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How to set up a Microsoft Azure backup process

CSO Online | May 15, 2019

Setting up a backup process in Azure is one way to quickly recover from a ransomware attack.

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I’m going to demonstrate how easy it is to set up in Azure a backup process. We're on the user Portal. The hardest part is actually finding the backup process. So you want to go up to the top in the search box and type in recovery services. And pick the recovery service vault option. From there you want to add a new vault. And we're going call it a what's called a friendly name. Something that you'll remember. This can be as small as two characters or as many as 50 characters. For purposes of this demo I'm just doing a test backup so that's when I'm going call it. You're going to be signed into a subscription. There are some demo subscriptions you can sign up for to play around with Azure to get a feel for it. You're going pick a resource group or create a new one. And again I'm just doing a test backup here so I'm just going call it a test names as I’m going to delete this when I'm done. And then you're going pick a location we're going to store it. I'm in the Pacific area so I'm going to pick West but you can see that there's all sorts of places if you need to be geographically in a certain area. And then hit create. And it's going to start creating the vault. And up in the upper right hand corner it indicates what the process is or what the progress is on that vault. And you may need to hit refresh. Because when it's done it you have to hit refresh to see it. And once it's there you can then click on it and launch it to set up the backup. Now you are going to click on backup because we're going to start the backup process. And we're going pick where our workload is and what we want to backup. In my case I want to do an on premise backup. And I want to pick what I want a backup. You can do system state bare, metal recovery, files and folders. For purposes of this demo I'm only going to do files and folders. Then I get it to prepare the infrastructure. And we're going to download the Microsoft Azure Agent. What's called a Mars agent to work and install it on this machine because I'm actually doing it on this machine itself. And if it doesn't have a certain prerequisite it downloads it. So obviously it needs a Visual C++ 2012 redistributive code.

And there's a certain version and dot net that it needs as well. And then you pick where you're going to install the location. If you go through a proxy server you'll need to enter that. If you need a dot net 4.5. It would download that and install that. I already had that on this Windows 10 machine. But if let's say you want to Windows 7 you would download the 4.5. It installs what it needs. And now we're ready to register the device up in the backup service. So now we need to provide what's called Vault credentials. And you go back to your infrastructure page because we've already installed the latest agent. We're already ready to go. So you click on that box and you say download. And it will download the credentials to your machine you want to save it someplace on your machine so you can get to it. I tend to use downloads a lot. I probably shouldn't use that folder anymore but. Especially in 1809 where it tries to clean up that folder. So now you go back to your vault ID and you find your credentials. And you upload that. I usually pick generate the passphrase and then I store that. You'll probably want to put that in Azure key vault. For purposes of this demo I'm just putting it down on this machine again for best practices you want it stored in another location. So look into that Azure key vault. And then it's registering the server with the user backup. Now this part usually takes the longest. Give it time and be a little bit patient. For me it takes about a minute for this process to occur on a like a normal beefy machine. And even then it's not that exceedingly long. But just be a little patient in this process as it registers the computer up on the network and gets it ready to go. And now it's ready to start the backup process. And as you can see it's just like a normal windows backup where you select. And schedule the backup and you select the files that you want a backup. If you've ever done a normal windows backup the interface is very familiar. Again in this case I'm only doing a test so I'm just going to do a quick and dirty download file backup. You want to pick when it's going to back it up. And as you can see it has a very healthy retention policy. And then you want to do over the Internet. You can use what's called his or data box. We'll get into that later. And there you go. It's creating the backup schedule. And it's done and it's ready to go.
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