Hybrid environments often require heterogeneous storage – some on-premises and some in the cloud. With Azure Backup, there is no cost for using on-premises storage devices.
Azure Backup automatically allocates and manages backup storage, and it uses a pay-as-you-use model. Pay-as-you-use means that you only pay for the storage that you consume.
Data encryption allows for secure transmission and storage of your data in the public cloud. You store the encryption passphrase locally, and it is never transmitted or stored in Azure. If it is necessary to restore any of the data, only you have an encryption passphrase or key.
You can use Recovery Services vaults for short-term and long-term data retention. Azure doesn’t limit the length of time data can remain in a Recovery Services vault. You can keep data in a vault for as long as you like. Azure Backup has a limit of 9999 recovery points per protected instance.
An aspect of high-availability is storage replication. Azure Backup offers two types of replication: locally redundant storage and geo-redundant storage. Choose the backup storage option which is best suited for your organization:
Locally redundant storage (LRS) replicates your data three times (it creates three copies of your data) in a storage scale unit in a data center. All copies of the data exist within the same region. LRS is a low-cost option for protecting your data from local hardware failures.
Geo-redundant storage (GRS) replicates your data to a secondary region (hundreds of miles away from the primary location of the source data). GRS costs more than LRS, but GRS provides a higher level of durability for your data, even if there is a regional outage.
Azure Backup uses the underlying power and unlimited scale of the Azure cloud to deliver high-availability – with no maintenance or monitoring overhead. You can set up alerts to provide information about events, but you don’t need to worry about the high-availability of your data in the cloud.
An application-consistent backup means a recovery point has all the required data to restore the backup copy. Azure Backup provides application-consistent backups, which ensure additional fixes are not required to restore the data. Restoring application-consistent data reduces the restoration time, allowing you to quickly return to a running state.
Azure Backup does not limit the amount of inbound or outbound data you transfer. Azure Backup also does not charge for the data that is transferred. However, if you use the Azure Import/Export service to import large amounts of data, there is a cost associated with inbound data. Outbound data refers to data transferred from a Recovery Services vault during a restore operation.