Implement Azure Data Protection

This hands-on experience, an IT Pro Challenge, provides learners with resources to strengthen their knowledge about implementing Azure data protection on a virtual machine(VM). System and Azure Administrators review essential skills enabling backups and creating VM snapshots using the Azure portal, PowerShell, and Azure command-line interface.

1 hour
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This Learn On Demand Pro Series is part of a Career Path: Become an Azure Cloud Engineer

In this hour-long IT Pro challenge, you take a provisioned virtual machine, on a pre-configured resource group, and enable data protection through backups. You enable virtual machine (VM) safeguards through a Recovery Services vault, you create. Then you create unmanaged and managed VM disk snapshots to restore a VM in a moment in time in case of VM disk failure. Before creating the VM disk snapshot, you migrate a VM to back up on Azure’s managed disk resources.

Consider this virtual lab a review of Azure backup administration skills, appropriate for an advanced learner. Learners who are comfortable providing a VM and troubleshooting storage functionality through Azure, along with some PowerShell or command-line interface (CLI) coding, have the prerequisites necessary for successful lab completion. The lab requires a full hour, in one sitting, as learners cannot pause and return to their work, midway.

Upon this lab’s launch, you work with a cloud slice, an Azure subscription with just enough functionality to do the lab exercises, and learn the lab’s concepts.

System administrators, administrators, and even business managers benefit from this lab. When a VM machine fails, not having a good VM backup or restoration point, leads to headaches. Misunderstanding how to properly set up a backup and image a VM system means ‘stored data’ may not be archived. This lab tests capability in creating a valid VM disk copy before it becomes a critical need due to an actual VM outage.

Understanding the Scenario:

You are an Azure® administrator for your domain. You need to implement Azure data protection. First, you will enable backups of an Azure virtual machine. Next, you will create a virtual machine unmanaged disk snapshot. Finally, you will migrate a virtual machine that has unmanaged disks to use managed disks, and then you will create a virtual machine managed disk snapshot.

Enable Backups of an Azure Virtual Machine:

In this lab exercise, you log into your lab environment and create a recovery service vault, an Azure service to store copies of VM data and configurations. Then, you enable VM backups using the recovery service vault you just created. You gain helpful tips on taking backups at regular intervals and in setting a backup policy. You also see how to create an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template and deploy it using PowerShell.

Create a Virtual Machine Unmanaged Disk Snapshot:

You deallocate or stop the VM and then capture incremental blob files, unmanaged disk snapshots. Before setting up an unmanaged disk snapshot, you need to create a storage account on your local machine. You have complete control of storage data, customizing your backup strategy.

Azure stores VM images as a read-only blob and this save incrementally. You will need to take two snapshots to find out the differences between the two VM snapshots. You can then write these changes to the blob through the PutPage PowerShell cmdlet. Find the VM’s OS in a storage account beginning with standard followed with a string of random characters. Incremental snapshots need initiation through PowerShell or the command-line interface.

Create a Virtual Machine Managed Disk Snapshot:

In this section, you migrate the VM to use a managed disk and create a full, zone redundant snapshot. Managed disks live on the Azure cloud. After provisioning the disk, Azure takes care of the backup strategy. Full disks make an image of the entire system rather than a slice or any changes to the system. Zone redundant means if storage in one physical location goes down, then another datacenter can fill in to store and access the snapshot.

Migrating the VM to use managed disks moves image storage from its original location to Microsoft Azure. In this exercise, you receive hints using Azure Storage client library for .NET code, the Azure portal, PowerShell, and command line.


You demonstrate, in this lab, mastery of the following:

  • Enabling backups of an Azure VM.
  • Creating an Azure VM unmanaged disk snapshot.
  • Migrate an Azure VM from one having unmanaged disks to a managed one.
  • Build an Azure VM managed disk snapshot.

Also, you show how to create and use a Recovery Services vault in the cloud.


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