Back up an Azure VM from the VM settings

This article explains how to back up Azure VMs with the Azure Backup service. You can back up Azure VMs using a couple of methods:

  • Single Azure VM: The instructions in this article describe how to back up an Azure VM directly from the VM settings.
  • Multiple Azure VMs: You can set up a Recovery Services vault and configure backup for multiple Azure VMs. Follow the instructions in this article for this scenario.

Before you start

  1. Learn how backup works, and verify support requirements.
  2. Get an overview of Azure VM backup.

Azure VM agent installation

In order to back up Azure VMs, Azure Backup installs an extension on the VM agent running on the machine. If your VM was created from an Azure marketplace image, the agent will be running. In some cases, for example if you create a custom VM, or you migrate a machine from on-premises. you might need to install the agent manually.

  • If you do need to install the VM agent manually, follow the instructions for Windows or Linux VMs.
  • After the agent is installed, when you enable backup, Azure Backup installs the backup extension to the agent. It updates and patches the extension without user intervention.

Back up from Azure VM settings

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Click All services and in the Filter, type Virtual machines, and then click Virtual machines.

  3. From the list of VMs select the VM you want to back up.

  4. On the VM menu, click Backup.

  5. In Recovery Services vault, do the following:

    • If you already have a vault, click Select existing, and select a vault.
    • If you don't have a vault, click Create new. Specify a name for the vault. It's created in the same region and resource group as the VM. You can't modify these settings when you enable backup directly from the VM settings.

    Enable Backup Wizard

  6. In Choose backup policy, do the following:

    • Leave the default policy. This backs up the VM once a day at the time specified, and retains backups in the vault for 30 days.
    • Select an existing backup policy if you have one.
    • Create a new policy, and define the policy settings.

    Select backup policy

  7. Click Enable Backup. This associates the backup policy with the VM.

    Enable Backup button

  8. You can track the configuration progress in the portal notifications.

  9. After the job completes, in the VM menu, click Backup. The page shows backup status for the VM, information about recovery points, jobs running, and alerts issued.

    Backup status

  10. After enabling backup, an initial backup runs. You can start the initial backup immediately, or wait until it starts in accordance with the backup schedule.

    • Until the initial backup completes, the Last backup status shows as Warning (Initial backup pending).
    • To see when the next scheduled backup will run, click the backup policy name.

Note

Azure Backup service creates a separate resource group (other than the VM resource group) to store snapshot, with the naming format AzureBackupRG_geography_number (example: AzureBackupRG_northeurope_1). The data in this resource group will be retained for the duration in days as specified in “Retain instant recovery snapshot” section of the Azure Virtual Machine Backup policy. Applying a lock to this resource group can cause backup failures.

Run a backup immediately

  1. To run a backup immediately, in the VM menu, click Backup > Backup now.

    Run backup

  2. In Backup Now use the calendar control to select until when the recovery point will be retained > and OK.

    Backup retention day

  3. Portal notifications let you know the backup job has been triggered. To monitor backup progress, click View all jobs.

Back up from the Recovery Services vault

Follow the instructions in this article to enable backup for Azure VMs by setting up an Azure Backup Recovery Services vault, and enabling backup in the vault.

Next steps