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Is Azure Backup Right for Small Organizations?

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What is Azure Backup?

If you currently use Microsoft applications in your line of business, I’m sure by now you’ve at least heard of Azure and Azure Backup. The largest question I’ve been faced with recently is pretty straight forward: what is Azure Backup, and is it right for my small organization? Before I open the conversation to whether or not Azure Backup is right for small organizations, I need to take a step back and define what Azure Backup truly is.

According to Microsoft, Azure Backup is the Azure-based service you can use to back up and restore your data in the Microsoft cloud. Azure Backup replaces your existing on-premises or off-site backup solution with a cloud-based solution that is reliable, secure, and cost-competitive. Azure Backup offers multiple components that you download and deploy on the appropriate computer, server, or in the cloud. With that, there are a number of components within Azure Backup itself. To understand the basics, I’m going to start with a case study on Azure Backup (MARS) agent.

Azure Backup and the Small Organization

Recently, a smaller client of mine reached out requesting help backing up and protecting business critical applications. As a small O365 shop, they’ve been putting all files and folders in a single spot—their OneDrive for Business natively associated with their O365 licenses. Though this is a great starting point, they were worried about backup and the ability to recover and protect that information in the event of a Disaster Recovery scenario. As cost is always a consideration for them, as it is for all small organizations, in comes Azure Backup (MARS) agent. Specific to files and folders, some benefits include back up of files and folders on physical or virtual Windows OS (VMs can be on-premises or in Azure) and no separate backup server is required. Keep in mind there is always a give and take so there are some limits: backups will be 3x per day, it is not application aware, and it is specific to file, folder, and volume-level restore only. In addition, there is no support for Linux through Azure Backup (MARS) Agent. This “Azure Backup” baseline will protect files and folders and will be stored in the Recovery Services vault.

My client opted in for this solution as it not only fit their immediate needs but will be able to scale to their future growth plans. As all Azure Backup Components are pay-as-you-consume, the solution is scalable and financially reasonable for the small company of 15 people. So does Azure Backup make sense for small organizations? Yes! Azure Backup is just about a no brainer for practically every organization.

Matt Dixon, PEI

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