Update Rollup 1 for Microsoft Azure Backup Server v3 is here!
Published Jun 17 2020 10:35 AM 6,864 Views

Microsoft Azure Backup Server is the on-premise backup server which works with Azure Backup to enable hybrid customers to backup file and folders, system state, SQL server, Exchange, SharePoint and Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines. Users with critical workloads like Microsoft SQL Server can benefit from Microsoft Azure Backup Server by choosing disk backups for better RPOs and RTOs. And can continue to backup to Azure for long-term retention using disk-disk-cloud backup strategy.


If you are new to Azure Backup Server and want to enable Microsoft Azure Backup Server, you can download Microsoft Azure Backup Server and start protecting your infrastructure. 


Today we are thrilled to announce the Update Rollup 1 for MABS v3 which brings exciting new updates. This is an update which needs to be installed on the top of MABS v3 RTM.


Key features:

  • Offline Backup using Azure Data Box (in private preview)
  • First party backup solution for AVS
  • Faster backups with tiered storage using SSDs
  • Faster VMware backup
  • Support for protection of ReFS Volumes (with deduplication enabled)
  • Support for additional layer of authentication to delete online backup

Let’s get into a little more detail of each of these features. This may be little lengthy but worth a read.  


Offline Backup using Azure Data Box (in preview)

With Microsoft Azure Data Box integration, MABS customers can overcome the challenge of moving tera bytes of backup data from on-premises to Azure storage. This reduces the time a customer takes to onboard to Azure backup for long term retention for on-premises workloads. The user experience is consistent to DPM 2019 and MARS agent.

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This feature is currently in preview. You will not see an option to use Azure Data Box after updating the MABS v3 server to UR1. If you are interested to utilize Azure Data Box for offline seeding, please reach out to us at systemcenterfeedback@microsoft.com.  




The update also enhances existing method of offline backup using Azure Import/Export Service. The authentication to Azure is done using Azure AD. The Azure Publish setting file is not required anymore. Please review the updated article for the pre-requisites and steps required to complete the offline backup using Azure Import/Export Service.


First party backup solution for AVS

We recently announced Azure VMware Solution which empowers customers to seamlessly extend or completely migrate their existing on-premises VMware applications to Azure. AVS customers can now use MABS to protect virtual machines deployed in Azure VMware Solution. This is currently in preview and supports VM level backup. You can read more about the steps to deploy and protect AVS virtual machine using MABS here.



Faster backups with tiered storage using SSDs

With MABS v3 UR1 we have made enhancements in the backup process which can take advantage of tiered storage to deliver 50-70% faster backups. By using a small percentage (4% of overall storage) of SSD as a tiered volume in combination with HDD storage, customers can achieve higher scale and better performance.

If you are using all internal storage for your MABS server, you need to add an additional SSD. If you are using an external storage for your MABS server, the SSD can be added in the external storage or it can be attached directly to the server. Using Windows Storage Spaces, you can easily create new tiered storage and migrate your backup data from non-tired storage volume. Refer the Setup MBS storage with Tiered Storage article to know step to configure tiered storage and migrate data to newly created volumes.


Faster VMware backup

Using MABS you can protect VMware virtual machines. You need to configure protection group which gather multiple VMs and apply the same data retention and backup settings to all VMs in the group. All your VMWare VM backup jobs within a single protection group would run in parallel, leading to 25% faster VM backups.

Additionally, this update also brings an option to exclude specific VMware VM disk from backup. Refer the steps document here to configure the disk exclusion.


Support for protection of ReFS Volumes and ReFS deduplication enabled volumes

Resilient File System (ReFS) on Windows Server maximizes data availability, scales efficiently to large data sets for workloads such as SQL server and provides data integrity by means of resiliency to corruption. With this update, customers can now use MABS to protect the ReFS volumes (with deduplication enabled) and workloads (Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange and SharePoint) deployed on the ReFS volume.


Support for additional layer of authentication to delete online backup

To prevent attacks and protect your backup data, Azure Backup has various security features. Checks have been added to make sure only valid users can perform various operations.

With MABS v3 UR1, we utilize an additional a layer of authentication for critical operations. You will be prompted to enter a security PIN when you perform Stop Protection with Delete data operations. To receive the pin, you can sign into the Azure Portal and browse to Recovery Services vault > Settings > Properties > Under Security PIN, click Generate. This PIN is valid for only five minutes, and it gets invalidated automatically after that period.


Depreciation of 32bit protection agent

With the release of UR1 for MABS v3, support for protection of 32 workload is deprecated. Post installing UR1 you will not be able to protect any 32bit datasource. If there is any existing 32bit protection agent, post UR1 the status of protection agent will be set to disabled. Any scheduled backups will fail with error agent is disabled. If you want to retain backup data for these agents, you can stop the protection with the retain data option. You will be able to restore the backup to only network file share. If you do not wish to keep the backup, the protection agent can be removed.


Starting from this release, users can now on-board to Azure Backup much faster with Azure Data Box. Features such as tiered storage, VMware parallel backup will also improve the overall backup performance. We look forward to hearing your feedback on these features and suggestions for future improvements through email at systemcenterfeedback@microsoft.com


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