Restore Image to Azure VM

This article explains how to:

Preparing Azure Environment for Virtual Machine Restore

Managed Backup offers restoration features for image-based and virtual machine backups to Microsoft Azure virtual environment.

To do that, your Azure environment must be configured properly. If the following entities: Resource Group, a Storage account, an Azure Virtual Network, a Storage Container, and a Network Security Group are not configured in your profile, follow the steps below before starting restore jobs to Microsoft Azure VM.

Create a Resource Group

Resource groups enable you to manage all your resources in an application together.

  1. Open the Azure Portal. Click Create a resource".

  1. Find the required Resource Group and select it in the results.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Specify the Resource group name. Select subscription and Resource group location.

For a faster upload and download connection, you should select the closest location. You can check the latency location on http://azurespeedtest.azurewebsites.net/.

Create a Storage Account and Container to Store Restored VM Disks

Azure Storage is a service that you can use to store unstructured and partially structured data. IT professionals who deploy Azure virtual machines rely on Azure Storage for storing virtual machine operating system and data disks.

Blobs typically represent unstructured files such as media content, virtual machine disks, backups, or logs. There are three types of blobs.

  • block blob is optimized for sequential access, which is ideal for media content
  • page blob offers superior random access capabilities, which is only suited for virtual machine disks
  • append blob applies to data append operations, without the need to modify existing content. This works best with logging and auditing activities.

Recommended storage configuration:

VM HDD container:

  • Deployment model: Resource manager
  • Account Kind: StorageV1 or StorageV2
  • Replication: LRS, GRS, RA-GRS
  • Performance: Standard or Premium
  • Access tear: Hot

Boot diagnostic storage (if required):

  • Deployment model: Resource manager
  • Account Kind: StorageV1 or StorageV2
  • Replication: LRS, GRS, ZRS, RA-GRS
  • Performance: Standard
  • Access tear: Hot

Create New Storage Account

To create a new Storage Account, proceed as follows:

  1. Open your Resource Group.

  1. Click +Add.
  2. Find Storage Account, then click the Create button.
  3. Specify options according to your requirements and recommended storage configuration. Click Create.

  1. Next, you need to create a container to store your VM in blobs. A container organizes a set of blobs, similar to a folder in a file system. All blobs reside within this container. A storage account can contain an unlimited number of containers, and a container can store an unlimited number of blobs.

Note that the name of the container must be in lowercase

  1. Open your Resource GroupYour Storage accountBlob Service.
  2. To add a new container, click +Container.
  3. Specify the container name and click OK.

Create Virtual Network with Correct Subnet

If you use Static IP addresses in your backed-up Virtual Machine, you should use a similar or the same subnet in the Azure Virtual Network. In this case, you will able to connect to your restored VM through the Internet.

Please note that Azure reserves the first three IP addresses in a subnet for internal usage.

  1. Open the required Resource Group.
  2. Click the +Add button.
  3. Find Virtual Network, then click Create.

  1. Specify the virtual network name, select region, then click Next: IP addresses.
  2. Specify IP addresses for the new virtual network. Add subnet if needed.
  3. Once you are done with ID address and subnet settings, click Next: Security.
  4. Specify security options. To learn about security settings, use the tooltips beside the settings.

  1. Once you are done, click Review&Create.

Create a Network Security Group

For security reasons, it is strongly recommended to create a Network Security Group and associate it with a Subnet. You can allow incoming connections for TCP ports like 22 or 3389 in the Inbound security rules tab

  1. Open the required Resource Group.
  2. Click +Add.
  3. Find Network Security Group, select it then Create.

  1. Specify the required Network Security Group settings, then click Create.
  2. Open the created Network Security Group, then navigate to Inbound Security Rules which is part of the Settings group.
  3. To add a new security rule, click +Add.
  4. Click Basic.
  5. In the Port ranges, specify 443 and name, for example as https.
  6. Click Add to add a new security rule.

Add as many inbound security rules as you need to allow access to services hosted on the VM.

Note that the following outgoing connections (IP addresses and ports) associated with the mspbackups.com portal must be allowed: 3.216.171.162:443
3.216.236.203:443
52.5.40.159:443
52.6.7.137:443
52.20.40.101:443

Make sure you allow access to all required ports

Associate Network Security Group With a Subnet

Once all required rules are added, associate the Network Security Group with the previously created subnet.

  1. Click Subnets in the Settings group.
  2. Click Associate. Select the required virtual network and the required subnet, then click OK.

Enable Serial Console

For testing or troubleshooting purposes, it is recommended to enable Serial Console in your Linux or Windows Machine. Then you will be able to configure and troubleshoot your Azure VM in the Azure Portal command line.

To learn more, follow the links below:

For troubleshooting refer to the following knowledge base article

Restore Using Management Console

Management Console offers a full cloud restore functionality that enables to restore of image-based backups to Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2.

If you need a hot PC replacement based on an image-based backup in Azure storage, MBS Management Console can do that for you in just a few simple steps. Consider, the procedure varies depending on the target service (EC2 or Azure) and the type of data source (image-based backup or snapshot). This section, however, only demonstrates how to restore image-based backups to Microsoft Azure and also explains the related technical details.

Restoring Image-based Backups to Microsoft Azure VM

First, make sure you have a sufficient storage destination (Microsoft Azure VM) available. In case it is not, create a new storage account. To learn more about creating a storage account, refer to the corresponding paragraph of the Create and Manage Storage Accounts chapter.

  1. Open the Management Console.
  2. In the RMM menu, select Restore to Cloud.
  3. Click MS Azure Restore.

Here you can choose to restore your image-based backup to either Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure. Click Add Azure Restore.

Restore Wizard starts. Restore Wizard includes all steps you need to take in order to perform a restore.

On the first step specify data source parameters for the restore plan:

  1. Plan Name. The plan name that will appear on the Management Console and in Backup Agent instance during plan execution.
  2. User. Select the user whose storage account contains the data.
  3. Destination. Select the storage account that contains the data.
  4. Computer. Select the computer whose data is to be restored.
  5. Point in Time. Select the image-based backup version that is to be restored. Click Next.

In fact, you can even select an image-based backup that is not stored in Azure — it makes no difference whatsoever.

In the second step, you need to specify storage disk partitions that you want to be included during restore. When done, click Next.

In the third step you need to specify the target instance parameters:

  1. Azure Account. The account under which a new Azure VM instance will be stored.
  2. Computer Name.
  3. Location. The region that is to store the newly created Azure instance.
  4. Resource Group. Azure Resource Group.
  5. VM Size. Select the required VM size that meets your requirements in terms of cores and RAM.
  6. Network.
  7. Subnet. Select one of the available subnets.
  8. Storage. Select your Azure storage.
  9. Container. The Azure container is to store the Azure VM.
  10. Boot Diagnostic Storage. Select the storage where you'd like to place diagnostic files. You can leave this option disabled.

In order to perform restore properly, MBS needs to utilize a temporary Azure instance. And on the next step, you need to configure the parameters of said instance. MBS automatically copies the values from the previous step; if you modify these values, ensure that the resulting virtual machine has sufficient capacity and permissions.

In the next step, you can specify additional options like decryption password.

The last step is a preview. Review all of the information you've specified in the last four or five steps, ensure that it's accurate and click Save and Run to start restore job.

If you click Save, the plan will be saved on the Restore To Cloud New tab wherefrom you'll be able to manually start it.

During plan execution, you can observe the progress on the Management Console.

Since the image-based backup you've provided as the data source contained MBS for Windows, the newly created instance will naturally contain MBS for Windows too. That means you can access and manage the instance from the Remote Management tab the way you usually manage your regular computers. That should prove to be extremely useful if, for example, you have a computer that suddenly broke down and you need to quickly replace it with a cloud VM.

Restore Using Backup Agent

Aside from the Management Console, you can also restore image-based backups as Azure VM instances using Backup Agent.

Note that you must have the Restore to Azure VM feature enabled in Management Console. This feature is enabled by request. To send a request, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Management Console.
  2. In the Settings menu, select Global Agent Options.
  3. Find the Restore to EC2 / Azure VM option group, then click Send Request.

Restoring an Image-Based Backup to Azure VM

  1. Add your Azure VM credentials on the Management Console if you haven't already done that. To add new storage, click Add Account.

Choose Microsoft Azure VM storage account type:

  1. Click Sign in, then select your Azure account.

  1. Fill in the required credentials.

Note: A business account is required to perform the restore. If you attemp to sign in using a personal account, you will likely get the following error:

Although, there is a workaround for this problem. Simply go to the Azure web portal, and create a user with the required permissions. Then use this user's credentials to log in.

Assign Azure VM Account to MBS user

Finally, you have to assign the just set up Azure VM account to the required MBS user. This procedure is not performed automatically, as you might want to give different users access to different cloud storages.

  1. In the Users menu, select Users.

  1. Find the required user, then click Edit.
  2. Click Add Backup Destination.

  1. Select Azure VM, then click Save.
  2. Azure appears in the available backup destinations list.

Configure Backup Agent

  1. Run Backup Agent.
  2. In the Backup Agent menu, click online backup Account.
  3. Then click OK.

  1. Click Restore to Azure VM.

  1. Once the Restore Wizard is launched, on Select Backup Storage step, select Azure VM.
  2. Follow the Restore Wizard steps.
  3. On the Azure Data Type step, select the Restore as Azure Virtual Machine option.

  1. On the Specify Azure Virtual Machine Instance details step, select the appropriate options, then click Next.
  2. On Specify Temporary Instance step, select the Use temporary instance option.

  1. Finish the Restore Wizard, then run the restore plan.