Azure Backup Agent

Microsoft Azure Backup Agent

In this Azure tutorial, we will discuss  Azure Backup Agent.

Azure Backup Agent

Well, let’s discuss Microsoft Azure Backup Agent. Azure Backup agent is also known as Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent. First, just to confirm, the Azure Backup agent and Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent are the same.

MARS Agent

When you choose Azure Backup to back up your files and folders from On-premises machines and Azure VMs, it uses the MARS agent to do this. Then, it stores the backups in a Recovery Services vault in Azure.

The MARS agent can directly run on the Windows machines that help back up directly to the Recovery Services vault in Azure.

It can also directly run on the Windows virtual machines that help to back up to the Recovery Services vault in Azure directly.

The Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent supports different backup scenarios like below.

  • Files and Folders: The Microsoft Azure Backup Agent can protect the files and folders of your Windows Machine.
  • Volume Level: The MARS agent can protect the Windows volume of your machine.
  • System Level: It can also protect the whole System state of your Windows machine.

In the same way, the Microsoft Azure Backup Agent supports different restore scenarios for the same server and alternate server, as shown below.

  • Files and Folders
  • Volume Level
  • System Level

The backup process for MARS Agent

Let’s discuss the overall backup process for the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent.

  1. The first process is to Create a Recovery Services vault using Azure Portal and then choose the files, and folder you decided for the backup.
  2. Then, the next step is to download the MARS agent installer and Recovery services vault credentials in the On-premises machine
  3. Now install the MARS agent and register the machine with the Recovery Services vault with the vault credentials that you have downloaded at the above step.
  4. Now, finally, configure the backup with all the details like what to backup, the time of backup, etc., from the MARS agent console.

The Microsoft Azure Backup Agent can run for different types of backup like the Initial Backup, Incremental backups, Backup job in optimized mode, etc.

This is the overall backup process for the MARS Agent.

Supported operating systems for MARS Agent

Let’s discuss the list of operating systems that are supported by the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent. The first thing is the operating systems must be 64-bit and should be updated with the latest service packs and updates

Below are the details on the Operating systems supported

OS NameFiles/foldersSystem state
Windows 10YesNo
Windows 8.1YesNo
Windows 8YesNo
Windows Server 2016YesYes
Windows Server 2012 R2YesYes
Windows Storage Server 2016/2012 R2/2012YesNo
Windows Server 2019YesYes

These are the supported operating system details. For more information on this, you can visit Microsoft’s official site.

Backup Size limits

There is some limit on the size of a file or folder data source that you can take a backup from a single volume.

Below are the different size limits based on the operating system

OS NameSize limit
Windows Server 201254,400 GB
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and SP2 and Windows 71,700 GB
Windows 8 or later54,400 GB

The Supported file types for backup

Not all the file types are supported for the backup using the MARS Agent. The file types supported for the backup are Encrypted, Compressed, Sparse, etc.

The file types that are not supported are Hard links, sparse points, Encrypted and sparse, Compressed stream, etc. During the backup process, if it finds these types of files, it will skip them.

The drives or volumes not supported for the backup are Read-only drives, Offline drives, Network share drives, Removable media, etc.

These are the file types and drive types that are supported and not supported for the backup with the MARS Agent.

Now, moving to the next section, Before you start the actual backup process, you need to make sure a few of the important things

  • Ensure you have an Azure account that you need for the backup. If you don’t have an Azure account, create a free Azure Account.
  • Make sure that internet access is there for that machine that you want to take backup.
  • The user who has performed the installation and configuration of the MARS agent must have local administrator privilege for that server.

Check out How to Backup files and Folders using MARS Agent

MARS Agent Version History

The below table will give you an idea of a few key versions of the MARS agent.

VersionsRelease year
2.0.9118.0April 2018
2.0.9109.0February 2018
2.0.9099.0November 2017
2.0.9085.0September 2017
2.0.9083.0August 2017
2.0.9077.0May 2017
2.0.9070.0March 2017
2.0.9062.0January 2017
2.0.9052.0October 2016
2.0.9040.0August 2016
2.0.9037.0May 2016
2.0.9032.0March 2016
2.0.9022.0December 2015
2.0.8719.0August 2015
2.0.8703.0February 2015

You may like following the below Azure tutorials:


Well, In this Azure tutorial, we discussed Azure Backup Agent, the MARS agent, I hope you enjoyed this Article !!!!