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An Overview of Azure Backup Features and Costs

By October 29, 2023November 20th, 2023Azure, Best Practices, Blog, datacenter, Microsoft
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I believe most people think that Cloud-based backup, such as Azure Backup, is an open door to expensive, runaway costs. However, that isn’t the case.

Azure Backup from Microsoft is a scalable data protection solution that functions equally well for both cloud-based platforms and on-premises servers and workstations. Azure Backup provides 99.9% uptime for both backups and restore, and it does it encrypted. With this backup solution, you only pay for what you use. This eliminates the need to overspend in anticipation of future needs and useful life.

In today’s digital age, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to have a reliable backup solution that keeps critical data safe. Whether you’re a small business or large enterprise, Azure Backup might be the solution you need. Let’s dive into what Azure Backup is, and how it stacks up to other backup methods.

What is Azure Backup?

Azure Backup is a reliable, secure, and cost-effective solution that allows you to back up and restore your data in the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure backup services eliminate the need for traditional on-premises and off-site backup solutions. Azure backup services support a variety of data sources, applications, and workloads such as Azure Virtual Machines, SQL and SAP databases, and Azure file shares.

This scalable solution allows you to pick and choose what you want to back up. Depending on what you want to protect, you can download and deploy various components on the appropriate server or in the cloud. Then, you can manage all your backups from one place.

Azure Backup Features

In recent years, the cloud has evolved to be seen as an endpoint—or collection of endpoints—that serves as a strategic storage destination. It slowly replaced how disks and tape had been used for traditional data storage. But traditional storage solutions are expensive and inefficient. Businesses would find themselves paying for the wrong type of storage, or unused storage. Since traditional solutions are not scalable, businesses find themselves stuck.

Azure backup services leverage the power of the cloud to provide a cost-effective and scalable solution that delivers these key features to boost cloud efficiency:

Automatic Storage Management

Take the guesswork out of storage allocation. Azure Backup uses automatic storage management to allocate and manage backup storage. With automatic storage management, you don’t have to worry about paying for unused storage space or running out of storage capacity. The pay-as-you-go- structure of Azure Backup gives you the flexibility and scalability your business deserves.

Unlimited Scaling

Scalable backup and storage are key features of the cloud. Azure Backup gives you the advantage of unlimited scaling so you can adjust whether your data needs grow gradually or exponentially. Your backup solution should grow with your business, not hold it back.

Multiple Storage Replication Options

Azure Backup provides multiple storage replication options to meet your business’s needs and budget. There are both locally redundant storage and geo-redundant storage to choose from when it comes to backups. Locally redundant storage (LRS) is a cost-effective option that replicates your data three times in a datacenter within the same region. On the other hand, geo-redundant storage (GRS) ensures your data copies are protected in the event of a regional outage. GRS copies your data to a secondary region outside of your region.

Unlimited Data Transfer

Limits on data transfers can be a pain-point for back up solutions. However, Azure alleviates this pain by offering unlimited data transfer for inbound and outbound data. Azure Backup does not charge for data transferred internally or externally.

Data Encryption

Data encryption allows for data in the cloud to remain secure while in storage or in transmission. Azure Backup helps you keep your most valuable data safe with data encryption features. You have control over your encryption passphrase, meaning you store it locally and it’s never stored in Azure. In the event you need to restore any data, only you have access to the encryption passphrase.

Application Consistent Backup

Azure Backup ensures application consistent backups. This means that a backup captures the data in a way that is consistent with how it’s used in an application. Whether it’s a file server, VM, or SQL database, you can be sure that in the event of a restoration no additional fixes are needed. This allows your business to have accurate backups, so you can quickly get your applications back up and running when needed.

Azure Backup Cost

The cost of Azure backup fluctuates; however, it is consistently cheaper than traditional backups, and even hybrid backups. Traditional backup generally involves tapes, an expensive and troublesome tape library device, backup software, support agreements, and frequently an off-site tape rotation service. Hybrid backups are a more current solution offering that includes an on-premises backup device, a hardware support agreement, and a cloud support agreement for cloud storage.

Azure’s backup solution requires no capital investment or spacious hardware. Rather it offers advanced and secure backups at a lower operating cost. Additionally, the flexibility of Azure Backup means you only pay for what you use. The cost of backup storage primarily depends on two things:

  • Protected Instances: You will pay for the number of instances that are protected.
  • Storage: You will need to choose between Locally Redundant Storage or Geo-Redundant Storage for your backup vault. Then, your monthly storage cost will be determined based on how you choose to store data, and how much data you store.

Let’s take a closer look at how Azure Backup stacks up against traditional and hybrid solutions.

Traditional Hybrid Microsoft Azure
Tape Library (capital expense) $$$$
Physical Backup equipment (capital expense) $$$
Backup Software & Annual Support  $$
Annual Hardware Maintenance Agreement $$ $$
Consumables (tapes) $
Cloud Data Storage $ $
Cloud Software Management $
Off-site Storage $

The best way to really understand your backup costs is to look at the total cost of ownership over a few years. Traditional and hybrid backup solutions require capital expenditures and have annual recurring costs over their useful life. On the other hand, Azure Backup pricing is based on consumption, meaning you are paying for what you use.

Azure Backup is traditionally a pay-as-you-go service; however, you can get a discounted rate with Aure Backup Storage Reserved Capacity. This payment structure allows you to reserve certain backup capacities for one- or three-year terms. This is a great option for businesses with predictable backup needs!

Azure Backup for All Businesses

Azure Backup is a solution for small to mid-size businesses looking for a scalable, secure, and cost-effective backup solution. This cloud-based service offers a comprehensive set of features like automatic storage management, unlimited scaling, data encryption, application consistent backup, and more. This provides businesses with a dependable backup service that safeguards critical data.

If your business is ready to move on from the complexities of traditional backups, Azure Backup might be the right solution for you! Get started with the new and affordable backup service, that allows you to manage your data while maintaining a high level of security and reliability. If you want to learn more about Azure Backup, or need help getting started, contact PEI today!

This blog was updated to reflect current Azure Backup information in October of 2023.

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