Tag: Backup

What is Azure File Sync (AFS) and how to set it up?

Earlier this month, Microsoft introduced Azure File Sync (AFS). So, what is Azure File Sync (AFS)?

Azure File Sync is a cloud based backup solution for backing up and providing disaster recovery options for a single, or multiple file shares within a server, or multiple servers. Some of the benefits are:

  • Eliminates network and storage complexity and capacity planning, as it is done for you in Azure.
  • Changes to on-premises data are synchronized in real time to Azure, and file/folder backup is completely seamless to the end-user(s).
  • At the current time, AFS offers 120 days of data retention.
    • I suspect this will increase over time, and will allow administrators to have options with higher or lesser days of retention.

Setting up and configuring Azure File Sync is pretty quick. Below is how I setup Azure File Sync to sync a folder/files from my local server to Azure. AFS is pretty cool stuff, and I have been wanting to chat about it for some time (NDA). At any rate, getting AFS setup is pretty easy. Microsoft provides pretty good documentation on how to do this as well, but in my opinion, they have elected to omit some steps. Here is my take:

First you will need to create a new Azure File Sync Storage Sync. Within the Azure marketplace, search, “Azure File Sync“. Note, Azure File Sync is currently only available to a limited set of regions:

  • South East Asia
  • Australia East
  • West Europe
  • West US

Once created, under Sync, and getting started, download the Storage Sync Agent.

Note, Azure File Sync currently only works with Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (servers must be installed with a GUI — no core).

Download and install the agent on your local server, and configure it to the Storage Sync Service you just created in Azure.

Whoops, since this a brand new server install, there is no AzureRM PowerShell modules installed. Go ahead and launch PowerShell as an Administrator, and execute the cmdlet, “Install-Module AzureRM -force

Okay, back to the install. Remember to select the Storage Sync Service you just created in Azure

Once the install is complete, go back to Azure, and under Sync, Registered Servers, your local server should now be present.

Great, now we need to create a Storage account. We can either chose an existing storage account, or create a new one – I chose the ladder.

Regardless with route you take with the Storage account, go into the Storage account properties, and scroll down to File Service, and select Files.

Create a File Share, give it some name, and some quota. I gave it 1GB, as this is simply for testing and PoC. The file path is the same file path you want to backup to AFS. This file path should already exist on your local server(s).

Now go back to your Azure File Sync, and under Sync, and Sync Groups, create a new Sync Group. Within the Azure File Share, select the File Share we just created within our Storage account.

Finally, now we can create an server endpoint. Go back to your Sync Groups, and create a new server endpoint. Here you will need to specify the file/folder you will want to share/copy/backup to your Azure File Sync (AFS).

And that is it! Next I will show you how you can actually restore from your Azure File Sync.

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) with Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V using ARM

Not too long ago, Microsoft announced the support of Windows 2016 and Azure Site Recovery (ASR). Microsoft’s announcement can be found HERE.

With that said, I decided to setup ASR with my Hyper-V 2016 environment. Rather than the typical blog posts (screenshots etc.,) I decided to create a step-by-step video that demonstrates how to setup ASR with Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V. That video can be found HERE at Channel 9.

In addition this post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for On-Premises Hyper-V Host with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for a Hyper-V 2012R2 host.



Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

1

Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

2

Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

3

Step 2: Choose your Protection Goal(s)

Click Settings > Site Recovery (Under Getting Stated) > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Protection Goal > And specify the following > Click OK:

  • Replicating to: Azure
  • Machines Virtualized: Yes, with Hyper-V
  • Using SCVMM (Virtual Machine Manager): No

4

Step 3: Setup the Source Environment

Next, we will now need to Prepare our source give our Hyper-V site a name, “Ravi-OnPrem” makes sense here, but give it something meaningful.

5

6

Now we need to download the ASR Provider Installer, along with the Vault Registration Key.

set-source3

Step 4:  Install and Configure the ASR Provider on Hyper-V Host

1

2

3

4

5

This Hyper-V host is not behind any Proxy…

6

If we go back to Azure, we can now see our Hyper-V host populated.

7

Step 5: Create a Replication Policy

Within our Vault properties > Settings > Manage: Site Recovery Infrastructure > For Hyper-V Sites: Replication Policies > +Replication Policies

8

Step 6: Associate Hyper-V Site(s)

Next we will need to Associate our Hyper-V site:

9

10

Great! Now we can continue on with Step 3 (Target Environment) of Step 1 (Preparing Infrastructure).

Step 7: Create a Storage Account + Virtual Network

8

9

Within the Replication, we have a few options here. I left mine as default (GRS) Geo-Redundant.

Next, we need to create a Target Virtual Network:

11

Now we can go ahead and setup the replication settings:

Step 8: Setup Replication Settings

12

Since we create the Replication Policy beforehand, this auto-filled. Next we need to do some Capacity Planning. Since this is simply a walk-through example, I elected to skip this, but for a real-production environment, I would highly recommend doing this.

Here is a link to Microsoft’s Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica.

14

Hit OK, and now we are ready to to move on to Step 2 (Replication Application)

15

16

This all should have populated since we created our Storage account and Virtual Network just earlier… If not, add them.

Now Azure should have connected with our Hyper-V host, we can now see our VMs within our Hyper-V host. Here we now need to select which machines we will want to include within ASR. For simplicity and variety, I am going to select a domain controller and a Linux machine.

17

Now we need to configure the VMs properties:

18

Once we are good, we can go ahead and apply the Replication Policy to our VMs.

19

Once satisfied, go ahead and hit “Enable Replication“.

20

 

Lastly, Step 3, we now need to complete creating our Recovery Plan:

Step 9: Create Recovery Plan

21

Great! All done? Before we say all done, let’s go back to our Hyper-V host, and configure the Network/Throttling bandwidth.

Step 10: Network/Throttle Bandwidth

My Hyper-V host is not equipped with a GUI as I am using Windows 2012R2 Minimal Server, so navigate here to launch the Microsoft Azure Backup Agent, “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent\bin\“. Launch, “wabadmin“.

23

In the Actions pane, select “Change Properties” >> Select the Throttling tab.

24

Change these settings as to your needs. I wanted to increase my non-work hours to 4MB, but looks like 1MB is the max.

Great! Since we already hit, enable replication, this process should have already started… Let’s go back to Azure:

If we take a look at the Vault > Settings > Protected Items > Replicated Items 

25

Once these VMs are 100% Synchronized, the next steps will be to simulate a fail over, both Test and Planned.

26

 

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for On-Premises Virtual Machine with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for VMs being hosted on your On-Premises environment on a Hyper-V 2012R2 environment.



Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

1

Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

2

Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

3

Step 2: Choose your Protection Goal(s)

Click Settings > Site Recovery (Under Getting Stated) > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Protection Goal > And specify the following > Click OK:

  • Replicating to: Azure
  • Machines Virtualized: Yes, with Hyper-V
  • Using SCVMM (Virtual Machine Manager): No

4

Step 3: Setup the Source Environment

Next, we will now need to give our Hyper-V site a name, “Ravi-OnPrem” makes sense here, but give it something meaningful.

5

6

Once validated, we can now go ahead with the Azure Backup Agent. Download the Azure Backup Agent, and also, download the Backup Credentials.

7

Download the Agent and Credentials to the server you will be backing up. In my example, I will be backing up a Windows Server 2016 (RTM).

Step 4: Microsoft Azure Recovery Site (MARS) Agent Install

The Microsoft Azure Recovery Site (MARS) Agent is a pretty simple install, but here is what I experienced when installing:

1

2

Since my environment is pretty open, ie. No Proxy, no changes required here.

3

Your call here..

4

All good with the MARS prerequisites… Hit Install!

5

All good, time to register our server to our Recovery Services Vault.

 

Step 5: Register Server to Azure Recovery Services Vault

6

Here is where we will need that VaultCrentials file.. I hope you downloaded it as mentioned earlier… As you can see, back in the first few steps, when we created our Vault, the settings are now automatically inputted.

7

Here, I decided to let the wizard generate the Passphrase. I then saved the key locally to the server.

 

8

Perfect! Now we can go ahead and with the Azure Back: Site Recovery/Backup Schedule, etc.

Step 6: Configuring Microsoft Azure Backup

Going back to our On-Prem server, which by the way is a Windows 2016 OS, let’s launch Microsoft Azure Backup

Click on Schedule Backup within the (Right) Actions Pane:

1

Since this is a basic server, I only allocated 1 drive for this example, once we hit Backup, I am presented with the available drives.

2

Now we can begin defining our Backup Schedule

Step 7: Specify Backup Schedule

3

For this example, I want to back up the following server with the following properties:

  • Backup once a week @ 4AM, every Monday

Retention Policy will be as follows, see below:

4

Once you are satisfied with the policy, go ahead and hit next. Since we want to back up to Azure, and not an offline backup, we will backup over the network.

5

Have a look over before we do the initial backup.

6

Step 7: Initiate Backup Now

Going back to the main console, within the right pane, within Actions, let’s initiate our Back Up Now.

7

If we now double click within the job, we can see the Backup has begun….

8

Step 8: Validate Backup

If we go back to Azure, and take a look at our Vault properties, we can see there is a Backup in progress.

9

If we drill down within the Backup, we can see our server being backed-up.

10

After a few minutes, we can go back to the server, and track its progress:

11

 

And likewise, if we go within to the Azure Resource Manager, and within the Vault Backup jobs, and take a look at the details, we can see data is being updated to Azure.

12

 

Perfect!

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Virtual Machines (VMs) in Azure with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • ASR for VMs hosted On-Premises, coming soon…
  • ASR for Hyper-V hosted On-Premises, coming soon…
  • ASR for an ESXi hosted On-Premises, coming soon…

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for VMs hosted within Azure.


Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

1

Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

2

Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

3

Step 2: Backup Goal/Target

Select +Backup, and let’s setup create a backup strategy:

4

5a

As mentioned, in this walk-through, we will be setting up ASR for our VMs within Azure. So, this workload will be running against our Azure environment, and we want to backup our VMs.

Step 3: Create a Backup Policy

Now we want to create a backup policy. You can chose the default, which I believe is a daily snap-shot and the retention is 30 days. This may be too aggressive, or too conservative. Nevertheless, let’s create our own.

6a

Give it a name “ASRBackup14Days“, for this example, I want to backup my VMs in the following manner:

  • Backup every day @ 2AM
  • Retain the daily backup of the VM for 2 weeks (14 days)
  • Retain the weekly backup of the VM for 2 weeks
  • Retain the monthly backup of the VM for 2 months (~60 days)
  • Also, begin this policy the first day of January 2016…

Of course these options are..optional, you only need to specify either the daily, weekly or monthly retention…

Once complete, we now need to select the VM(s) we would like to back-up.

7a

Select one, or select them all, but keep in mind, this could get costly $$$$, more VMs and more often the back-up frequency.

8

Step 4: Initial Backup

Great! Now, Enable backup. Now, if we go back to our ASR Vault, should see a job already in progress, as Azure already started the initial backup.

9

10

As you can see, the VM is being backed up now!

Step 5: On-Demand Backup

If you ever want to do an ad-hoc backup, just go back to the ASR Vault, within the Protected Items, select the VM(s) you are interested, and schedule an immediate backup.

11