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Install Azure Backup Agent and upload the vault credential

Published: February 20, 2012

Updated: February 11, 2015

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

Azure Recovery Services includes a backup vault which you can use to store backups from your server. To backup a server you must install an agent to use within the management console to configure the items to protect. This topic describes installing the Azure Backup Agent used with Windows Server and the 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.

In this document

Installing the Azure Backup Agent requires the following:

  • .NET Framework 4.5

  • Windows PowerShell

The Azure Backup Agent is an add-on that can be installed on servers running either Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1; and on computers running 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. There is also an extension for customers that are running Windows Server 2012 Essentials that may be installed separately. The Azure Backup Agent provides the graphical user interface (GUI) to use for scheduling backups, determining retention lengths for those backups, and recovering content. When you install the Azure Backup Agent the online backup cmdlets for Windows PowerShell are also installed.

  1. The easiest way to download the Azure Backup Agent is to go to the Azure Management Portal.

  2. Sign in to your account.

  3. Click Recovery Services. If you have already created a backup vault click the name of backup vault to view the vault dashboard. Otherwise, click New and Create a Backup Vault using the Quick Start wizard.

  4. Click Download Agent

  5. You will be presented with a dialog where you can choose which agent to download: Select the appropriate agent. You will be redirected to the Microsoft Download Center to download the agent software.

    1. Agent for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 - Data Protection Manager

    2. Agent for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    If you will be using Azure Backup with your DPM server, make sure to install the Update Roll up 2 for System Center Data Protection Manager SP1 before installing the Azure Backup Agent. For full details on this update, see Update Roll up 2 for System Center Data Protection Manager SP1. For more information about using Microsoft Azure Backup with Windows Server 2012 Essentials, see Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

  6. Click the Agent for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 - Data Protection Manager link to go to the download location for the Azure Backup Agent.

  7. Download the Azure Backup Agent. Take note of the location where you downloaded the WABInstaller.exe file. Once the agent is installed you can use the appropriate local management interface (such as the Microsoft Management Console snap-in, System Center Data Protection Manager Console, or Windows Server Essentials Dashboard) to configure the backup policy for the server.

    If your server is running Windows Server 2012 Essentials, see Install Azure Backup Agent for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

If the prerequisite software listed previously is not already installed on your server, it will be installed and enabled as part of the Azure Backup Agent installation. In addition, the server on which you install the Azure Backup Agent should have at least enough local free storage space for cache location, which should be estimated at 10 percent of the amount of data to be backed up.

To install the Azure Backup Agent, run the installer, MARSAgentInstaller.exe. The installer does not require a reboot for the installation to complete in most cases. Administrative permissions are required to install Azure Backup Agent. If you will be installing Azure Backup Agent on multiple servers, you can place the installer file on a shared network location, or you can use Group Policy or management products such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager to perform the installation.

Using Microsoft Azure Backup does not require that you install Windows Server Backup. However, the two backup methods complement each other. Windows Server Backup can perform tasks such as bare metal and system state restores, which are not available by using Microsoft Azure Backup.

To complete the installation by using the command-line interface, see the Command line installation section.

  1. Sign in to your server using a local computer administrator account, and then run MARSAgentInstaller.exe.

  2. The Prerequisites Check page is displayed and any missing prerequisite software is selected for installation. Click Next to approve the installation of the prerequisite software and continue the installation.

  3. The Installation Settings page is displayed. On this page, you choose the Installation Folder and Cache Location for Microsoft Azure Backup. By default the installation folder will be <system drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent. If you click Browse you can navigate and choose a new location in which to create the Azure Backup folder.

    By default the cache location folder will be <system drive>:\Program Files\ Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent. In the cache location, the installation process will create a folder named Scratch within the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent folder. The cache location should have free space equivalent to 10 percent of the amount of data that will be backed up. For example, if you were to use Microsoft Azure Backup to back up 500GB of data you should allocate approximately 50GB of free space for the Scratch folder. Only local system administrators and members of the Administrators group have access to the Scratch folder to prevent denial-of-service attacks. Click Install when you have identified the folders that you want the Azure Backup Agent to use.

    If you are reinstalling Azure Backup Agent, using the same cache location as the previous installation is recommended.

  4. If you have not enabled automatic updates on your server, the Microsoft Update Opt-In page is displayed to give you the opportunity to enable Microsoft Update. The Microsoft Update settings are for all Microsoft product updates, and they are not exclusive to the Azure Backup Agent. Click Next to continue.

  5. The Installation page is displayed. A progress indicator displays when the installation begins and shows the progress of the installation. When the installation is complete, you will receive a message that the Azure Backup Agent was installed successfully. At this point, you can choose to check for updates. It is recommended that you allow the updates check to occur.

  6. Click Finish. If you selected to check for updates, Internet Explorer will automatically start and the updates check will be performed. After any updates have been installed, you are ready to start configuring Azure Backup Agent.

At this point you can start the Microsoft Azure Backup management console from the Start menu, the desktop icon, or within the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in. Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Azure Backup have also been installed, so you can begin using Windows PowerShell to work with Microsoft Azure Backup.

  1. Open a command prompt with administrator privileges.

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

  3. Type MarsAgentInstaller.exe, and then append option parameters as appropriate for your environment. The option parameters are as follows:

    If no parameters are supplied, all default values are used to complete the installation.

    • /q   Quiet installation. No further prompts will be shown. Any parameters not specified will use the default values.

      Example: MarsAgentInstaller.exe /q

    • /p:<location>   Type the path to the location of the installation folder that you want Microsoft Azure Backup to use. If this parameter is not specified, the installation folder will be <systemdrive>:\Program Files\Azure Backup Agent.

      Example: MarsAgentInstaller.exe /p:"D:\installlocation"

    • /s:<location>   Type the path to the folder that you want to use for the cache location (scratch folder). If this parameter is not specified, the cache location folder will be <systemdrive>:\Program Files\Azure Backup Agent\Scratch.

      Example: MarsAgentInstaller.exe /s:"D:\scratchpath"

    • /m   This parameter is used to opt-in to Microsoft Update and enable automatic updates. If this parameter is not specified the Automatic Updates setting on the server will not be changed.

    • /nu   This parameter causes the server to not check for updates after installation is complete. If this parameter is not specified, a check for updates will occur automatically after installation is complete.

    • /d   Removes Azure Backup Agent from the server.

Before you can use Azure Backup you must register your server with the vault using a credential. Use the Quick Start page for your backup vault to generate and download a credential.

At this point you are now ready to use the Azure Backup Agent to register your server with the backup vault. Continue on to the Register Computers with Azure Backup scenario.

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