Should you upgrade to Azure VM Backup Stack V2?

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The Azure Resource Manager model has come up with the option to upgrade to VM Backup Stack V2.  There are many salient features of the VM Backup Stack V2 , the main price point I believe is the ability to take the snapshot backup of the disks up to 4 TB in Size. As per my experience, I know this is a great ability looking forward to up to 60% failure of the MARS agent backup which is not reliable. The ability to take the snapshot backup will also guarantee 99.99%  recovery of the snapshot disks. In scenarios where large disks were being backed up by MARS agent will definitely be backed by the Azure VM Backup Stack V2 and large disk snapshot backup is possible if you upgrade.

Another feature enhancement as per the MS site is as follows:

  • Ability to see snapshots taken as part of a backup job that’s available for recovery without waiting for data transfer to finish. It reduces the wait time for snapshots to copy to the vault before triggering restore. Also, this ability eliminates the additional storage requirement for backing up premium VMs, except for the first backup.
  • Reduces backup and restore times by retaining snapshots locally, for seven days.
  • Support for disk sizes up to 4 TB.
  • Ability to use an unmanaged VM’s original storage accounts, when restoring. This ability exists even when the VM has disks that are distributed across storage accounts. It speeds up restore operations for a wide variety of VM configurations.

Difference between the Backup Stack V1 and Backup Stack V2

Items Backup Stack V1 Backup Stack V2
The process of Backup In two phases, first the VM or disk snapshot has been taken and in next step, the snapshot will be sent to the Azure Recovery Services Vault. In this phase, the snapshot is taken and preserved for 7 days before sending to Azure Recovery Services Vault.
When the Recovery Point is Created A recovery point is created once phase 1 and 2 are done. A recovery point is created as soon as the snapshot is taken.
Recovery Point creation Speed Slow Fast
Storage Cost No additional storage cost Local storage cost may increase since snapshot will be stored for 7 days before moving to Recovery Services Vault. According to the current pricing model MS is not charging for storing the managed disks for 7 days.
Impact of the upgrade on Current Backup No impact.

Please note that incremental snapshot will be taken for the un-managed disk but for the managed disks the snapshot will be taken for the full disk. So in case if you planning for 1 TB of managed Disk you need to pay for the snapshot of the full disk.

How to upgrade

Log in to the Azure Portal and Go to the Recovery Services Vault.

Go to properties. In the left side pan you will see the following.

Click on the Upgrade Button

Click on the upgrade to upgrade to Backup Stack V 2.0.

Note: This upgrade is not Vault basis, it is Subscription based. And This change is not reversible too

Conclusion: The Azure VM Backup Stack V 2.0 is a good decision to upgrade if you have the large number of large disk capacity VM’s. You can go for it since there is no additional cost involved at the moment and there will be no additional configuration needed to be done in the recovery services vault and the existing backups will not be impacted.

That’s all for today. You have a great day ahead.