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Microsoft performs reverse full-hybrid with an on-premises twist

Azure can now backup and run VMware VMs, send own VMs to on-premises storage

Microsoft has made a few changes to its Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup services.

The headline item is the ability to "enable protection and disaster recovery for VMware virtual machines and physical servers to Azure." That's a shot across VMware's bow, as it does the same in its own vCloud Air cloud and preaches on-premises-to-cloud integration from a single control freak as the way get things done. Microsoft's trying to eat its lunch.

Azure Backup has also been given a boost. The tool is billed as a pretty generic cloudy backup tool: it runs in the cloud and uses agents to shunt and VMs data into the safety of the cloud.

Microsoft's now added the ability to backup IaaS servers into Azure Backup. Explained here, the new feature means Azure Backup will figure out what servers you have running in Azure IaaS, install an agent on them, then apply your preferred backup policies to get them into the cloud.

Which is where things get interesting, according to Veeam. The company has spotted another new feature called “Snapshot Extension” that it says “is designed to allow Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) image-level access into the Azure VM backup snapshot data”.

How Azure Backup for IaaS VMs works

Veaam's Anton Gostev thinks that a big deal because it “... opens up pretty much endless capabilities, including backup of Azure VMs back to your on-premises environment.”

Why would anyone want an on-premises backup of a cloud VM when the cloud is so reliable that no self-respecting sysadmin would bother with their own backup rig? Because, Gosteve points out, clouds do go down or corrupt data. And when they do, you'll be feeling pretty smug if you had the foresight to use ye olde on-premiſeſ ƃackupto add an extra layer of protection.

Gostev also points out that cloudy storage costs can creep upwards if users keep ticking every box, so the chance to send some storage back into one's own bit barn will help that.

Veeam's post doesn't say when it will start to use Snapshot Extension in its products, but it's clear the company is very fond of the feature and is footling with it for a future release. ®

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