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First look at Azure Backup Explorer public preview

Last updated on February 9, 2020

Yesterday Microsoft announced the public preview of Backup Explorer.

Backing up VMs in a Recovery Services Vaults (RSV) is relatively easy to set up, but once you have several different vaults running across different regions, tenants or subscriptions it can become unwieldy to monitor.

Backup Explorer provides a dashboard that allows a global view across your entire Azure footprint estate. And if you use Azure Lighthouse as a Managed Service Provider or reseller, you can view backup information across multiple clients.

It’s worth noting that Backup Explorer currently only supports Azure Virtual Machines but support for other Azure workloads will be added soon.

I wanted to have a look at Backup Explorer this morning so I can show it to our Business Continuity Practitioner so whilst I’m checking it out let me give you a quick overview.

It’s very easy to find. Just access one of your RSVs and under the Overview page you will find a link to Backup Explorer.

Once in the Backup Explorer workbook, there are six tabs.

1. Summary

Obviously, an overview giving a quick view on how items are being backed, any alerts, and most useful, a count of any VMs where backup is not enabled. This is across all subscriptions and RSVs but can be filtered.

2. Backup Items

This provides a list of all backed-up items. You can filter this in a number of different ways but for example, you can filter by Protection State, Resource State, Health Check Status so you can easily identify issues.

3. Jobs

You can view the details of all backup jobs that were triggered over the last seven days and you can filter by Job Operation, Job Status, and Error Code.

4. Alerts

You can view details of all the alerts from the last seven days. Here, you can filter by the type of the alert, the status of the alert and the alert severity.

5. Policies

The Policies tab shows info on the backup policies such as retention range, backup frequency, and how many items are associated with each policy.

6. Backup Not Enabled

And my favourite, this allows one to quickly identify machines that do not have backup enabled yet. Clicking on the unprotected VM takes you through to the Configure Backup blade for that VM.

Let me know your own experiences with it when you get a chance to try it out.

This post is part of my Learning out Loud series. You can read more about Learning out Loud and how it came about here: https://simonangling.com/learning-out-loud/

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