Windows Server Essentials 2012 comes with an offer to enable Azure Online Backup. You can use the “Dashboard” application in Windows Server Essentials 2012 to read about this feature and then find the link to sign-up. Here some screenshots (and commentary deeper as I provision the service)
On this next screen it may take extended amount of time especially if your server is busy. Be patient.
Installation complete with the following message:
When this add-in is installed, you will see the following “Online Backup” option in the Dashboard:
Next, click on “Register” in Step-1. Provide the credentials you had created earlier.
After clicking next, there is a very important “Passphrase” entry screen. This is just as important your account password. In fact, it’s more important because password can be reset/recovered but not the passphrase that is used to encrypt your data.
After a brief wait in this screen:
You get the following message:
At this point we can configure the backup. Click on “Configure Online Backup” and choose the folders, as in:
Then configure the backup schedule. Note you can have multiple backups per day. I personally don’t need it.
Next screen shows how long you can keep your backups. Maximum appears to be 30 days, which is a bit low. I will need to investigate if this is individual backup-days (i.e. if I backup only on Sunday, can I keep 30 Sundays) or is it really a calendar month.
Add-in also supports bandwidth scheduling and throttling, as in:
When configured, it looks like this:
It would appear that first backup will be taken at 11pm according to the schedule I had set. For the sake of testing, I will click on “Start Backup Now” link.
Depending on how large the volumes are, you will see Backup status showing “Creating snapshots” – this phase can take a while. After that, it’ll move to the following:
..and then shortly after:
So let’s take a look at the transfer rate:
Largely stable, close to saturating all outbound bandwidth that I have at home (about 5Mbits up .vs. 3.5-4Mbit that it’s utilizing now). You have the process name and the chart that shows the last 60 seconds of the transfer. There is no other significant network activity on this server.
Other observations… While the backup is taking place, I noticed the following disk appear (circled):
This is the result of a volume level snapshot that is taking place every time a backup job runs. It goes away when backup job is completed. Do not touch it.
That’s it – those selected folders are now protected in Azure. I will update this post with some restore experiences when I get a chance.
Categories: Computers and Internet