Backups have always been a crucial asset in today’s continuous battles to control and protect our data. Every day, your data protection is being challenged continuously by malicious malware and viruses to hold your data hostage and have you pay fees to get it back. Microsoft has brought security and reliability of your data with Azure Backup Services. The peace of mind knowing that Azure has your back, in the event of an attack, can help alleviate the stress of constantly worrying about the security of your data. Today, we are going to cover how simple Azure has made it for you to get what you need, when you need it, as fast, safe and proficient as possible.

Restoring Files Using Azure Backups

1) Log in to the Azure portal and select your VM. In the center blade select locate backup.

2) At the top of the Backup page select select file recovery.

3) Once the File Recovery option is selected, you can now select recovery point options.

file recovery options

Fig 1.1 File Recovery Options

4) First, you want to select recovery point. Your recovery point is the point in time you wish to restore file contents. (Note: for any files larger than 10GB, you are required, by Microsoft, to restore your entire VM or use PowerShell).

5) Once you have a recovery point selected, you need to download the executable file required to mount the disks. These disks can be mounted in a local environment or directly on the virtual machine(s) you want to recover from. Select download executable button.

6) This can take about a minute. Once the exe file is ready, select download button.

7) After the file is downloaded, the password to run Script will be generated. You can copy this one-time password and save it to a note pad.

8) Once the file is downloaded, it will appear as this icon: file download icon. Run the executable.

9) Command prompt window will open prompting for the password that was generated in the recovery blade. Paste the password.

recovery services password prompt

Fig 1.2 Recovery Services Password Prompt

10) When you run the executable, an administrative PowerShell session will open and begin mounting your disks.

powershell file recover screen

Fig 1.3 PowerShell File Recovery Screen

11) Once the connection is successful, you can now open file explorer to review and recover files that are needed.

VM restore verification

Fig 1.4 Mounted Disk
restored files on disk

Fig 1.5 Restored Files on Disk

12) After completing file(s) restore, go back to your File Restore section in the Azure portal and select Unmount disks to completely remove the disk(s) and close out the file restore connection.

As you can see, Microsoft’s ease of grabbing your files when you need it has taken file recovery to the next level! Let’s now take a look at how we can restore an entire Azure Virtual Machine.

How to restore an Azure Virtual Machine

1) From the Azure Portal, select your Azure VM and locate locate backup in the middle blade.

2) Select select restore VM.

3) From here, you will see options for a restore point. Select the recovery point and type (Snapshot and Vault or Vault) to proceed. For this walkthrough, we will use the most recent recovery point. Click ok button once your selection has been made.

select restore point

Fig 1.1 Select Restore Point

4) From here, you have two options: create new replace existing

Create new will create a new VM based on the recovery point. You can rename the VM, place in different resource group, virtual network, and storage account. Microsoft strongly recommends creating a new, separate storage account for restoring VMs as it needs a temporary location while the VMs rebuild.

You also have the option to restore disks, not entire VMs, in the event you want to do so.

restore VM

Fig 1.2 Restore VM
restore disks

Fig 1.3 Restore Disks

Replace Existing will do just that. It will restore the VM in place of the current state of existing to the recovery point requested; however, this only requires replacing the VHD (Virtual Hard Disks) on the server.

recovery VHD only

Fig 1.4 Recovery VHD only

In our instructions, we will be creating a new VM.

5) Once you have selected your options, click ok button

restore configuration

Fig 1.5 Restore Configuration

6) Click restore button

7) Your notification bell notification bell will advise you of a successful restore trigger. From there, you can view the progress of your restore on the Backup jobs page.

backup jobs page

Fig 1.6 Backup jobs Page

8) You can also select the job to view more details.

job details page

Fig 1.7 Job Details Page

9) Once your restore is completed, your Job Details will display the completion.

Job details showing completion

Fig 1.8 Job Details showing completion

10) Locate your restored VM to confirm the operation. As you can see, my VM was restored successfully.

VM Restore Verification

Fig 1.9 VM Restore Verification
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