58122: Acronis Backup Cloud and Acronis Backup 12: Backing Up to Azure Storage

This article describes how to back up to a network share hosted in Microsoft Azure Storage.

Azure Storage cannot be used as backup location for archives, if you plan to perform bare-metal recovery from them. In other words, it should be used as storage for file/folder backups only.

Step 1 - Create a share in Azure Storage

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. On the navigation menu, click Storage accounts or Storage accounts (classic).
  3. Choose your storage account.
  4. Choose Files service.
  5. Click File shares and follow the link to create your first file share.
  6. Fill in the file share name and the size of the file share (up to 5120 GB) to create your first file share. Once the file share has been created, you can mount it from any file system that supports SMB 2.1 or SMB 3.0.

Click here for detailed instructions.

Step 2 - Configure backup plan in Acronis Backup

All instructions must be performed in the exact same order as described below.
  1. On the machine you want to back up, create a symbolic link to the Azure share:
    1. Open Notepad and create a document with this content:
      net use * /delete /yes
      net use \\<account.file.core.windows.net\share> /u:<Azure account> <storage account access key>
      rmdir "C:\backups"
      mklink /d "C:\backups" \\account.file.core.windows.net\share
      where <account.file.core.windows.net\share> is your Azure file share, <Azure account> is your Azure account and <storage account access key> is the access key (password) to this account. “C:\backups” is the path on local drive the share will be linked to (you can keep it as-is).
      You can copy the net use line from your file share settings in Azure portal:
    2. Save the file as a .bat file.
  2. Add this script to computer startup scripts:
    1. Open Local Group Policy Editor: Start -> Search -> gpedit.msc.
    2. Navigate to Local Group Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Scripts (Startup/Shutdown).
    3. Double-click on Startup.
    4. Choose Add:
    5. Click Browse and select the script created in the previous step.
    6. Save changes and reboot the computer. Now your Azure file share will be linked to the folder you have specified in the script (C:\Backups in this example) and thus can be accessed by this path.
  3. Access to the symbolic link is limited to Local System, therefore you need to change Acronis Managed Machine Service user to Local System:
    1. Open Windows Services: Start -> Search -> services.msc.
    2. Locate Acronis Managed Machine Service.
    3. Right-click the service and select to log on as Local System account on the Log On tab:
    4. Restart the service.
  4. Create a backup plan and specify your symlink (C:\Backups in this example) in Where to back up:

Now you can back up to your Microsoft Azure Storage.

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