Based on Microsoft’s Shared Responsibility Model, it’s the user’s responsibility to plan and implement a backup and recovery strategy for their Azure data. There are native services in place that allow you to back up Azure VMs, Azure SQL and Azure Files, and there are many vendors that offer agent-based approaches for both Azure backups and on-premises workloads. However, data protection in the cloud isn't always straightforward, so leveraging limited or legacy backup methods can present some challenges.
First, Azure VM snapshots are not real backups, and therefore cannot be leveraged for long-term data retention and recovery. Aged snapshots are also costly when they’re kept in Azure for longer than a few days. Manual scripting to automate native Azure VM snapshots can also quickly become complex, especially in large environments.
Secondly, an agent-based approach for Azure backup is not the best option either, since agents require resource-intensive deployment, are hard to scale appropriately and take up additional VM space.
Whenever you use a cloud-native backup solution like Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure, an image-based backup is created automatically from native Azure VM snapshots that are based on your chosen backup policy. This allows for greater control and management of your daily data protection operations and policy deployments, as well as improved application-aware processing and quicker recovery for Azure VMs.