Microsoft is currently testing a beta of Windows Azure-based online backup service for Windows Server 8. In a March 28 blog post, Microsoft official describe the "Microsoft Online Backup Service," a new cloud based service for Windows Server "8", which backs up your server's data to the cloud so that it is safe and secure.
The Microsoft Online Backup Service is a cloud based backup solution built on the Windows Azure platform and uses Windows Azure blob storage for Windows Server "8" which allows files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud in order to provide off-site protection against data loss due to disasters.
"The online backup service provides IT administrators with the option to back up and protect critical data in an easily recoverable way from any location with no upfront hardware cost or resources other than an Internet connection. Windows Server "8" uses the downloadable Microsoft Online Backup Agent to transfer file and folder data securely and efficiently to the Microsoft Online Backup Service. Once installed, the Microsoft Online Backup Agent exposes its functionality through the familiar Windows Server Backup interface," explains Microsoft.
Key features of the sevice includes:
- Simple configuration and management.
- Simple user interface to configure and monitor the backups.
- Integrated recovery experience to transparently recover files and folders from local disk or from cloud.
- Easily recover any data that was backed up onto any server of your choice.
- Windows PowerShell command-line interface scripting capability.
- Block level incremental backups by tracking file and block level changes and only transferring the changed blocks. Different point-in-time versions of the backups use storage efficiently by only storing the changes blocks between these versions.
- Data compression, encryption and throttling on the server before being sent to the MOBS over the network. "The encryption passphrase is not available to the Microsoft Online Backup Service, and as a result the data is never decrypted in the service. Also, users can setup throttling and configure how the Microsoft Online Backup service utilizes the network bandwidth when backing up or restoring information," explains Microsoft.
- Data integrity is verified in the cloud once the backup is done.
- Configurable retention policies for storing data in the cloud to recycle backups that exceed the desired retention range, thereby meeting business policies and managing backup costs.
To get started using the Online Backup Service:
- Get a free beta Online Backup Service account (with 10 GB of cloud storage). In order to request access, please sign up to get an invitation to the service at http://connect.microsoft.com/onlinebackup. Please note that there are a limited number of customers that we can support during the beta and we will grow our capacity over time. We have available slots right now so if you are willing to give us feedback, sign up now to try this great new service.
- Download and install the Microsoft Online Backup Agent. The agent installer download is located on the Microsoft Connect Site indicated above.