Data protection is a necessity that businesses can’t afford to ignore in the quickly changing digital world. This helps organizations protect their data from loss, theft, and corruption. Any information a company keeps on file must be protected, including contact information, financial information, and payment information.
Many businesses are using Microsoft Azure cloud-based backup services for scalability and redundancy. The Azure Backup Service offers simple, secure, cost-effective backup capabilities for files, system states, and folders. However, the size of backups files can be large, and one may not be able to back up everything. Hence, this article will help you understand how to maximize Azure backup’s capabilities.
1. Azure backup budgeting
Azure DevOps backups team has built an azure backup estimation calculator for estimating the real-time cost of their service. It shows the price for various Azure Virtual Machines (AVM) configurations while considering the memory, CPU, location, storage, and usage hours.
The basic setting options in the Pricing Calculator include the following:
- Region: The list of the areas where you can ship products. Some potential places with resources include Southeast Asia, Central Canada, the Western United States, and Northern Europe.
- Tier: The tier you need for a particular resource, such as Free Tier, Basic Tier, etc.
- Billing options: This section highlights the payment choices offered to various customers for a particular product subscription.
- Support solution: One can choose between free or paid support solutions for a specific product.
- Pricing for Azure Dev/Test: This gives a price range for a product’s development and testing options. It is only applicable when you’re using Dev/test Azure subscription.
2. Use selective disk to backup
Sometimes you only need to protect a few specific discs within a machine rather than the entire system. Hence, the selective disc backup option allows you to pick which data discs you want to protect in the virtual machine (VM). This offers an affordable solution for your Backup and restores requirements.
In addition, restoring a portion of each disc allows you to recover information about the discs involved in the backup procedure. The following scenarios make this solution particularly useful:
- Backing up one disc with important data without backing up the other disks connected to the virtual machine. This lowers the price of backup storage.
- Other backup solutions for your virtual machine data. For instance, one can backup their data using a different backup solution while using Azure backup for the rest of your data for a reliable and effective system.
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3. Choose the correct storage redundancy
Data is always stored in several copies by Azure to protect it from unplanned events, such as hardware failures, network disruptions, and severe natural disasters. Redundancy ensures that your storage account reaches its availability and durability goals in case of failure.
Azure provides the following configuration choices for replication inside the main region:
- Locally redundant storage (LRS): This replicates the data within a data center to three disks. When LRS is enabled, Azure only counts write requests as successful once three replicas have received the data.
- Zone-redundant storage (ZRS): Data is synchronously replicated among three Azure availability zones in the primary region. It offers a better level of resistance at a higher price.
- Geo-Redundant storage (GRS): Compared to LRS or ZRS, GRS offers more redundancy for data storage. There are three copies of the data stored in a paired Azure region in addition to the three copies in one part. Therefore, GRS offers data storage in a different location.
- Read-Access Geo-Redundant (RA-GRS): Ra-GRS enables reading data from both Azure regions, offering the same redundancy as traditional GRS replication. This indicates that you can use several readable endpoints while your application is configured correctly.
- Object Replication for Block Blob Storage: Asynchronous replication is explicitly used for block blobs storage. The blobs are replicated only between a source and target storage account. One can utilize it to shift data to an archive layer automatically to improve data distribution and cut expenses.
4. Understand data retention
A configuration controls the data retention time for your Azure. All the information is deleted after exceeding environment storage capacity or retention duration. The retention period ranges from 1 to 400 days. There are two behaviors of retention to choose from:
- Purge old data: Purge old data is the default configuration for Azure Time Series Insights setups. Purging old data is desirable when consumers want the recent data in their Azure time series insights environment.
- Pause ingress: When data size and count limitations are exceeded before their retention time, the Pause ingress setting prevents data from being deleted. However, you’ll start losing data if paused beyond your retention period.
The first step of data protection is backing up your data. Azure backup helps in company information’s security without requiring users to execute challenging security duties during working hours. The backup is automated by LRS, ZRS, and GRS, ensuring that data is automatically safeguarded systematically.