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Manage Azure Backup

Published: February 20, 2012

Updated: April 7, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server 2012

Managing the Microsoft Azure Backup consists of checking and responding to alerts and notifications, configuring server properties, and modifying backup schedules. Occasionally, you might need to rename a volume, or rename a server.

In this document

noteNote
This topic includes sample Windows PowerShell cmdlets that you can use to automate some of the procedures described. For more information, see Using Cmdlets.

The Azure Backup Agent snap-in has an Alerts tab that notifies you if an update is available for Azure Backup Agent or if event messages were created during a backup process. It also has a Jobs tab that shows the status of backup jobs that are run on your server.

noteNote
Client update notifications are triggered when a new version of the client is available and include a link to the download location so that you can install the update.

Do this step using Windows PowerShell

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Q to open the Apps menu, and then click Azure Backup Agent. The Azure Backup Agent snap-in should open.

  2. Review the Alerts and Jobs tabs in the content pane.

PowerShell Logo Windows PowerShell equivalent commands

The following Windows PowerShell cmdlet or cmdlets perform the same function as the preceding procedure. Enter each cmdlet on a single line, even though they may appear word-wrapped across several lines here because of formatting constraints.

The Get-OBNotification cmdlet gets the array of OBNotification objects for the server. The OBNotification object contains the category of the notification, the type of notification, the time stamp when the notification occurred, the long and short description of error codes encountered, and the parameters of error messages.

Get-OBNotfication

Each server that you register has individual properties that you can configure. These properties define the passphrase that is used to encrypt the backed up data from this server, the proxy server that this server will use when transferring backups between the server and the cloud service, and the network bandwidth throttling settings that can be used to control how much network bandwidth can be used to transfer backups.

Do this step using Windows PowerShell

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Q to open the Apps menu, and then click Azure Backup Agent. The Azure Backup Agent snap-in should open.

  2. In the Action pane, click Change Properties. The Change Properties dialog opens.

  3. Click the Encryption tab to change the passphrase that is used to encrypt and decrypt the backups taken from this server.

    noteNote
    Changing the passphrase does not require that you remember the previous passphrase to decrypt earlier backups. The passphrase provides you access to the encryption key that is stored for this server, which does not change.

  4. Click the Proxy Configuration tab to configure a proxy server to use with Azure Backup Agent. Select the Use a proxy server for Azure Backup check box, and then configure the address and port of the proxy server. If your proxy server requests credentials before allowing connections, select the This proxy server requires authentication check box and enter the proper credentials. This setting does not apply to any other application on your server.

  5. Click the Throttling tab to control network bandwidth usage during specific day and time intervals. Select Enable internet bandwidth usage throttling for backup to configure how the Azure Backup Agent uses the network bandwidth when backing up or restoring information.

    Throttling uses two settings (work hours and non-work hours) to throttle the use of the network during backup operations. You define your specific work hours range on the Throttling tab. Valid bandwidth ranges are from 256 Kbps to 1 Gbps for work and non-work settings.

PowerShell Logo Windows PowerShell equivalent commands

The following Windows PowerShell cmdlet or cmdlets perform the same function as the preceding procedure. Enter each cmdlet on a single line, even though they may appear word-wrapped across several lines here because of formatting constraints.

The Set-OBMachineSetting cmdlet sets an OBMachineSetting object for the server that includes proxy server settings to access the Internet and network bandwidth throttling settings. The following examples show how you can use the Set-OBMachineSetting cmdlet in Windows PowerShell:

To configure the proxy server

Set-OBMachineSetting [-ProxyServer] <String> [-ProxyPort] <Int32> [[-ProxyUsername] <String> ] [[-ProxyPassword] <SecureString> ] 

To set the network bandwidth throttling settings

Set-OBMachineSetting [-WorkDay] <DayOfWeek> [-StartWorkHour] <TimeSpan> [-EndWorkHour] <TimeSpan> [-WorkHourBandwidth] <UInt32> [-NonWorkHourBandwidth] <UInt32> 

Each server has a single backup schedule that is used for backups. If you need to change when the backup occurs or the items that are backed up you will need to modify that schedule.

Do this step using Windows PowerShell

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Q to open the Apps menu, and then click Azure Backup Agent. The Azure Backup Agent snap-in should open.

  2. In the Action pane, click Schedule Backup. The Modify or Stop a Scheduled Backup page of the Schedule Backup Wizard opens.

  3. Select Make changes to backup items or times, and then click Next.

  4. The Select items to backup page is displayed. Change the items in the list as appropriate, and then click Next.

  5. The Specify backup time page is displayed. If necessary, change the day of the week and time-of-day that backups will occur, and then click Next.

  6. The Specify retention settings page is displayed. You can change the retention settings if you want to retain your backups for less time and free up storage space. Click Next to continue.

  7. The Confirmation page is displayed. This shows the backup schedule that you specified by using the wizard. Click Finish to create the schedule.

  8. The Summary page is displayed with a message that the backup schedule was successfully created. You can now close the wizard.

PowerShell Logo Windows PowerShell equivalent commands

The following Windows PowerShell cmdlet or cmdlets perform the same function as the preceding procedure. Enter each cmdlet on a single line, even though they may appear word-wrapped across several lines here because of formatting constraints.

Modifying a backup schedule by using Windows PowerShell requires that the schedule is edited and then set as the active schedule. The Set-OBSchedule cmdlet sets an OBSchedule object for the server. The following example shows how you can use the Set-OBSchedule cmdlet in Windows PowerShell to replace the current backup schedule with a new one:

$sch = New-OBSchedule -DaysOfWeek sunday,monday,tuesday,wednesday,thursday,friday,saturday -TimesOfDay 12:00,16:00,20:00
Get-OBPolicy –Editable | Set-OBSchedule -Schedule $sch | Set-OBPolicy

If you want to change the items that are included in the backup, you create a new OBFileSpec object and then add it to the backup policy. The following example shows how you would accomplish this:

$policy = Get-OBPolicy -Editable 
New-OBFileSpec -FileSpec <"C:\testdata"> –NonRecursive | Add-OBFileSpec -Policy $policy | Set-OBPolicy

If you want to change the retention policy, you would create a new OBRetentionPolicy object and then add it to the backup policy. The following example shows how you would accomplish this:

$policy = Get-OBPolicy -Editable
New-OBRetentionPolicy -RetentionDays 30 | Set-OBRetitionPolicy –Policy $policy | Set-OBPolicy

Occasionally a situation arises when you no longer want to perform backups on a certain server. For example, you might be retiring the server or it might be quarantined. In these situations, you might want to retain the existing backups, or you might want to delete all of the backups because they are no longer valuable or they have been compromised and are not considered reliable.

Do this step using Windows PowerShell

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Q to open the Apps menu, and then click Azure Backup Agent. The Azure Backup Agent snap-in should open.

  2. In the Action pane, click Schedule Backup. The Modify or Stop a Scheduled Backup page of the Schedule Backup Wizard opens.

  3. Select Stop using this backup schedule, but keep the stored backups or Stop using this backup schedule and delete all of the stored backups, and then click Next.

  4. The Confirmation page is displayed. This shows the deletion and retention policy that you specified by using the wizard. Click Finish to complete the action.

  5. The schedule is stopped and the completion message is shown. You can now close the wizard. If you want to start backups again from this server, you will have to create a new policy.

PowerShell Logo Windows PowerShell equivalent commands

The following Windows PowerShell cmdlet or cmdlets perform the same function as the preceding procedure. Enter each cmdlet on a single line, even though they may appear word-wrapped across several lines here because of formatting constraints.

The following example cmdlet removes the current backup schedule (known as a backup policy in Windows PowerShell), and it deletes all of the backups from the cloud server that were made by using that schedule.

Remove-OBPolicy -Policy $policy -DeleteBackup -Force
TipTip
If the –DeleteBackup parameter is not specified it is equivalent to the Stop using this backup schedule, but keep the stored backups option in the Schedule Backup Wizard.

There might be situation that arises where a volume needs to be renamed, for example after an operating system is reinstalled and the volume GUID of a backed up volume is changed. You can use the Windows PowerShell cmdlet Rename-OBVolume to rename the volume.

PowerShell Logo Windows PowerShell equivalent commands

The following Windows PowerShell cmdlet or cmdlets perform the same function as the preceding procedure. Enter each cmdlet on a single line, even though they may appear word-wrapped across several lines here because of formatting constraints.

The Rename–OBVolume cmdlet has two parameters:

  • OldVolumeName

  • NewVolumeName

The following example can be used to rename the volume and its associated backups.

Rename–OBVolume Volume{176dd60b-36e2-12e1-8dba-b8ac6f922387} Volume{5668e44e-f8db-11df-8c1a-806e7f6e6964}

Sometimes servers need to be renamed, either as a management decision, organizational restructuring, or to avoid conflicts. Microsoft Azure Backup uses the server name as part of the unique identifier for the backup.

If your server has been renamed after it has been backed up, you should be aware of the following:

  • You need to Register Servers with Azure Backup with Azure Backup. This will link the new server name with backups made after the rename occurred. The backup schedule previously configured will no longer run on the server.

  • The next backup that occurs will be a full backup instead of an incremental backup. Consider using Run Back Up Now.

  • If you need to recover backed up data before the next backup, or if you need to recover data from before the server was renamed you will need to use the alternate server recovery method.

If you no longer want to use the Azure Backup Agent on a server, you can remove it. Before you start this process make sure that the Azure Backup Agent snap-in is closed and that there is not a backup or restore operation currently in progress. The removal of the Azure Backup Agent does not remove any of the prerequisites that were included during the installation. If you want to remove the prerequisite applications, you must remove them separately.

ImportantImportant
Uninstalling Azure Backup Agent removes the feature from the local server, and it does not delete backups of the files and folders stored in the Azure backup vault. If you want to remove all of the backups, stop the backup schedule and delete the server from the backup vault before removing the Azure Backup Agent.

To remove Azure Backup agent using the command-line

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Q to open the Apps menu, and then click Control Panel.

  2. Under the Programs item, click Uninstall a program.

  3. In Uninstall or change a program, click Azure Backup Agent.

  1. Open a command prompt with administrator privileges.

  2. Navigate to the location where you downloaded the installer file.

  3. Type obsinstaller.exe /d

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