|By Keith Mayer||
|March 18, 2013 10:00 AM EDT||
I think every IT Pro I’ve ever met hates tape backups … but having an offsite component in your backup strategy is absolutely necessary for effective disaster recovery. One of the new features provided in SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Cumulative Update 2 is the ability to now backup SQL databases and logs to Windows Azure cloud storage using native SQL Server Backup via both Transact-SQL (T-SQL) and SQL Server Management Objects (SMO).
Backup to cloud storage is a natural fit for disaster recovery, as our backups are instantly located offsite when completed. And, the pay-as-you-go model of cloud storage economics makes it really cost effective – Windows Azure storage costs are less than $100/TB per month for geo-redundant storage based on current published costs as of this article’s date. That’s less than the cost of a couple SDLT tapes! You can check out our current pricing model for Windows Azure Storage on our Price Calculator page.
In this article, I’ll step through the process of using SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 native backup capabilities to create database backups on Windows Azure cloud storage.
How do I get started?
To get started, you’ll need a Windows Azure subscription. Good news! You can get a FREE 90-Day Windows Azure subscription to follow along with this article, evaluate and test … this subscription is 100% free for 90-days and there’s absolutely no obligation to convert to a paid subscription.
- DO IT: Sign-up for a Free 90-Day Windows Azure Subscription
NOTE: When activating your FREE 90-Day Subscription for Windows Azure, you will be prompted for credit card information. This information is used only to validate your identity and your credit card will not be charged, unless you explicitly convert your FREE Trial account to a paid subscription at a later point in time.
You’ll also need to download Cumulative Update 2 for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 and apply that to the SQL Server instance with which you’ll be testing.
Don’t have a SQL Server 2012 instance in your data center that you can test with? No problem! You can spin up a SQL Server 2012 VM in the Windows Azure Cloud using your Free 90-Day subscription.
Let’s grab some cloud storage
Once you’ve got your Windows Azure subscription activated and your SQL Server 2012 lab environment patched with SP1 CU2, you’re ready to provision some cloud storage that can be used as a backup location for SQL databases …
- Launch the Windows Azure Management Portal and login with the credentials used when activating your FREE 90-Day Subscription above.
- Click Storage in the left navigation pane of the Windows Azure Management Portal.
Windows Azure Management Portal – Storage Accounts
- On the Storage page of the Windows Azure Management Portal, click +NEW on the bottom toolbar to create a new storage account location.
Creating a new Windows Azure Storage Account location
- Click Quick Create on the New > Storage popup menu and complete the fields as listed below:
- URL: XXXbackup01 ( where XXX represents your initials in lowercase )
- Region / Affinity Group: Select an available Windows Azure datacenter region for your new Storage Account.
NOTE: Because you will be using this Storage Account location for backup / disaster recovery scenarios, be sure to select a Datacenter Region that is not near to you for additional protection against disasters that may affect your entire local area.
Click the Create Storage Account button to create your new Storage Account location.
- Wait for your new Storage Account to be provisioned.
Provisioning new Windows Azure Storage Account
Once the status of your new Storage Account shows as Online, you may continue with the next step.
- Select your newly created Storage Account and click the Manage Keys button on the bottom toolbar to display the Manage Access Keys dialog box.
Manage Access Keys dialog box
Click the button located next to the Secondary Access Key field to copy this access key to your clipboard for later use.
- Create a container within your Windows Azure Storage Account to store backups. Click on the name of your Storage Account on the Storage page in the Windows Azure Management Portal to drill into the details of this account, then select the Containers tab located at the top of the page.
Containers tab within a Windows Azure Storage Account
On the bottom toolbar, click the Add Container button to create a new container named “backups”.
You’ve now completed the provisioning of your new Windows Azure storage account location.
We’re ready to backup to the cloud
When you’re ready to test a SQL database backup to the cloud, launch SQL Server Management Studio and connect to your SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 database engine instance. After you’ve done this, proceed with the following steps to complete a backup …
- In SQL Server Management Studio, right-click on the database you wish to backup in the Object Explorer list pane and select New Query.
SQL Server Management Studio
- In the new SQL Query Window, execute the following Transact-SQL code to create a credential that can be used to authenticate to your Windows Azure Storage Account with secure read/write access:
CREATE CREDENTIAL myAzureCredential
SECRET=’PASTE IN YOUR COPIED ACCESS KEY HERE';
Prior to running this code, be sure to replace XXXbackup01 with the name of your Windows Azure Storage Account created above and paste in the Access Key you previously copied to your clipboard.
In the SQL Query Window, execute the following Transact-SQL code to perform the database backup to your Windows Azure Storage Account:
BACKUP DATABASE database_name TO
WITH CREDENTIAL='myAzureCredential' , STATS = 5;
Prior to running this code, be sure to replace XXXbackup01 with the name of your Windows Azure Storage Account and replace database_name with the name of your database.
Upon successful execution of the backup, you should see SQL Query result messages similar to the following:
Successful Backup Results
What about restoring?
Restoring from the cloud is just as easy as backing up … to restore we can use the following Transact-SQL syntax:
RESTORE DATABASE database_name FROM
WITH CREDENTIAL=’myAzureCredential’, STATS = 5, REPLACE
Thoughts? Comments? Feedback?
What are your thoughts around leveraging the cloud for backup storage? Feel free to post your comments, questions and feedback below.
|Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012|
|Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines|
|Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group|
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Jan. 19, 2017 07:30 PM EST Reads: 4,228
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jan. 19, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 6,314
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 PM EST Reads: 3,626
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 3,100
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,755
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Jan. 19, 2017 04:00 PM EST Reads: 5,427
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
Jan. 19, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,793
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
Jan. 19, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 4,783
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,675
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,165
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Jan. 19, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 2,017
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Jan. 19, 2017 12:15 PM EST Reads: 4,310
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Jan. 19, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,721
"What is the next step in the evolution of IoT systems? The answer is data, information, which is a radical shift from assets, from things to input for decision making," stated Michael Minkevich, VP of Technology Services at Luxoft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 19, 2017 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,568
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Jan. 19, 2017 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,583
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Jan. 19, 2017 09:30 AM EST Reads: 6,040
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 19, 2017 07:30 AM EST Reads: 3,661
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Jan. 19, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 2,034
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
Jan. 19, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,231
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 19, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 874