Microsoft starts backup of on-prem workloads and desktops to Azure

Repeat after us: 'Microsoft values its close partnerships with backup software vendors'


Microsoft has announced it will now offer backups of on-premises SQL Server, Hyper-V virtual machines, SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange and windows clients to Azure.

To use Azure as your backup target you'll need the Azure Backup agent or Microsoft Recovery Services Agent on your servers or PCs. That code will take care of the delicate business of shuttling data into Azure, as its been imbued with the power to move the aforementioned workloads into Azure, an evolution from its previous file-only powers.

Once you're in Azure, you can have the usual policy fun and take advantage of Microsoft's long-term storage rigs that offer 99-year data protection.

None of this is compulsory or baked into Microsoft products, but it is doubtless unwelcome news for traditional backup software vendors. Such developers still offer rather more detailed backup regimes, as evinced by the many new and granular policy offerings in NetWorker 9. Yet between this offering, Azure Site Recovery and its disaster recovery options for virtual machines, Microsoft is developing a suite of services that offer very compelling backup and recovery offerings. All while maintaining its usual “we love our partners” mantra.

Microsoft's not alone in challenging its partners. VMware's cloud storage and disaster recovery offerings can't be welcome news for its many storage pals, parent EMC or the likes of Veeam and CommVault.

Microsoft and VMware have both resisted baking their backup offerings into their core products, as doing so would likely result in backup vendors consulting their legal representatives. Windows Server, however, has long had basic backup functionality. Is it reasonable to include cloud options in these vaporous times? ®

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