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Azure Backup Overview

Published: January 30, 2015

Updated: February 11, 2015

The fundamental workflow that you experience when you backup and restore files and folders to and from Microsoft Azure Backup by using the Azure Backup Agent are the same workflows that you would experience using any other type of backup: you identify the items to backup and then the items are copied to storage where they can be used later if they are needed. Microsoft Azure Backup delivers business continuity benefits by providing a backup solution that requires no initial hardware costs other than a broadband Internet connection.

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Azure Backup Agent is an add-on for the 64-bit versions of the Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7 operating systems, as well as the following servers: Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2). With the Azure Backup Agent you can schedule file and folder backups from your computer or server to Microsoft Azure Backup. If you would prefer to use Windows PowerShell, you can also use the Azure Backup cmdlets to transfer data between your computer or servers and your Azure Backup vault in the cloud.

Getting Started with Azure Backup is a short video that walks you through the initial setup of Azure Backup.

The Azure Backup Agent also integrates with Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Data Protection Manager (DPM) in System Center 2012 SP1 to support online backup services for those systems. If you will be using Azure Backup with your DPM server, make sure to install the Update Rollup 2 for DPM in System Center 2012 SP1 before installing the Azure Backup Agent. For full details on this update, see Update Roll up 2 for System Center Data Protection Manager SP1.

For more information about using Microsoft Azure Backup with Windows Server 2012 Essentials, see Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

For more information about using Microsoft Azure Backup with System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 Data Protection Manager (DPM), see Azure Online Backup for System Center 2012 SP1.

The following table provides a short description of updates made to the Azure Backup service. See the Knowledge Base links for more information on a specific update.


Release Changes Additional information

February 2015

Azure Backup adds support for Offline Backup and Long-Term Retention

See documentation for Offline Backup Overview and Schedule a backup.

December 2014

Azure Backup supports 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.


October 2014

New Azure Backup Agent is available for x-64 versions of Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2). See the support article for more information and the new Backup Agent.


September 2014

Registration process has been simplified. Backups can be retained for up to 9 years.


August 2014

The data source size has increased and can be up to 1.65 terabytes (TB). This source can be a volume, Hyper-V virtual machine or a Microsoft SQL Server database.


October 2013

Initial release

You can use Microsoft Azure Backup to back up content stored on fixed NTFS volumes. It cannot be used in the following situations:

  • Volume is locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption. If BitLocker is enabled on the volume, the volume must be unlocked before it can be backed up.

  • Volume is not formatted with NTFS.

  • Drive type is not fixed.

  • Volume is read-only.

  • Volume is not currently online.

  • Volume is on a network share.

The following technologies are related to Microsoft Azure Backup:

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