Hello fellows,

In one of the previous posts, I have explained you how to configure Azure Backup for backing up Azure VMs. Although this scenario is the most common, there are other options for using Azure Backup. One of them, that will be described in a few following posts, is backing up on-premise virtual machines (Hyper-V and VMware) using Azure Backup.

As you can see, configuring Azure Backup for backing up Azure VMs is pretty straight-forward process. But, if you want to backup on-premise VMs, whole process is little bit different and you really need additional components.

  • Recovery Service vault
  • System Center DPM (Data Protection Manager) or
  • Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS)

If you already have implemented DPM in your infrastructure, you just need to integrate DPM with Azure. But, if you don’t use DPM (maybe you don’t have anything implemented yet), you can choose to install ABS (Azure Backup Server). Basically, ABS is the same product as DPM, but with limited functionalities, that are not so important for cloud backup solution, such as support for Tape Backup. Other very important thing is pricing. ABS is totally free, as well as all other needed components, like as SQL Server that is needed for storing databases.

Before start with installing MABS, you need know what are the prerequisites for ABS.

  • Domain: MABS must be domain joined machine
  • Supported OS: Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019
  • Processor: Minimum: 1 GHz, Recommended: 2.33 GHz
  • RAM: Minimum: 8GB, Recommended: 10GB
  • Hard Drive Space: Minimum 5GB, Recommended 10GB
  • Local disk for backup: 1.5 times size of data to be protected
  • Hyper-V PowerShell need to be installed

In this post, we will cover installing Azure Backup Server. At the moment of writing this post, current version is 3.

Once you have created Recovery Service vault, and want to start with configuring, you need to select On-Premises workload and Hyper-V as desired source.

Next step is downloading installation of Azure Backup Server.

While you are waiting for download installation packages, you can download Backup Vault. Of course, that can be done anytime later.

When installation files are downloaded and unpacked, you can start with installation.

If your prerequisite checks are failed at some point and you resolve issue, you just can click to Check Again. Once you get message that your computer meets all needed requirements, you can proceed.

Following checks can take some time and if you get “error” message that Hyper-V PowerShell is missing as prerequisites, don’t worry. You just need to reboot computer, because this step will detect missing PowerShell module and automatically install on computer.

Once Hyper-V module is installed and all requirements meets, you can start with installing new instance of SQL Server, or you can configure MABS (Microsoft Azure Backup Server) to use existing SQL Server.

In this scenario I decided to install new SQL Server instance. Next step is configuring locations for MABS. Last location, Staging Area, is very important. That is location where Virtual Machine will be restored temporarily, if you need to perform restore from cloud. If you don’t have enough space on that location, restore job will fail. Fortunately, this location can be set later, if you forget on this step.

Next, you need to configure password for service account.

Once you define all needed, you can click on Install.

Then, you will be redirected to MABS agent setup pages. If you don’t have any kind of proxy for internet connection, just click to next.

On following page, you will see status of .Net 4.5 and Windows PowerShell. If something is not installed, will be installed automatically.

Once you have installed everything that’s needed, you need to provide downloaded vault credentials, that will represent you Recovery Service vault and how to connect to vault.

On next page, you need to define encryption password and location to save passphrase somewhere on your drive. By default, communication between MABS and backup vault is encrypted.

Finally, at the end, you will have installed MABS.

Process of installing MABS is not so complicated, but you need to pay attention during installation. In next post, we will cover how to configure MABS for Hyper-V workload.

Stay tuned …


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