Manage Azure SQL Database long-term backup retention

In Azure SQL Database, you can configure a single or a pooled database with a long-term backup retention policy (LTR) to automatically retain the database backups in separate Azure Blob storage containers for up to 10 years. You can then recover a database using these backups using the Azure portal or PowerShell.

Important

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance does not currently support long-term backup retention.

Use the Azure portal to manage long-term backups

The following sections show you how to use the Azure portal to configure the long-term retention, view backups in long-term retention, and restore backup from long-term retention.

Configure long-term retention policies

You can configure SQL Database to retain automated backups for a period longer than the retention period for your service tier.

  1. In the Azure portal, select your SQL server and then click Manage Backups. On the Configure policies tab, select the checkbox for the database on which you want to set or modify long-term backup retention policies. If the checkbox next to the database is not selected, the changes for the policy will not apply to that database.

    manage backups link

  2. In the Configure policies pane, select if want to retain weekly, monthly or yearly backups and specify the retention period for each.

    configure policies

  3. When complete, click Apply.

Important

When you enable a long-term backup retention policy, it may take up to 7 days for the first backup to become visible and available to restore. For details of the LTR backup cadance, see long-term backup retention.

View backups and restore from a backup using Azure portal

View the backups that are retained for a specific database with a LTR policy, and restore from those backups.

  1. In the Azure portal, select your SQL server and then click Manage Backups. On the Available backups tab, select the database for which you want to see available backups.

    select database

  2. In the Available backups pane, review the available backups.

    view backups

  3. Select the backup from which you want to restore, and then specify the new database name.

    restore

  4. Click OK to restore your database from the backup in Azure SQL storage to the new database.

  5. On the toolbar, click the notification icon to view the status of the restore job.

    restore job progress

  6. When the restore job is completed, open the SQL databases page to view the newly restored database.

Note

From here, you can connect to the restored database using SQL Server Management Studio to perform needed tasks, such as to extract a bit of data from the restored database to copy into the existing database or to delete the existing database and rename the restored database to the existing database name.

Use PowerShell to manage long-term backups

Note

This article has been updated to use the new Azure PowerShell Az module. You can still use the AzureRM module, which will continue to receive bug fixes until at least December 2020. To learn more about the new Az module and AzureRM compatibility, see Introducing the new Azure PowerShell Az module. For Az module installation instructions, see Install Azure PowerShell.

Important

The PowerShell Azure Resource Manager module is still supported by Azure SQL Database, but all future development is for the Az.Sql module. For these cmdlets, see AzureRM.Sql. The arguments for the commands in the Az module and in the AzureRm modules are substantially identical.

The following sections show you how to use PowerShell to configure the long-term backup retention, view backups in Azure SQL storage, and restore from a backup in Azure SQL storage.

RBAC roles to manage long-term retention

For Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup and Restore-AzSqlDatabase, you will need to have one of the following roles:

  • Subscription Owner role or

  • SQL Server Contributor role or

  • Custom role with the following permissions:

    Microsoft.Sql/locations/longTermRetentionBackups/read Microsoft.Sql/locations/longTermRetentionServers/longTermRetentionBackups/read Microsoft.Sql/locations/longTermRetentionServers/longTermRetentionDatabases/longTermRetentionBackups/read

For Remove-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup, you will need to have one of the following roles:

  • Subscription Owner role or

  • Custom role with the following permission:

    Microsoft.Sql/locations/longTermRetentionServers/longTermRetentionDatabases/longTermRetentionBackups/delete

Note

The SQL Server Contributor role does not have permission to delete LTR backups.

RBAC permissions could be granted in either subscription or resource group scope. However, to access LTR backups that belong to a dropped server, the permission must be granted in the subscription scope of that server.

Create an LTR policy

# Get the SQL server 
# $subId = “{subscription-id}”
# $serverName = “{server-name}”
# $resourceGroup = “{resource-group-name}” 
# $dbName = ”{database-name}”

Connect-AzAccount
Select-AzSubscription -SubscriptionId $subId

# get the server
$server = Get-AzSqlServer -ServerName $serverName -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup

# create LTR policy with WeeklyRetention = 12 weeks. MonthlyRetention and YearlyRetention = 0 by default.
Set-AzSqlDatabaseBackupLongTermRetentionPolicy -ServerName $serverName -DatabaseName $dbName -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -WeeklyRetention P12W 

# create LTR policy with WeeklyRetention = 12 weeks, YearlyRetention = 5 years and WeekOfYear = 16 (week of April 15). MonthlyRetention = 0 by default.
Set-AzSqlDatabaseBackupLongTermRetentionPolicy -ServerName $serverName -DatabaseName $dbName -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -WeeklyRetention P12W -YearlyRetention P5Y -WeekOfYear 16

View LTR policies

This example shows how to list the LTR policies within a server

# Get all LTR policies within a server
$ltrPolicies = Get-AzSqlDatabase -ResourceGroupName Default-SQL-WestCentralUS -ServerName trgrie-ltr-server | Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionPolicy -Current 

# Get the LTR policy of a specific database 
$ltrPolicies = Get-AzSqlDatabaseBackupLongTermRetentionPolicy -ServerName $serverName -DatabaseName $dbName  -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -Current

Clear an LTR policy

This example shows how to clear an LTR policy from a database

Set-AzSqlDatabaseBackupLongTermRetentionPolicy -ServerName $serverName -DatabaseName $dbName -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -RemovePolicy

View LTR backups

This example shows how to list the LTR backups within a server.

# List all LTR backups under the current subscription in a specific Azure region 
# The list includes backups for existing servers and dropped servers grouped by the logical database id.
# Within each group they are ordered by the timestamp, the earliest backup first.
# Requires Subscription scope permission
$ltrBackups = Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -Location $server.Location 

# List the LTR backups under a specific resource group in a specific Azure region 
# The list includes backups from the existing servers only grouped by the logical database id.
# Within each group they are ordered by the timestamp, the earliest backup first. 
$ltrBackups = Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -Location $server.Location -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup

# List the LTR backups under an existing server
# The list includes backups from the existing servers only grouped by the logical database id.
# Within each group they are ordered by the timestamp, the earliest backup first. 
$ltrBackups = Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -Location $server.Location -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -ServerName $serverName

# List the LTR backups for a specific database 
# The backups are ordered by the timestamp, the earliest backup first. 
$ltrBackups = Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -Location $server.Location -ServerName $serverName -DatabaseName $dbName

# List LTR backups only from live databases (you have option to choose All/Live/Deleted)
# The list includes backups for existing servers and dropped servers grouped by the logical database id.
# Within each group they are ordered by the timestamp, the earliest backup first.  
# Requires Subscription scope permission
$ltrBackups = Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -Location $server.Location -DatabaseState Live

# Only list the latest LTR backup for each database under a server
$ltrBackups = Get-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -Location $server.Location -ServerName $serverName -OnlyLatestPerDatabase

Delete LTR backups

This example shows how to delete an LTR backup from the list of backups.

# Remove the earliest backup from the list of backups
$ltrBackup = $ltrBackups[0]
Remove-AzSqlDatabaseLongTermRetentionBackup -ResourceId $ltrBackup.ResourceId

Important

Deleting LTR backup is non-reversible. To delete an LTR backup after the server has been deleted you must have Subscription scope permission. You can set up notifications about each delete in Azure Monitor by filtering for operation ‘Deletes a long term retention backup’. The activity log contains information on who and when made the request. See Create activity log alerts for detailed instructions.

Restore from LTR backups

This example shows how to restore from an LTR backup. Note, this interface did not change but the resource id parameter now requires the LTR backup resource id.

# Restore a specific LTR backup as an P1 database on the server $serverName of the resource group $resourceGroup 
Restore-AzSqlDatabase -FromLongTermRetentionBackup -ResourceId $ltrBackup.ResourceId -ServerName $serverName -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroup -TargetDatabaseName $dbName -ServiceObjectiveName P1

Important

To restore from an LTR backup after the server has been deleted, you must have permissions scoped to the server's subscription and that subscription must be active. You must also omit the optional -ResourceGroupName parameter.

Note

From here, you can connect to the restored database using SQL Server Management Studio to perform needed tasks, such as to extract a bit of data from the restored database to copy into the existing database or to delete the existing database and rename the restored database to the existing database name. See point in time restore.

Next steps