Backing up an Azure VM with the portal

Azure backups can be created through the Azure portal. This method provides a browser-based user interface to create and configure Azure backups and all related resources. You can protect your data by taking backups at regular intervals. Azure Backup creates recovery points that can be stored in geo-redundant recovery vaults.

This blog post shows how to back up a virtual machine (VM) with the Azure portal.

If you don’t have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Log in to Azure

Log in to the Azure portal at

Create virtual machine

Choose Create a resource in the upper left-hand corner of the Azure portal.

In the search box above the list of Azure Marketplace resources, search for and select Windows Server 2016 Datacenter, then choose Create.

In the Basics tab, under Project details, make sure the correct subscription is selected and then choose to Create new resource group. Type myResourceGroup for the name.

Under Instance details, type MyServer2016 for the Virtual machine name and choose West Europe for your Location. Leave the other defaults.

Under Administrator account, provide a username, such as abou and a password. The password must be at least 12 characters long and meet the defined complexity requirements.

Under Inbound port rules, choose Allow selected ports and then select RDP (3389) and HTTP from the drop-down.

Leave the remaining defaults and then select the Review + create button at the bottom of the page.

Select a VM to back up

Create a simple scheduled daily backup to a Recovery Services Vault.

In the menu on the left, select Virtual machines.

From the list, choose a VM to back up.

In the Operations section, choose Backup. The Enable backup window opens.

Enable backup on a VM

A Recovery Services vault is a logical container that stores the backup data for each protected resource, such as Azure VMs. When the backup job for a protected resource runs, it creates a recovery point inside the Recovery Services vault. You can then use one of these recovery points to restore data to a given point in time.

Select Create new and provide a name for the new vault, such as GITSRecoveryServicesVault.

If not already selected, choose Use existing, then select the resource group of your VM from the drop-down menu.

By default, the vault is set for Geo-Redundant storage. To further protect your data, this storage redundancy level ensures that your backup data is replicated to a secondary Azure region that is hundreds of miles away from the primary region.

You create and use policies to define when a backup job runs and how long the recovery points are stored. The default protection policy runs a backup job each day and retains recovery points for 30 days. You can use these default policy values to quickly protect your VM.

To accept the default backup policy values, select Enable Backup.

It takes a few moments to create the Recovery Services vault.

Start a backup job

You can start a backup now rather than wait for the default policy to run the job at the scheduled time. This first backup job creates a full recovery point. Each backup job after this initial backup creates incremental recovery points. Incremental recovery points are storage and time-efficient, as they only transfer changes made since the last backup.

On the Backup window for your VM, select Backup now.

To accept the backup retention policy of 30 days, leave the default Retain Backup Till date. To start the job, select Ok.

Monitor the backup job

In the Backup window for your VM, the status of the backup and number of completed restore points are shown.

Once the VM backup job is complete, information on the Last backup time, Latest restore point, and Oldest restore point is shown on the right-hand side of the Overview window.

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