Quickstart: Back up a virtual machine in Azure with an ARM template

Azure Backup backs up on-premises machines and apps, and Azure VMs. This article shows you how to back up an Azure VM with an Azure Resource Manager template (ARM template) and Azure PowerShell. This quickstart focuses on the process of deploying an ARM template to create a Recovery Services vault. For more information on developing ARM templates, see the Azure Resource Manager documentation and the template reference.

An ARM template is a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file that defines the infrastructure and configuration for your project. The template uses declarative syntax. In declarative syntax, you describe your intended deployment without writing the sequence of programming commands to create the deployment.

A Recovery Services vault is a logical container that stores backup data for protected resources, such as Azure VMs. When a backup job runs, it creates a recovery point inside the Recovery Services vault. You can then use one of these recovery points to restore data to a given point in time. Alternatively, you can back up a VM using Azure PowerShell, the Azure CLI, or in the Azure portal.

If your environment meets the prerequisites and you're familiar with using ARM templates, select the Deploy to Azure button. The template will open in the Azure portal.

Deploy to Azure

Review the template

The template used in this quickstart is from Azure quickstart Templates. This template allows you to deploy simple Windows VM and Recovery Services vault configured with the DefaultPolicy for Protection.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "projectName": {
      "type": "string",
      "maxLength": 8,
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Specifies a name for generating resource names."
      }
    },
    "location": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "[resourceGroup().location]",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Specifies the location for all resources."
      }
    },
    "adminUsername": {
      "type": "string",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Specifies the administrator username for the Virtual Machine."
      }
    },
    "adminPassword": {
      "type": "securestring",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Specifies the administrator password for the Virtual Machine."
      }
    },
    "dnsLabelPrefix": {
      "type": "string",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Specifies the unique DNS Name for the Public IP used to access the Virtual Machine."
      }
    },
    "vmSize": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "Standard_A2",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Virtual machine size."
      }
    },
    "windowsOSVersion": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "2016-Datacenter",
      "allowedValues": [
        "2008-R2-SP1",
        "2012-Datacenter",
        "2012-R2-Datacenter",
        "2016-Nano-Server",
        "2016-Datacenter-with-Containers",
        "2016-Datacenter"
      ],
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Specifies the Windows version for the VM. This will pick a fully patched image of this given Windows version. Allowed values: 2008-R2-SP1, 2012-Datacenter, 2012-R2-Datacenter, 2016-Nano-Server, 2016-Datacenter-with-Containers, 2016-Datacenter."
      }
    }
  },
  "variables": {
    "storageAccountName": "[concat(parameters('projectName'), 'store')]",
    "networkInterfaceName": "[concat(parameters('projectName'), '-nic')]",
    "vNetAddressPrefix": "10.0.0.0/16",
    "vNetSubnetName": "default",
    "vNetSubnetAddressPrefix": "10.0.0.0/24",
    "publicIPAddressName": "[concat(parameters('projectName'), '-ip')]",
    "vmName": "[concat(parameters('projectName'), '-vm')]",
    "vNetName": "[concat(parameters('projectName'), '-vnet')]",
    "vaultName": "[concat(parameters('projectName'), '-vault')]",
    "backupFabric": "Azure",
    "backupPolicyName": "DefaultPolicy",
    "protectionContainer": "[concat('iaasvmcontainer;iaasvmcontainerv2;', resourceGroup().name, ';', variables('vmName'))]",
    "protectedItem": "[concat('vm;iaasvmcontainerv2;', resourceGroup().name, ';', variables('vmName'))]",
    "networkSecurityGroupName": "default-NSG"
  },
  "resources": [
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts",
      "apiVersion": "2020-08-01-preview",
      "name": "[variables('storageAccountName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "sku": {
        "name": "Standard_LRS"
      },
      "kind": "Storage",
      "properties": {}
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses",
      "apiVersion": "2020-06-01",
      "name": "[variables('publicIPAddressName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "properties": {
        "publicIPAllocationMethod": "Dynamic",
        "dnsSettings": {
          "domainNameLabel": "[parameters('dnsLabelPrefix')]"
        }
      }
    },
    {
      "comments": "Default Network Security Group for template",
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/networkSecurityGroups",
      "apiVersion": "2020-06-01",
      "name": "[variables('networkSecurityGroupName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "properties": {
        "securityRules": [
          {
            "name": "default-allow-3389",
            "properties": {
              "priority": 1000,
              "access": "Allow",
              "direction": "Inbound",
              "destinationPortRange": "3389",
              "protocol": "Tcp",
              "sourceAddressPrefix": "*",
              "sourcePortRange": "*",
              "destinationAddressPrefix": "*"
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks",
      "apiVersion": "2020-06-01",
      "name": "[variables('vNetName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "dependsOn": [
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkSecurityGroups', variables('networkSecurityGroupName'))]"
      ],
      "properties": {
        "addressSpace": {
          "addressPrefixes": [
            "[variables('vNetAddressPrefix')]"
          ]
        },
        "subnets": [
          {
            "name": "[variables('vNetSubnetName')]",
            "properties": {
              "addressPrefix": "[variables('vNetSubnetAddressPrefix')]",
              "networkSecurityGroup": {
                "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkSecurityGroups', variables('networkSecurityGroupName'))]"
              }
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces",
      "apiVersion": "2020-06-01",
      "name": "[variables('networkInterfaceName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "dependsOn": [
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses', variables('publicIPAddressName'))]",
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks', variables('vNetName'))]"
      ],
      "properties": {
        "ipConfigurations": [
          {
            "name": "ipconfig1",
            "properties": {
              "privateIPAllocationMethod": "Dynamic",
              "publicIPAddress": {
                "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses',variables('publicIPAddressName'))]"
              },
              "subnet": {
                "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks/subnets', variables('vNetName'), variables('vNetSubnetName'))]"
              }
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines",
      "apiVersion": "2020-06-01",
      "name": "[variables('vmName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "dependsOn": [
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts', variables('storageAccountName'))]",
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces', variables('networkInterfaceName'))]"
      ],
      "properties": {
        "hardwareProfile": {
          "vmSize": "[parameters('vmSize')]"
        },
        "osProfile": {
          "computerName": "[variables('vmName')]",
          "adminUsername": "[parameters('adminUsername')]",
          "adminPassword": "[parameters('adminPassword')]"
        },
        "storageProfile": {
          "imageReference": {
            "publisher": "MicrosoftWindowsServer",
            "offer": "WindowsServer",
            "sku": "[parameters('windowsOSVersion')]",
            "version": "latest"
          },
          "osDisk": {
            "createOption": "FromImage"
          },
          "dataDisks": [
            {
              "diskSizeGB": 1023,
              "lun": 0,
              "createOption": "Empty"
            }
          ]
        },
        "networkProfile": {
          "networkInterfaces": [
            {
              "id": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces',variables('networkInterfaceName'))]"
            }
          ]
        },
        "diagnosticsProfile": {
          "bootDiagnostics": {
            "enabled": true,
            "storageUri": "[reference(resourceId('Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts', variables('storageAccountName'))).primaryEndpoints.blob]"
          }
        }
      }
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.RecoveryServices/vaults",
      "apiVersion": "2020-02-02",
      "name": "[variables('vaultName')]",
      "location": "[parameters('location')]",
      "sku": {
        "name": "RS0",
        "tier": "Standard"
      },
      "properties": {}
    },
    {
      "type": "Microsoft.RecoveryServices/vaults/backupFabrics/protectionContainers/protectedItems",
      "apiVersion": "2020-02-02",
      "name": "[concat(variables('vaultName'), '/', variables('backupFabric'), '/', variables('protectionContainer'), '/', variables('protectedItem'))]",
      "dependsOn": [
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines', variables('vmName'))]",
        "[resourceId('Microsoft.RecoveryServices/vaults', variables('vaultName'))]"
      ],
      "properties": {
        "protectedItemType": "Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines",
        "policyId": "[resourceId('Microsoft.RecoveryServices/vaults/backupPolicies', variables('vaultName'), variables('backupPolicyName'))]",
        "sourceResourceId": "[resourceId('Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines', variables('vmName'))]"
      }
    }
  ]
}

The resources defined in the template are:

Deploy the template

To deploy the template, select Try it to open the Azure Cloud Shell, and then paste the following PowerShell script into the shell window. To paste the code, right-click the shell window and then select Paste.

$projectName = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter a project name (limited to eight characters) that is used to generate Azure resource names"
$location = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the location (for example, centralus)"
$adminUsername = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the administrator username for the virtual machine"
$adminPassword = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the administrator password for the virtual machine" -AsSecureString
$dnsPrefix = Read-Host -Prompt "Enter the unique DNS Name for the Public IP used to access the virtual machine"

$resourceGroupName = "${projectName}rg"
$templateUri = "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates/master/quickstarts/microsoft.recoveryservices/recovery-services-create-vm-and-configure-backup/azuredeploy.json"

New-AzResourceGroup -Name $resourceGroupName -Location $location
New-AzResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroupName -TemplateUri $templateUri -projectName $projectName -adminUsername $adminUsername -adminPassword $adminPassword -dnsLabelPrefix $dnsPrefix

Azure PowerShell is used to deploy the ARM template in this quickstart. The Azure portal, Azure CLI, and Rest API can also be used to deploy templates.

Validate the deployment

Start a backup job

The template creates a VM and enables back on the VM. After you deploy the template, you need to start a backup job. For more information, see Start a backup job.

Monitor the backup job

To monitor the backup job, see Monitor the backup job.

Clean up resources

If you no longer need to back up the VM, you can clean it up.

  • If you want to try out restoring the VM, skip the cleanup.
  • If you used an existing VM, you can skip the final Remove-AzResourceGroup cmdlet to leave the resource group and VM in place.

Disable protection, remove the restore points and vault. Then delete the resource group and associated VM resources, as follows:

Disable-AzRecoveryServicesBackupProtection -Item $item -RemoveRecoveryPoints
$vault = Get-AzRecoveryServicesVault -Name "myRecoveryServicesVault"
Remove-AzRecoveryServicesVault -Vault $vault
Remove-AzResourceGroup -Name "myResourceGroup"

Next steps

In this quickstart, you created a Recovery Services vault, enabled protection on a VM, and created the initial recovery point.