Microsoft recently announced several new ways to back up and recover SQL Server databases with Windows Azure.  These features, now available in SQL Server 2014 CTP2 and as a standalone tool for prior versions, provide an easy path to cloud backup and disaster recovery for on-premises SQL Server databases.  The capabilities for backing up to Windows Azure Storage help to reduce storage costs and unlock the data protection and disaster recovery benefits of cloud data storage.

Benefits of the new SQL Server Backup to Windows Azure include:

  • Cost-effective – Backing up to the cloud reduces CAPEX and OPEX by shifting from on-premises storage to Windows Azure Blob Storage Service.  Windows Azure offers lower TCO than many on-premises storage solutions and decreased administrative burden.
  • Secure – Backup to Windows Azure adds encryption to backups stored both in the cloud or on-premises, for an extra layer of security and compliance.
  • Durable – Backups and replicas in the cloud enable users to recover from local failures quickly and easily.  Windows Azure storage is reliable and built with data durability in mind: off-site, geo-redundant and easily accessible. 
  • Smart – SQL Server can now manage your back up schedule using the new Managed Backup to Windows Azure feature. It determines backup frequency based on database usage patterns.
  • Consistent – The combination of SQL Server 2014 in-box functionality and the Backup to Windows Azure Tool for prior versions create a single back up to cloud strategy across all your SQL databases.

Simplified Cloud Backup

There are several new capabilities enabling users to utilize SQL Server Backup and Disaster Recovery Windows Azure.

  • SQL Server Backup to Windows Azure – With SQL Server 2014, users can easily configure Azure backup storage. In the event of a failure, a backup can be restored to an on-premises SQL Server or one running in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. Options for setting up backup include:
    • Manual Backup to Windows Azure - Users can configure back up to Windows Azure by creating a credential in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). These backups can be automated using backup policy. 
    • Managed Backup to Windows Azure – Managed Backup is a premium capability of Backup to Window Azure, measuring database usage and patterns to set the frequency of backups to Windows Azure to optimize networking and storage.  Managed Backup helps customers reduce costs while achieving greater data protection. 
    • Encrypted Backup – SQL Server 2014 offers users the ability to encrypt both on-premises backup and backups to Windows Azure for enhanced security.
  • SQL Server Backup to Windows Azure Tool - A stand-alone download that quickly and easily configures to back up to Windows Azure Storage for versions of SQL Server 2005 and forward. It can also encrypt backups stored either locally or in the cloud.

Learn More

SQL Server SQL Server 2014’s goal is to deliver mission critical performance along with faster insights into any data big or small. At the same time, it will enable new hybrid cloud solutions that can provide greater data protection and positively impact your bottom line. Early adopters are already leveraging new hybrid scenarios to extend their backup and disaster recovery capabilities around the globe without the need for additional storage replication technologies.

If you would like to try the Backup and Recovery Enhancements in SQL Server 2014 CTP2, Thursday’s blog post will help you get started configuring and using these new capabilities.  You can also preview the SQL Server Backup to Windows Azure Tool, enabling backup to Windows Azure for SQL Server 2005 and forward.

You can learn more about Hybrid Cloud scenarios in SQL Server 2014 by reading the SQL Server 2014 Hybrid Cloud White Paper, which is part of the SQL Server 2014 Product Guide.