Unlike virtual export for other platforms, virtual export for Azure is divided between two processes: exporting, and deploying.
Be advised that Microsoft Azure customers are responsible for their own fees. Some aspects of our integration with Azure are designed with this fee structure in mind. For example, Microsoft charges fees when you deploy a VM on Azure, and when data is transmitted from Azure to another source.
NOTE: Since Microsoft can change prerequisites, requirements, costs, and so on, always verify such information with Azure. For more information, see the Azure website or contact an Azure representative.
To avoid incurring unnecessary charges, virtual export to Azure consists of two separate processes.
The process of exporting extracts the necessary set of files from Rapid Recovery, validates them, and uploads them to the specified container in Azure. These files include:
- One virtual hard disk (VHD) file for each volume in the recovery point.
- One XML file, which contains metadata information about each disk (a list of files present on each disk and a flag indicating if a volume is a system disk).
- One VHD file containing the backup snapshot.
Other than costs for the required storage, exporting by itself does not incur any Azure fees.
The deployment process combines these files into a bootable virtual machine. Deployment directly uses Azure cloud REST APIs. The original set of files placed on Azure during the export process is read-only in Azure, and consumes space but does not otherwise incur Azure charges. When you deploy these files, a duplicate copy of them is created, stored in a separate container you define, and combined into a working virtual machine. From an Azure account perspective, after you deploy, you are then charged fees for the VM on its servers. Since the deployed VM is a copy of the exported files, the deployment process also doubles the amount of storage space used in Azure for that virtual export.
For a one-time virtual export, there is no mechanism for deploying as a separate process. Thus, for the export to be useful, you should deploy to Azure when you create the virtual machine on demand. As a result, one-time exports to Azure have an immediate cost associated with the VM you deploy.
When establishing virtual standby for a protected machine on Azure, to avoid use of extra storage space and VM charges, you can simply define the export process. The result is an initial virtual export to Azure which is continually updated. Each time a snapshot is captured on the Core, the exported files are refreshed in your Azure account with updated information. Before the virtual export can be used as a bootable VM, you must deploy it, which triggers VM costs on Azure. If you do not need to convert the exported files for a protected machine to a bootable VM, no VM costs are incurred in your Azure account.
For information about performing a one-time export to Azure, including deployment, see the topic Performing a one-time Azure export.
For information about setting up continual export to Azure, excluding deployment, see the topic Setting up continual export to Azure.
For information about deploying the most recent exported files to create a bootable virtual standby VM in Azure, see the topic Deploying a virtual machine in Azure.