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SQL Server Backup and Restore with Windows Azure Blob Storage Service

This topic introduces concepts, considerations, and sample code that is central to configuring and writing SQL Server backups to and restoring from the Windows Azure Blob storage service. It also provides a summary of the benefits of using the Windows Azure Blob service to store SQL Server backups.

This feature released in SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2, enables SQL Server backup and restore directly to the Windows Azure Blob service. This feature can be used to backup SQL Server databases on an on-premises instance or an instance of SQL Server running a hosted environment such as Windows Azure Virtual Machine. Backup to cloud offers benefits such as availability, limitless geo-replicated off-site storage, and ease of migration of data to and from the cloud. In this release, you can issue BACKUP or RESTORE statements by using tsql or SMO. Back up to or restore from the Windows Azure Blob storage service by using SQL Server Management Studio Backup or Restore Wizard is not available in this release.

In SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU4, backup to and restore from Windows Azure Blob storage service using PowerShell is supported. To request this update, see this knowledgebase article. This topic includes PowerShell scripts in the example section. For sample PowerShell scripts to manage multiple backups, see Use PowerShell to Backup Multiple Databases to Windows Azure Blob Storage Service.

  • Flexible, reliable, and limitless off-site storage: Storing your backups on Windows Azure Blob service can be a convenient, flexible, and easy to access off-site option. Creating off-site storage for your SQL Server backups can be as easy as modifying your existing scripts/jobs. Off-site storage should typically be far enough from the production database location to prevent a single disaster that might impact both the off-site and production database locations. By choosing to geo replicate the Blob storage you have an extra layer of protection in the event of a disaster that could affect the whole region. In addition, backups are available from anywhere and at any time and can easily be accessed for restores.

  • Backup Archive: The Windows Azure Blob Storage service offers a better alternative to the often used tape option to archive backups. Tape storage might require physical transportation to an off-site facility and measures to protect the media. Storing your backups in Windows Azure Blob Storage provides an instant, highly available, and a durable archiving option.

  • No overhead of hardware management:There is no overhead of hardware management with Windows Azure services. Windows Azure services manage the hardware and provide geo-replication for redundancy and protection against hardware failures.

  • Currently for instances of SQL Server running in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine, backing up to Windows Azure Blob storage services can be done by creating attached disks. However, there is a limit to the number of disks you can attach to a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. This limit is 16 disks for an extra large instance and fewer for smaller instances. By enabling a direct backup to Windows Azure Blob Storage, you can bypass the 16 disk limit.

    In addition, the backup file which now is stored in the Windows Azure Blob storage service is directly available to either an on-premises SQL Server or another SQL Server running in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine, without the need for database attach/detach or downloading and attaching the VHD.

  • Cost Benefits: Pay only for the service that is used. Can be cost-effective as an off-site and backup archive option. See the Windows Azure Billing Considerations section for more information and links.

Understanding Windows Azure storage costs enables you to forecast the cost of creating and storing backups in Windows Azure. 

The Windows Azure pricing calculator can help estimate your costs.

Storage: Charges are based on the space used and are calculated on a graduated scale and the level of redundancy. For more details, and up-to-date information, see the Data Management section of the Pricing Details article.

Data Transfers: Inbound data transfers to Windows Azure are free. Outbound transfers are charged for the bandwidth use and calculated based on a graduated region-specific scale. For more details, see the Data Transfers section of the Pricing Details article.

In this section:

Security

The following are security considerations and requirements when backing up to or restoring from the Windows Azure Blob storage services.

  • When creating a container for the Windows Azure Blob storage service, we recommend that you set the access to private. Setting the access to private restricts the access to users or accounts able to provide the necessary information to authenticate to the Windows Azure account.

    Security note Security Note

    SQL Server requires Windows Azure account name and access key authentication to be stored in a SQL Server Credential. This information is used to authenticate to the Windows Azure account when it performs backup or restore operations.

  • The user account that is used to issue BACKUP or RESTORE commands should be in the db_backup operator database role with Alter any credential permissions.

Installation Prerequisites

  • SQL Server running on an Azure Virtual Machine: If you are installing SQL Server on the Windows Azure Virtual Machine, install SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2, or update your existing instance. To request the update from Microsoft Customer Support, see this article.

  • SQL Server on-premises: SQL Server 2012, SP1 CU2 or later versions includes this feature. To request the update from Microsoft Customer Support, see this article.

Introduction to Key Components and Concepts

The following two sections introduce the Windows Azure Blob storage service, and the SQL Server components used when backing up to or restoring from the Windows Azure Blob storage service. It is important to understand the components and the interaction between them to do a backup to or restore from the Windows Azure Blob storage service.

Creating a Windows Azure account is the first step to this process. SQL Server uses the Windows Azure storage account name and its access key values to authenticate and write and read blobs to the storage service. The SQL Server Credential stores this authentication information and is used during the backup or restore operations. For a complete walkthrough of creating a storage account and performing a simple restore, see Tutorial Using Windows Azure Storage Service for SQL Server Backup and Restore .

mapping storage account to sql credentials

Windows Azure Blob Storage Service

Storage Account: The storage account is the starting point for all storage services. To access the Windows Azure Blob Storage service, first create a Windows Azure storage account. The storage account name and its access key properties are required to authenticate to the Windows Azure Blob Storage service and its components.

Container: A container provides a grouping of a set of Blobs, and can store an unlimited number of Blobs. To write a SQL Server backup to the Windows Azure Blob service, you must have at least the root container created.

Blob: A file of any type and size. There are two types of blobs that can be stored in the Windows Azure Blob storage service: block and page blobs. SQL Server backup uses page Blobs as the Blob type. Blobs are addressable using the following URL format: https://<storage account>.blob.core.windows.net/<container>/<blob>

Azure Blob Storage

For more information about the Windows Azure Blob storage service, see How to use the Windows Azure Blob Storage Service

For more information about page Blobs, see Understanding Block and Page Blobs

SQL Server Components

URL: A URL specifies a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) to a unique backup file. The URL is used to provide the location and name of the SQL Server backup file. In this implementation, the only valid URL is one that points to a page Blob in a Windows Azure storage account. The URL must point to an actual Blob, not just a container. If the Blob does not exist, it is created. If an existing Blob is specified, BACKUP fails, unless the “WITH FORMAT” option is specified.

Caution note Caution

If you choose to copy and upload a backup file to the Windows Azure Blob storage service, use page blob as your storage option. Restores from Block Blobs are not supported. RESTORE from a block blob type fails with an error.

Here is a sample URL value: http[s]://ACCOUNTNAME.Blob.core.windows.net/<CONTAINER>/<FILENAME.bak>. HTTPS is not required, but is recommended.

Credential: A SQL Server credential is an object that is used to store authentication information required to connect to a resource outside of SQL Server. Here, SQL Server backup and restore processes use credential to authenticate to the Windows Azure Blob storage service. The Credential stores the name of the storage account and the storage account access key values. Once the credential is created, it must be specified in the WITH CREDENTIAL option when issuing the BACKUP/RESTORE statements. For more information about how to view, copy or regenerate storage account access keys, see Storage Account Access Keys.

For step by step instructions about how to create a SQL Server Credential, see Create a Credential example later in this topic.

For general information about credentials, see Credentials

For information, on other examples where credentials are used, see Create a SQL Server Agent Proxy.

Limitations

  • The maximum backup size supported is 1 TB.

  • In this implementation, you can issue backup or restore statements by using TSQL or SMO. A backup to or restoring from the Windows Azure Blob storage service by using SQL Server Management Studio Backup or Restore wizard is not currently enabled.

  • Creating a logical device name is not supported. So adding URL as a backup device using sp_dumpdevice or through SQL Server Management Studio is not supported.

  • Appending to existing backup blobs is not supported. Backups to an existing Blob can only be overwritten by using the WITH FORMAT option.

  • Backup to multiple blobs in a single backup operation is not supported. For example, the following returns an error:

    BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks2012 
    TO URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012_1.bak' 
       URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012_2.bak' 
          WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential' 
         ,STATS = 5;
    GO 
    
  • Specifying a block size with BACKUP is not supported.

  • Specifying MAXTRANSFERSIZE is not supported.

  • Specifying backupset options - RETAINDAYS and EXPIREDATE are not supported.

  • SQL Server has a maximum limit of 259 characters for a backup device name. The BACKUP TO URL consumes 36 characters for the required elements used to specify the URL – ‘https://.blob.core.windows.net//.bak’, leaving 223 characters for account, container, and blob names put together.

Support for Backup/Restore Statements

Backup/Restore Statement

Supported

Exceptions

Comments

BACKUP

BLOCKSIZE, and MAXTRANSFERSIZE are not supported.

Requires WITH CREDENTIAL specified

RESTORE

Requires WITH CREDENTIAL specified

RESTORE FILELISTONLY

Requires WITH CREDENTIAL specified

RESTORE HEADERONLY

Requires WITH CREDENTIAL specified

RESTORE LABELONLY

Requires WITH CREDENTIAL specified

RESTORE VERIFYONLY

Requires WITH CREDENTIAL specified

RESTORE REWINDONLY

For syntax and general information about backup statements, see BACKUP (Transact-SQL).

For syntax and general information about restore statements, see RESTORE (Transact-SQL).

Support for Backup Arguments

Argument

Supported

Exception

Comments

DATABASE

LOG

TO (URL)

Unlike DISK and TAPE, URL does not support specifying or creating a logical name.

This argument is used to specify the URL path for the backup file.

MIRROR TO

WITH OPTIONS:

CREDENTIAL

WITH CREDENTIAL is only supported when using BACKUP TO URL option to back up to the Windows Azure Blob storage service.

DIFFERENTIAL

COPY_ONLY

COMPRESSION|NO_COMPRESSION

DESCRIPTION

NAME

EXPIREDATE | RETAINDAYS

NOINIT | INIT

This option is ignored if used.

Appending to blobs is not possible. To overwrite a backup use the FORMAT argument.

NOSKIP | SKIP

NOFORMAT | FORMAT

This option is ignored if used.

A backup taken to an existing blob fails unless WITH FORMAT is specified. The existing blob is overwritten when WITH FORMAT is specified.

MEDIADESCRIPTION

MEDIANAME

BLOCKSIZE

BUFFERCOUNT

MAXTRANSFERSIZE

NO_CHECKSUM | CHECKSUM

STOP_ON_ERROR | CONTINUE_AFTER_ERROR

STATS

REWIND | NOREWIND

UNLOAD | NOUNLOAD

NORECOVERY | STANDBY

NO_TRUNCATE

For more information about backup arguments, see BACKUP (Transact-SQL).

Support for Restore Arguments

Argument

Supported

Exceptions

Comments

DATABASE

LOG

FROM (URL)

The FROM URL argument is used to specify the URL path for the backup file.

WITH Options:

CREDENTIAL

WITH CREDENTIAL is only supported when using RESTORE FROM URL option to restore from Windows Azure Blob Storage service.

PARTIAL

RECOVERY | NORECOVERY | STANDBY

LOADHISTORY

MOVE

REPLACE

RESTART

RESTRICTED_USER

FILE

PASSWORD

MEDIANAME

MEDIAPASSWORD

BLOCKSIZE

BUFFERCOUNT

MAXTRANSFERSIZE

CHECKSUM | NO_CHECKSUM

STOP_ON_ERROR | CONTINUE_AFTER_ERROR

FILESTREAM

STATS

REWIND | NOREWIND

UNLOAD | NOUNLOAD

KEEP_REPLICATION

KEEP_CDC

ENABLE_BROKER | ERROR_BROKER_CONVERSATIONS | NEW_BROKER

STOPAT | STOPATMARK | STOPBEFOREMARK

For more information about Restore arguments, see RESTORE Arguments (Transact-SQL).

This section contains the following examples.

Create a Credential

The following example creates a credential that stores the Windows Azure Storage authentication information.

  1. Tsql

    IF NOT EXISTS
    (SELECT * FROM sys.credentials 
    WHERE credential_identity = 'mycredential')
    CREATE CREDENTIAL mycredential WITH IDENTITY = 'mystorageaccount'
    ,SECRET = '<storage access key>' ;
    
  2. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    string secret = "<storage access key>";
    
    // Create a Credential
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    Credential credential = new Credential(server, credentialName);
    credential.Create(identity, secret);
    
  3. PowerShell

    # create variables
    $storageAccount = "mystorageaccount"
    $storageKey = "<storage access key>"
    $secureString = convertto-securestring $storageKey  -asplaintext -force
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\INSTANCENAME"
    # for default instance, the $srvpath variable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # Create a credential
     New-SqlCredential -Name $credentialName -Path $srvpath -Identity $storageAccount -Secret $secureString
    

Backing up a complete database

The following example backs up the AdventureWorks2012 database to the Windows Azure Blob storage service.

  1. Tsql

    BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks2012 
    TO URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012.bak' 
          WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential' 
         ,COMPRESSION
         ,STATS = 5;
    GO 
    
  1. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    string dbName = "AdventureWorks2012";
    string blobContainerName = "mycontainer";
    
    // Generate Unique Url
    string url = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    // Backup to Url
    Backup backup = new Backup();
    backup.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backup.Database = dbName;
    backup.CompressionOption = BackupCompressionOptions.On;
    backup.Devices.AddDevice(url, DeviceType.Url);
    backup.SqlBackup(server);
    
  2. PowerShell

    # create variables
    $backupUrlContainer = "https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/"
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\INSTANCENAME" 
    # for default instance, the $srvpath varilable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # navigate to SQL Server Instance
    CD $srvPath 
    $backupFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012" +  ".bak"
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On   
    

Backing up the database and log

The following example backups up the AdventureWorks2012 sample database, which uses the simple recovery model by default. To support log backups, the AdventureWorks2012 database is modified to use the full recovery model. The example then creates a full database backup to Windows Azure Blob, and after a period of update activity, backs up the log. This example creates a backup file name with a datetime stamp.

  1. Tsql

    -- To permit log backups, before the full database backup, modify the database 
    -- to use the full recovery model.
    USE master;
    GO
    ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks2012
       SET RECOVERY FULL;
    GO
    
       
    -- Back up the full AdventureWorks2012 database.
           -- First create a file name for the backup file with DateTime stamp
    
    DECLARE @Full_Filename AS VARCHAR (300);
    SET @Full_Filename = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012_Full_'+ 
    REPLACE (REPLACE (REPLACE (CONVERT (VARCHAR (40), GETDATE (), 120), '-','_'),':', '_'),' ', '_') + '.bak'; 
    --Back up Adventureworks2012 database
    
    BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks2012
    TO URL =  @Full_Filename
    WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential';
    ,COMPRESSION
    GO
    -- Back up the AdventureWorks2012 log.
    DECLARE @Log_Filename AS VARCHAR (300);
    SET @Log_Filename = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012_Log_'+ 
    REPLACE (REPLACE (REPLACE (CONVERT (VARCHAR (40), GETDATE (), 120), '-','_'),':', '_'),' ', '_') + '.trn';
    BACKUP LOG AdventureWorks2012
     TO URL = @Log_Filename
    WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
    ,COMPRESSION;
    GO
    
  2. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    string dbName = "AdventureWorks2012";
    string blobContainerName = "mycontainer";
    
    
    // Generate Unique Url for data backup
    string urlDataBackup = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}_Data-{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    // Backup Database to Url
    Backup backupData = new Backup();
    backupData.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backupData.Database = dbName;
    backup.CompressionOption = BackupCompressionOptions.On;
    backupData.Devices.AddDevice(urlDataBackup, DeviceType.Url);
    backupData.SqlBackup(server);
    
    // Generate Unique Url for data backup
    string urlLogBackup = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}_Log-{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    // Backup Database Log to Url
    Backup backupLog = new Backup();
    backupLog.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backupLog.Database = dbName;
    backup.CompressionOption = BackupCompressionOptions.On;
    backupLog.Devices.AddDevice(urlLogBackup, DeviceType.Url);
    backupLog.Action = BackupActionType.Log;
    backupLog.SqlBackup(server);
    
  3. PowerShell

    #create variables
    $backupUrlContainer = "https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/"
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\INSTANCENAME"
    # for default instance, the $srvpath variable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # navigate to theSQL Server Instance
    
    CD $srvPath 
    #Create a unique file name for the full database backup
    $backupFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".bak"
    
    #Backup Database to URL
    
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On -BackupAction Database  
    
    #Create a unique file name for log backup
    
    $backupFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".trn"
    
    #Backup Log to URL
    
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On -BackupAction Log  
    

Creating a full file backup of the primary filegroup

The following example creates a full file backup of the primary filegroup.

  1. Tsql

    --Back up the files in Primary:
    BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks2012
       FILEGROUP = 'Primary'
       TO URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012files.bck'
       WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
       ,COMPRESSION;
    GO
    
  2. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    string dbName = "AdventureWorks2012";
    string blobContainerName = "mycontainer";
    
    // Generate Unique Url
    string url = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-{3}.bck",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    // Backup to Url
    Backup backup = new Backup();
    backup.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backup.Database = dbName;
    backup.Action = BackupActionType.Files;
    backup.DatabaseFileGroups.Add("PRIMARY");
    backup.CompressionOption = BackupCompressionOptions.On;
    backup.Devices.AddDevice(url, DeviceType.Url);
    backup.SqlBackup(server);
    
  3. PowerShell

    #create variables
    $backupUrlContainer = "https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/"
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\INSTANCENAME"
    # for default instance, the $srvpath variable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # navigate to the SQL Server Instance
    
    CD $srvPath 
    #Create a unique file name for the file backup
    $backupFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".bck"
    
    #Backup Primary File Group to URL
    
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On -BackupAction Files -DatabaseFileGroup Primary  
    

Creating a differential file backup of the primary filegroup

The following example creates a differential file backup of the primary filegroup.

  1. Tsql

    --Back up the files in Primary:
    BACKUP DATABASE AdventureWorks2012
       FILEGROUP = 'Primary'
       TO URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012filesdiff.bck'
       WITH 
          CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
          ,COMPRESSION
      ,DIFFERENTIAL;
    GO
    
  2. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    string dbName = "AdventureWorks2012";
    string blobContainerName = "mycontainer";
    
    
    // Generate Unique Url
    string url = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    
    // Backup to Url
    Backup backup = new Backup();
    backup.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backup.Database = dbName;
    backup.Action = BackupActionType.Files;
    backup.DatabaseFileGroups.Add("PRIMARY");
    backup.Incremental = true;
    backup.CompressionOption = BackupCompressionOptions.On;
    backup.Devices.AddDevice(url, DeviceType.Url);
    backup.SqlBackup(server);
    
  3. PowerShell

    #create variables
    $backupUrlContainer = "https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/"
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMUTERNAME\INSTANCENAME"
    # for default instance, the $srvpath variable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # navigate to SQL Server Instance
    
    CD $srvPath 
    
    #create a unique file name for the full backup
    $backupdbFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".bak"
    
    #Create a differential backup of the primary filegroup
    
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On -BackupAction Files -DatabaseFileGroup Primary -Incremental  
    

Restore a database and move files

To restore a full database backup and move the restored database to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Data directory, use the following steps.

  1. Tsql

    -- Backup the tail of the log first
    
    DECLARE @Log_Filename AS VARCHAR (300);
    SET @Log_Filename = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012_Log_'+ 
    REPLACE (REPLACE (REPLACE (CONVERT (VARCHAR (40), GETDATE (), 120), '-','_'),':', '_'),' ', '_') + '.trn';
    BACKUP LOG AdventureWorks2012
     TO URL = @Log_Filename
    WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
    ,NORECOVERY;
    GO
    
    RESTORE DATABASE AdventureWorks2012 FROM URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012.bak'
    WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
    ,MOVE 'AdventureWorks2012_data' to 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.mdf'
    ,MOVE 'AdventureWorks2012_log' to 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.ldf'
          ,STATS = 5 
    
  2. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    string dbName = "AdventureWorks2012";
    string blobContainerName = "mycontainer";
    
    // Generate Unique Url
    string urlBackupData = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-Data{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    
    // Backup to Url
    Backup backup = new Backup();
    backup.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backup.Database = dbName;
    backup.Devices.AddDevice(urlBackupData, DeviceType.Url);
    backup.SqlBackup(server);
    
    // Generate Unique Url for tail log backup
    string urlTailLogBackup = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-TailLog{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    
    // Backup Tail Log to Url
    Backup backupTailLog = new Backup();
    backupTailLog.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backupTailLog.Database = dbName;
    backupTailLog.Action = BackupActionType.Log;
    backupTailLog.NoRecovery = true;
    backupTailLog.Devices.AddDevice(urlTailLogBackup, DeviceType.Url);
    backupTailLog.SqlBackup(server);
    
    // Restore a database and move files
    string newDataFilePath = server.MasterDBLogPath  + @"\" + dbName + DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-") + ".mdf";
    string newLogFilePath = server.MasterDBLogPath  + @"\" + dbName + DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-") + ".ldf";
    
    Restore restore = new Restore();
    restore.CredentialName = credentialName;
    restore.Database = dbName;
    restore.ReplaceDatabase = true;
    restore.Devices.AddDevice(urlBackupData, DeviceType.Url);
    restore.RelocateFiles.Add(new RelocateFile(dbName, newDataFilePath));
    restore.RelocateFiles.Add(new RelocateFile(dbName+ "_Log", newLogFilePath));
    restore.SqlRestore(server); 
    
  3. PowerShell

    #create variables
    $backupUrlContainer = "https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/"
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\INSTNACENAME"
    # for default instance, the $srvpath variable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # navigate to SQL Server Instance 
    
    CD $srvPath 
    
    #create a unique file name for the full backup
    $backupdbFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".bak"
    
    # Full database backup to URL
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupdbFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On    
    
    #Create a unique file name for the tail log backup
    $backuplogFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".trn"
    
    #Backup tail log to URL
    
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName  -BackupAction Log -NoRecovery  
    
    # Restore Database and move files
    
    $newDataFilePath = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.RelocateFile ("AdventureWorks_Data","C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.mdf")
    $newLogFilePath = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.RelocateFile("AdventureWorks_Log","C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.ldf")
    
    Restore-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -SqlCredential $credentialName -BackupFile $backupdbFile -RelocateFile @($newDataFilePath,$newLogFilePath)  
    

Restoring to a point-in-time using STOPAT

The following example restores a database to its state to a point in time, and shows a restore operation.

  1. Tsql

    RESTORE DATABASE AdventureWorks FROM URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012.bak' 
    WITH 
     CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
    ,MOVE 'AdventureWorks2012_data' to 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.mdf'
    ,Move 'AdventureWorks2012_log' to 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.ldf'
    ,NORECOVERY
    --,REPLACE
    ,STATS = 5;
    GO 
    
    RESTORE LOG AdventureWorks FROM URL = 'https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/AdventureWorks2012.trn' 
    WITH CREDENTIAL = 'mycredential'
    ,RECOVERY 
    ,STOPAT = 'Oct 23, 2012 5:00 PM' 
    GO
    
  2. C#

    // Connect to default sql server instance on local machine
    Server server = new Server(".");
    string identity = "mystorageaccount";
    
    string credentialName = "mycredential";
    string dbName = "AdventureWorks2012";
    string blobContainerName = "mycontainer";
    
    // Generate Unique Url
    string urlBackupData = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-Data{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    
    // Backup to Url
    Backup backup = new Backup();
    backup.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backup.Database = dbName;
    backup.Devices.AddDevice(urlBackupData, DeviceType.Url);
    backup.SqlBackup(server);
    
    // Generate Unique Url for Tail Log backup
    string urlTailLogBackup = String.Format(@"https://{0}.blob.core.windows.net/{1}/{2}-TailLog{3}.bak",
            identity,
            blobContainerName,
            dbName,
            DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-"));
    
    
    // Backup Tail Log to Url
    Backup backupTailLog = new Backup();
    backupTailLog.CredentialName = credentialName;
    backupTailLog.Database = dbName;
    backupTailLog.Action = BackupActionType.Log;
    backupTailLog.NoRecovery = true;
    backupTailLog.Devices.AddDevice(urlTailLogBackup, DeviceType.Url);
    backupTailLog.SqlBackup(server);
    
    // Restore a database and move files
    string newDataFilePath = server.MasterDBLogPath + @"\" + dbName + DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-") + ".mdf";
    string newLogFilePath = server.MasterDBLogPath + @"\" + dbName + DateTime.Now.ToString("s").Replace(":", "-") + ".ldf";
    
    Restore restore = new Restore();
    restore.CredentialName = credentialName;
    restore.Database = dbName;
    restore.ReplaceDatabase = true;
    restore.NoRecovery = true;
    restore.Devices.AddDevice(urlBackupData, DeviceType.Url);
    restore.RelocateFiles.Add(new RelocateFile(dbName, newDataFilePath));
    restore.RelocateFiles.Add(new RelocateFile(dbName + "_Log", newLogFilePath));
    restore.SqlRestore(server);
    
    // Restore transaction Log with stop at 
    Restore restoreLog = new Restore();
    restoreLog.CredentialName = credentialName;
    restoreLog.Database = dbName;
    restoreLog.Action = RestoreActionType.Log;
    restoreLog.Devices.AddDevice(urlBackupData, DeviceType.Url);
    restoreLog.ToPointInTime = DateTime.Now.ToString(); 
    restoreLog.SqlRestore(server);
    
  3. PowerShell

    #create variables
    $backupUrlContainer = "https://mystorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net/mycontainer/"
    $credentialName = "mycredential"
    $srvPath = "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\INSTANCENAME"
    # for default instance, the $srvpath variable would be "SQLSERVER:\SQL\COMPUTERNAME\DEFAULT"
    
    # Navigate to SQL Server Instance Directory
    
    CD $srvPath 
    
    #create a unique file name for the full backup
    $backupdbFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".bak"
    
    # Full database backup to URL
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupdbFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName -CompressionOption On   
    
    #Create a unique file name for the tail log backup
    $backuplogFile = $backupUrlContainer + "AdventureWorks2012_" + (Get-Date).ToString("s").Replace("-","_").Replace(":", "_").Replace(" ","_").Replace("/", "_") +  ".trn"
    
    #Backup tail log to URL
    
    Backup-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -backupFile $backupFile  -SqlCredential $credentialName  -BackupAction Log -NoRecovery   
    
    # Restore Database and move files
    
    $newDataFilePath = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.RelocateFile ("AdventureWorks_Data","C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.mdf")
    $newLogFilePath = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.RelocateFile("AdventureWorks_Log","C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\myinstance\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012.ldf")
    
    Restore-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -SqlCredential $credentialName -BackupFile $backupdbFile -RelocateFile @($newDataFilePath,$newLogFilePath) -NoRecovery  
    
    # Restore Transaction log with Stop At:
    Restore-SqlDatabase -Database AdventureWorks2012 -SqlCredential $credentialName -BackupFile $backuplogFile  -ToPointInTime (Get-Date).ToString()  
    

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