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Step by Step Azure Backup Part 1 -Install the Azure Backup MARS agent

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

About the MARS agent

Azure Backup uses the MARS agent to back up files, folders, and system state from on-premises machines and Azure VMs. Those backups are stored in a Recovery Services vault in Azure. You can run the agent:

  • Directly on on-premises Windows machines. These machines can back up directly to a Recovery Services vault in Azure.

  • On Azure VMs that run Windows side by side with the Azure VM backup extension. The agent backs up specific files and folders on the VM.

  • On a Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) instance or a System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) server. In this scenario, machines and workloads back up to MABS or Data Protection Manager. Then MABS or Data Protection Manager uses the MARS agent to back up to a vault in Azure.

The data that's available for backup depends on where the agent is installed.

Create a Recovery Services vault

A Recovery Services vault is a management entity that stores recovery points created over time and provides an interface to perform backup related operations. These include taking on-demand backups, performing restores, and creating backup policies.

To create a Recovery Services vault, follow these steps.

- Sign in to your subscription in the Azure portal.

- On the left menu, select All services.

- In the All services dialog box, enter Recovery Services. The list of resources filters according to your input. In the list of resources, select Recovery Services vaults.

The list of Recovery Services vaults in the subscription appears.

- On the Recovery Services vaults dashboard, select Add.

The Recovery Services vault dialog box opens. Provide values for the Name, Subscription, Resource group, and Location.

  • Name: Enter a friendly name to identify the vault. The name must be unique to the Azure subscription. Specify a name that has at least 2 but not more than 50 characters. The name must start with a letter and consist only of letters, numbers, and hyphens.

  • Subscription: Choose the subscription to use. If you're a member of only one subscription, you'll see that name. If you're not sure which subscription to use, use the default (suggested) subscription. There are multiple choices only if your work or school account is associated with more than one Azure subscription.

  • Resource group: Use an existing resource group or create a new one. To see the list of available resource groups in your subscription, select Use existing, and then select a resource from the drop-down list. To create a new resource group, select Create new and enter the name.

  • Location: Select the geographic region for the vault. To create a vault to protect any data source, the vault must be in the same region as the data source.

- After providing the values, select Review + create.

- When you're ready to create the Recovery Services vault, select Create.

It can take a while to create the Recovery Services vault. Monitor the status notifications in the Notifications area at the upper-right corner of the portal. After your vault is created, it's visible in the list of Recovery Services vaults. If you don't see your vault, select Refresh.

Modify storage replication

By default, vaults use geo-redundant storage (GRS).

  • If the vault is your primary backup mechanism, we recommend that you use GRS.

  • You can use locally redundant storage (LRS) to reduce Azure storage costs.

To modify the storage replication type:

  1. In the new vault, select Properties under the Settings section.

  2. On the Properties page, under Backup Configuration, select Update.

  3. Select the storage replication type, and select Save.