Azure Backup for SQL?
Microsoft SQL 2019; the latest and greatest flavor of SQL has been released for almost a month now. With it, naturally comes improvements in performance, security, and intelligence. One recently announced feature has to do with making backups easier. Many companies are still using somewhat legacy backup strategies involving resource-heavy and expensive products. Now, an option is native backup for SQL Server 2019 when running in Azure on Virtual Machines.
It is worth noting that Azure is also extending this backup feature to any SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 system that was migrated to Azure. Don’t forget about January 20th, 2020! For more information on 2008 and 2008 R2 end of life, see this recent post I wrote.
Since Azure Backup is a service, there is no need to maintain third party products, the expensive licenses and the compute/storage/etc. that goes with it. The service will protect standalone SQL Servers as well as SQL AlwaysOn environments ran on VMs.
For backup storage tiering, users are able to configure frequency and retention policies for Logs, Differential, and Full backups. The service allows long-term storage as well as monitoring right in the Azure Portal which will help IT teams manage how backups are handled.
Auto protection is available in the Backup Portal to protect any future databases that may be added. This is a simple drop down to enable or disable via SQL instance.
Azure Backup offers two destination options to restore your data. First off, there is traditional restore where Azure Backup (via the Azure Backup Plugin for SQL) will restore your data directly on your SQL Server ran in Azure. This is a convenient way to restore as there are no separate applications to log into or files needing to be moved from one device or service to your SQL server.
New is an option referred to as “Restore as Files.” This method will give you .bak files that you can move between subscriptions, different Azure regions, or restore to completely different SQL Servers if you would like. Point in Time restores via Transaction Log Backups are also available.
Let me know your thoughts compared to your current SQL backup solution!
More SQL 2019 information can be found here: SQL Server 2019. For a getting started video, see here.