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Program Tips - SQL Server Backup To Windows Azure Tool

In the SQL Server Feature Pack 2014 there is an interesting tool, namely "SQL Server Backup To Windows Azure Tool". Besides the obvious, allowing us to back up SQL databases to the cloud in previous versions (only 2012 SP1CU2 and 2014 have direct support for this built-in) we can also use it to make backups locally on-premise. The tools work for SQL 2005 on Windows 2008 and newer and give us access to both compression and encryption for free.

Backup encryption is only available in SQL 2014 and compression is available in 2008 Enterprise and from 2008 R2 onwards in both Standard and Enterprise. This means that unless we have a third party tool, we can now compress SQL 2005 backups if we have old systems left with large databases.

At ails.aspx?id=40740 we can download both 32 and 64 bit version and after installation you run through a 3 step guide where you set backup rules, e.g. whether only specific folders or all folders should be "monitored" and then whether you want to use encryption and compression, save to Azure or locally. This is then applied when you do BACKUP DATABASE, much like third party tools. This means we don't have to change our maintenance plans/scheduled jobs.

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It is of course a convenient way to also be able to make off-site backups e.g. for disaster recovery solutions if this does not already exist.