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Restore an Azure VM with In-Place restore

By: Netreo
March 28, 2024

Azure Backup now allows In-Place restore of disks in IaaS VMs. With the help of this feature, it is possible to roll back or fix corrupted virtual machines through in-place restore without the needs of spinning up a new VM. Azure customers now have multiple choices to restore their IaaS VMs: create new VMRestore Disks and Replace disks.

Replace existing operation can be only performed if current VM exists. The operation consists of the following steps:

  1. The data is backed up before initiating the replace disks operations. Azure Backup creates a snapshot and stores it in the Staging location provided by the user.
  2. Existing disks connected to the VM are replaced using the selected restore point.
  3. The snapshot is copied to the vault and retained as per the customer specified retention policy.

Replace existing option is currently unsupported for Unmanaged Disks and Encrypted VMs, generalized VMs and for VMs created using custom images.

Replacing existing disks from a restore point

On the Restore Configuration blade, select Replace existing.

Restore configuration blade

a. Restore Type. Replace Disk(s) indicates that the restore point selected will replace the disk(s) in existing VM.

b. Staging Location. Storage accounts are the staging location for managed disks in the same location as the Recovery Services vault. Zone redundant storage accounts are not supported. If there are no storage accounts with the same location as the Recovery Services vault, one has to be created before the restore operation can be started.

Tracking the restore operation

After the restore operation is triggered, the backup service creates a tracking job for the restore. A notification in the Notifications area of the portal is also temporarily displayed.

Restore notifications

All the details for a given job are available in the BackupJobs lists. Go to the BackupJobs list by clicking on the link of the notifications. Go to BackupJobs from the vault dashboard by clicking the Backup Jobs tile, select Azure virtual machine to display the jobs associated with the vault.

The Backup jobs blade opens and displays the list of jobs.

Jobs list

[su_note note_color=”#eeeeee” text_color=”#151212″]Pro Tip: Get deep and immediate insight into the stability of all of your Azure resources.[/su_note]

Post-restore steps

  • For security reasons in cloud-init-based Linux distributions the password is blocked after the restore. Reset the password with VMAccess extension. It is recommended to use SSH keys on such distributions to avoid resetting the password after the restore.
  • Extensions present during the backup configurations will be disabled by default. If there is an issue it is recommended to reinstall the extensions.
  • If the backed-up VM has static IP post restore, the restored VM has a dynamic IP to avoid conflict when a restored VM is created. Learn more how to add a static IP to a restored VM.
  • A restored VM doesn’t have an availability value set. Use the restore disks option to add an availability set when you create a VM from PowerShell or templates by using restored disks.

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