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BrianErickson-1840 asked SadiqhAhmed-MSFT commented

MARS and MABS backup method use the same backup process?

Greener then the hills here. Our company wants to pioneer into the possibility of backing up Azure VMS within Microsoft Azure. I am coming from a Commvault backup software mentality and am confused slightly with the documents not providing a clear answer on how the layout works with Microsoft Azure Backups process.

As far as i know you need a subscription service to Recovery Services Vault in order to perform backups. from there i am getting into the weeds with how the backups environment works. The documentation suggests that there can be a physical server which you can install or set up a Microsoft Azure Backup Server. Is there just one location that manages the backups of Azure data or is Recovery Services Vault and Microsoft Azure Backup Server completely different operations which

o You can back up on-premises Windows machines (Physical onsite server) directly to Azure by using the Azure Backup Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS, also known as the Azure Backup Agent) agent. Linux machines aren't supported.
o You can back up on-premises machines to a backup server - either System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) or Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS). You can then back up the backup server to a Recovery Services vault in Azure.

Commvault in short has a primary server (Commserve) which Coordinates all activity in The Commvault enviroment. It talks to Client computers (physical/VM) which are backed up and restores through Media Agent servers that conduct the movement of data from source to destination (libraries)
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Please refer to Azure backup common questions - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-azure-backup-faq clarifies or answers most of the question that you might have in your mind.

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So been slowly piecing how Azure backups is working over the past few days. I guess my only missing piece of the puzzle is Im confused is the difference between that Microsoft Azure Backup Server and its difference to the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services.

I have watched recently a video which somewhat explains that Micosoft Azure Backup server is downloaded to a on-premise machine , which then is used to backup data to be sent to a drive, which is later backed up to Azure. I am assuming that it is backing up to the same vault that Microsoft Azure Recovery Services uses.

So is the big difference between Microsoft Azure Recovery Services and Microsoft Azure Backup Server is that MABS is when you want to have a on-pemise server take care of backing up data before being sent to the vault?

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MARS agent backups data directly to Azure, that is to recovery services vault. However, MABS backups the data to the local storage first and then MARS agent installed on MABS server backups the local storage to vault.

MARS agent is easy to install and manage. Whereas, MABS is little complex and used for set ups that runs multiple different variants of workloads. For example: VMware & Hyper-V

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thanks for the information in short I see MARS as direct backup for on-premise appliances , and MABS for local storage of data prior to sending it up to the vault. Thanks for your help in understanding the situation.

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@BrianErickson-1840 Your understanding is 100% correct! :)

Glad to know the responses helped answer your questions. I have updated the first response and enabled "Accept Answer" and "Up-vote" options. Please do acknowledge the post by accepting the answer and up-voting the response.

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1 Answer

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SadiqhAhmed-MSFT answered SadiqhAhmed-MSFT edited

Hello @BrianErickson-1840 Thank you for posting your question in the Microsoft Q&A community forum. Happy to assist you!

From the details you mentioned in your original post, I understand that you want to backup Azure VMs within Microsoft Azure.
In short - The answer to your question is to use Azure backup for VMs. Details are documented here - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-azure-vms-introduction

To answer your other questions, YES, you are understanding is correct. To use any Azure service, Azure subscription is the primary requirement. To start your journey in Azure, you can sign up for Azure free trial account - https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/free/

To avoid confusion, let me talk about Azure backup:
Microsoft Azure offers Azure Backup services for different type of workloads. For example: If you want to backup only Azure VMs, you can leverage Azure backup for VMs. Likewise, there are other Azure backup solutions for backing up your on-premise Windows machines, you can use Azure backup agent. However, if you have an environment with multiple type of workloads, SQL, Windows Machines, Linux VMs, VMware VMs, you can opt for Microsoft Azure Backup Server.

Suggest you to take a glance at Azure backup architecture - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/backup/backup-architecture

Note: Irrespective of the type of Azure backup service you use, Recovery Service Vault (RSV) is the place where you backed up data resides.

Update:

MARS agent backups data directly to Azure, that is to recovery services vault. However, MABS backups the data to the local storage first and then MARS agent installed on MABS server backups the local storage to vault.

MARS agent is easy to install and manage. Whereas, MABS is little complex and used for set ups that runs multiple different variants of workloads. For example: VMware & Hyper-V



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