Manage Azure file share backups

This article describes common tasks for managing and monitoring the Azure file shares that are backed up by Azure Backup. You'll learn how to do management tasks in the Recovery Services vault.

Monitor jobs

When you trigger a backup or restore operation, the backup service creates a job for tracking. You can monitor the progress of all jobs on the Backup Jobs page.

To open the Backup Jobs page:

  1. Open the Recovery Services vault you used to configure backup for your file shares. In the Overview pane, select Backup Jobs under the Monitoring section.

    Backup Jobs in Monitoring section

  2. After you select OK, the Backup Jobs pane lists the status of all jobs. Select the workload name that corresponds to the file share you want to monitor.

    Workload name

Monitor using Azure Backup reports

Azure Backup provides a reporting solution that uses Azure Monitor logs and Azure workbooks. These resources help you get rich insights into your backups. You can leverage these reports to gain visibility into Azure Files backup items, jobs at item level and details of active policies. Using the Email Report feature available in Backup Reports, you can create automated tasks to receive periodic reports via email.Learn how to configure and view Azure Backup reports.

Create a new policy

You can create a new policy to back up Azure file shares from the Backup policies section of the Recovery Services vault. All policies created when you configured backup for file shares show up with the Policy Type as Azure File Share.

To create a new backup policy, follow these steps:

  1. In the Backup policies pane of the Recovery Services vault, select + Add.

    Screenshot showing the option to start creating a new backup policy.

  2. In the Add pane, select Azure File Share as the Policy Type.

    Screenshot showing to select Azure File Share as the policy type.

  3. As the Backup policy pane for Azure File Share opens, specify the policy name.

  4. In Backup schedule, select an appropriate frequency for the backups - Daily or Hourly.

    Screenshot showing the frequency types for backups.

    • Daily: Triggers one backup per day. For daily frequency, select the appropriate values for:

      • Time: The timestamp when the backup job needs to be triggered.
      • Time zone: The corresponding time zone for the backup job.
    • Hourly: Triggers multiple backups per day. For hourly frequency, select the appropriate values for:

      • Schedule: The time interval (in hours) between the consecutive backups.
      • Start time: The time when the first backup job of the day needs to be triggered.
      • Duration: Represents the backup window (in hours), that is, the time span in which the backup jobs need to be triggered as per the selected schedule.
      • Time zone: The corresponding time zone for the backup job.

      For example, you’ve the RPO (recovery point objective) requirement of 4 hours and your working hours are 9 AM to 9 PM. To meet these requirements, the configuration for backup schedule would be:

      • Schedule: Every 4 hours
      • Start time: 9 AM
      • Duration: 12 hours

      Screenshot showing an example of hourly backup frequency values.

      Based on your selection, the backup job details (the time stamps when backup job would be triggered) display on the backup policy blade.

  5. In Retention range, specify appropriate retention values for backups - tagged as daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

  6. After defining all attributes of the policy, click Create.

View policy

To view the existing backup policies:

  1. Open the Recovery Services vault you used to configure the backup for the file share. On the Recovery Services vault menu, select Backup policies under the Manage section. All the backup policies configured in the vault appear.

    Screenshot showing the all backup policies.

  2. To view policies specific to Azure File Share, select Azure File Share from the drop-down list on the upper right.

    Screenshot showing the process to select Azure File Share.

Modify policy

You can modify a backup policy to change the backup frequency or retention range.

To modify a policy:

  1. Open the Recovery Services vault you used to configure the backup for the file share. On the Recovery Services vault menu, select Backup policies under the Manage section. All the backup policies configured in the vault appear.

    All backup policies in vault

  2. To view policies specific to an Azure file share, select Azure File Share from the drop-down list on the upper right. Select the backup policy you want to modify.

    Azure file share to modify

  3. The Schedule pane opens. Edit the Backup schedule and Retention range as required, and select Save. You'll see an "Update in Progress" message in the pane. After the policy changes update successfully, you'll see the message "Successfully updated the backup policy."

    Save the modified policy

Stop protection on a file share

There are two ways to stop protecting Azure file shares:

  • Stop all future backup jobs, and delete all recovery points.
  • Stop all future backup jobs, but leave the recovery points.

There might be a cost associated with leaving the recovery points in storage, because the underlying snapshots created by Azure Backup will be retained. The benefit of leaving the recovery points is that you can restore the file share later. For information about the cost of leaving the recovery points, see the pricing details. If you decide to delete all the recovery points, you can't restore the file share.

To stop protection for an Azure file share:

  1. Open the Recovery Services vault that contains the file share recovery points. Select Backup Items under the Protected Items section. The list of backup item types appears.

    Backup Items

  2. In the Backup Management Type list, select Azure Storage (Azure Files). The Backup Items (Azure Storage (Azure Files)) list appears.

    Select Azure Storage (Azure Files)

  3. In the Backup Items (Azure Storage (Azure Files)) list, select the backup item for which you want to stop protection.

  4. Select the Stop backup option.

    Select Stop backup

  5. In the Stop Backup pane, select Retain Backup Data or Delete Backup Data. Then select Stop backup.

    Select Retain Backup Data or Delete Backup Data

Resume protection on a file share

If the Retain Backup Data option was selected when protection for the file share was stopped, it's possible to resume protection. If the Delete Backup Data option was selected, protection for the file share can't resume.

To resume protection for the Azure file share:

  1. Open the Recovery Services vault that contains the file share recovery points. Select Backup Items under the Protected Items section. The list of backup item types appears.

    Backup items for resume

  2. In the Backup Management Type list, select Azure Storage (Azure Files). The Backup Items (Azure Storage (Azure Files)) list appears.

    List of Azure Storage (Azure Files)

  3. In the Backup Items (Azure Storage (Azure Files)) list, select the backup item for which you want to resume protection.

  4. Select the Resume backup option.

    Select Resume backup

  5. The Backup Policy pane opens. Select a policy of your choice to resume backup.

  6. After you select a backup policy, select Save. You'll see an "Update in Progress" message in the portal. After the backup successfully resumes, you'll see the message "Successfully updated backup policy for the Protected Azure File Share."

    Successfully updated backup policy

Delete backup data

You can delete the backup of a file share during the Stop backup job, or anytime after you stop protection. It might be beneficial to wait days or even weeks before you delete the recovery points. When you delete backup data, you can't choose specific recovery points to delete. If you decide to delete your backup data, you delete all recovery points associated with the file share.

The following procedure assumes that the protection was stopped for the file share.

To delete backup data for the Azure file share:

  1. After the backup job is stopped, the Resume backup and Delete backup data options are available in the Backup Item dashboard. Select the Delete backup data option.

    Delete backup data

  2. The Delete Backup Data pane opens. Enter the name of the file share to confirm deletion. Optionally, provide more information in the Reason or Comments boxes. After you're sure about deleting the backup data, select Delete.

    Confirm delete data

Unregister a storage account

To protect your file shares in a particular storage account by using a different Recovery Services vault, first stop protection for all file shares in that storage account. Then unregister the account from the current Recovery Services vault used for protection.

The following procedure assumes that the protection was stopped for all file shares in the storage account you want to unregister.

To unregister the storage account:

  1. Open the Recovery Services vault where your storage account is registered.

  2. On the Overview pane, select the Backup Infrastructure option under the Manage section.

    Select Backup Infrastructure

  3. The Backup Infrastructure pane opens. Select Storage Accounts under the Azure Storage Accounts section.

    Select Storage Accounts

  4. After you select Storage Accounts, a list of storage accounts registered with the vault appears.

  5. Right-click the storage account you want to unregister, and select Unregister.

    Select Unregister

Next steps

For more information, see Troubleshoot Azure file shares backup.