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Off-site Data Backups with Azure

Keeping data backed up is essential for any organization, and keeping an off-site backup is essential for maintaining business continuity. Traditionally however, off-site backups to a secondary datacenter are expensive, time-consuming, and unreliable. Your backup location must be maintained along with your primary datacenter. This post will outline some of the ways that organizations today can take advantage of the cloud to make backups easier and more effective.

Geo-Replication For Safe Keeping

When you back up to Azure, you are able to take advantage of geo-replication, which means that your data is stored in separate data centers across geographic regions. So if the west coast of the US is having problems, like a hurricane, you can be sure your data is safe because there are copies on the east coast. You pay for what you use, making Azure a cost-effective alternative versus maintaining an off-site storage solution. You can find out more about Azure’s storage redundancies here.

Eliminate Third-Party Tools with Azure Backup

The backbone of any IT department is its servers. Backing up your Windows Server servers to Azure is made easy with Azure Backup. By installing Microsoft’s backup agent on the servers, you can avoid the need for a third-party tool and reap the benefits of Microsoft integration. If you are using Windows Server 2012, you can opt instead to use PowerShell, bringing the power of automation to your backups. Backups are encrypted with a key that you hold, which means that you control your data. The backups are also compressed using de-duplication, meaning quicker retrieval of backups and less storage cost. Read more about Azure backup here.

Direct Backups to Azure with SQL Server

The data found in databases is of crucial importance, and now keeping that data safe is even easier with SQL Server’s ability to backup directly to Azure. This feature allows SQL Server to schedule and manage its own backups to Azure, which means you don’t need any other tools, and issues with the backups are reported via the SQL error reporting you already use. Backups are encrypted, making sure your data stays safe. Read more about protecting your SQL databases here.

System Centre Data Protection Manager

Running System Center Data Protection Manager allows you to protect not only your servers and databases, but also the files on your desktops, your Exchange mailboxes, your SharePoint farms, Hyper-V hosts, and your Linux servers. All these features from within a single tool means your administrators can use familiar Microsoft tools to manage what would have taken multiple tools before, ensuring the tools are updated along with the products they support. You can find a full list of supported scenarios here.

There are many ways you can start using Azure to make backing up your data easier and cheaper. Storing data on Azure is a cost-effective solution versus on-premises, and allows you to do more with your current datacenter investments. Using Microsoft backup solutions also makes sure that the backup tools you use are familiar and supported by Microsoft.