Azure Backup and Resource Manager Virtual Machines

Ask anybody in the Azure teams at Microsoft and they will tell you that Resource Manager is the future of Microsofts Azure strategy. And I agree; it’s much more versatile, robust, and finally gives us the ability to multitask rather than waiting for one task to complete before starting another. For all it’s benefits though, it is still an immature system. One big bugbear of mine is to do with changing Availability Sets once a VM is created, but that’s not what I wanted to write about today.

Microsoft recommend that all new services in Azure should be created using the Azure Resource Manager model. Which is all well and good, unless you want to back these servers up using Azure Backup. In which case you will have a problem.

I recently attempted to do this and was happily running through the guide provided by Microsoft entitled Deploy and manage backup to Azure for Windows Server/Windows Client using PowerShell. This article includes the following warning:

Warning: Azure Backup

I didn’t have a backup provider yet so I tried to run the command, only to be told that:

register-AzureProvider : The term 'register-AzureProvider' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again. At line:1 char:1 + register-AzureProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.DevTestLab + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (register-AzureProvider:String) [], CommandNotFoundException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException

It seems that this cmdlet has been deprecated in Azure PowerShell v1.0.

Additionally, when looking into this error, I found the following tidbit of information on Microsofts Preparing your environment to back up Azure virtual machines page:

Backing up Azure Resource Manager-based (aka IaaS V2) virtual machines is not supported.

Bit of a showstopper eh? Luckily myself and my colleague simply wanted to schedule a backup of the ADFS database, so to workaround this we added a secondary Data disk to Azure and used Windows Server Backup to take a System State backup of the Primary ADFS server. For those planning a more extensive Azure Backup Strategy, you may need to rethink your use of v2 (Resource Manager) virtual machines.

As with all things Azure, things change all the time, and I’m sure Microsoft will add support for this feature very soon.