Azure Backup services eliminate extra costs of additional backup infrastructure and overhead for scaling and managing storage. It also optimizes backup cost with patterns and insights under Backup reports to right-size backup storage.

Conclusions

Microsoft Azure Backup is a centralized, highly available, and scalable, and managed backup service. Microsoft invests in cybersecurity, and Azure Backup protects a diverse set of workloads, including infrastructure, databases, and storage with ease from a central location. Azure Backup allows management and monitoring of the entire backup estate from a central console with a backup center and stays compliant by enforcing backups at scale with Azure Policy. As such, Azure Backup can be a good option for any enterprise.

See more: The Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) Market

Al Mahmud Al Mamun
Al Mahmud Al Mamun
Al Mahmud Al Mamun is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. He earned his B.S. in computer science and engineering from Prime University, Bangladesh. He attained more than 25 diploma courses and 100 certificate courses. His expertise and research interests include artificial intelligence (AI), artificial neural networks, and convolutional neural networks.

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