Create a Recovery Services Vault

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As the move to the cloud continues at a record pace, understanding how to properly backup and recover Azure virtual machines is becoming a key skill, one that every IT professional should possess.

In this course, you will learn how to plan and deploy Azure Backup and how to manage backups on a day-to-day basis. You will learn how to create the Recovery Services Vault that stores backed-up data, how to create backup policies, and how to perform backup operations. You’ll also learn how to perform VM restores.

The topics covered in this Azure course map very closely to the learning objectives covered in the Microsoft Azure certification exams. By mastering the topics covered in this course, you will not only learn the skills necessary for day-to-day Azure Backup management, but also learn the skills necessary to become Azure certified.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to configure and review backup reports
  • Understand how to perform backup operations
  • Create a Recovery Services Vault
  • Be able to create and configure backup policies
  • Know how to assign backup policies
  • Execute and perform restore operations

Intended Audience

  • IT Professionals interested in becoming Azure cloud architects
  • IT Professionals preparing for Microsoft’s Azure certification exams


  • General knowledge of IT infrastructure
  • General knowledge of the Azure environment


To create a Recovery Services Vault, sign in to the Azure portal and from the Hub menu click All Services. In the filter dialogue, type Recovery Services. When you see Recovery Services Vaults in the list, click it. If there are any preexisting Recovery Services Vaults already deployed in the subscription, those vaults are listed. From the Recovery Services Vaults menu, click Add. The Recovery Services Vault then opens and you are prompted for a name, subscription, resource group, and location. Provide a friendly name to identify the vault. 

The vault name must be unique within the Azure subscription and must contain between two and 50 characters. The vault name must start with a letter and can only contain letters, numbers, and hyphens. For this lab, we'll call it My Backup Vault. In the Subscription section, choose an Azure subscription from the dropdown. In the Resource Group section, you can either deploy the vault to a new resource group or you can use an existing resource group. 

For this exercise, we'll create a resource group called Backup Lab and use that one throughout the rest of the demonstrations. Choose a location from the location dropdown to select the geographic region for the vault. This selection specifies a geographic region where the backup data will be sent. For this lab, we're going to put everything in East US. One important note. If you plan to back up virtual machines that reside in multiple regions, you should create a Recovery Services Vault in each region. Create the vault in the first region before going to the next region. For this demonstration, we will only be backing up a VM in one region. After supplying the necessary information for the new vault, click Create at the bottom of the Recovery Services Vault menu. 

As is the case with many other resources in Azure, it can take a few minutes for the Recovery Services Vault to be created. Monitor the status notifications in the upper right-hand area of the portal to view the status of the deployment. Once the vault is created, it will appear in the list of Recovery Services Vaults. You will sometimes need to click Refresh to see it show up. After creating the vault, the storage replication for the vault needs to be configured. 

You can choose between geo-redundant storage and locally redundant storage when configuring a vault. By default, vaults are deployed with geo-redundant storage. 

If the Recovery Services Vault is the primary backup for your VMs, you should leave storage replication set to geo-redundant. Although the locally redundant option is cheaper, it's also not as durable. 

To configure the storage replication setting for the vault, simply select the new vault and when the new vault is selected, the vault dashboard opens. From the vault's management menu, scroll down to the Manage section and click Backup Infrastructure. 

This opens the Backup Infrastructure menu. Click on Backup Configuration to open the Backup Configuration menu. From here, you can choose your preferred storage replication option for the vault. As I mentioned earlier, the vault is deployed by default with geo-redundant storage. 

If the Azure Backup solution functions as the primary backup, leave this option at geo-redundant. Otherwise, you can change it to locally redundant to reduce the Azure storage costs associated with backups. After selecting the preferred option, click Save to store the new setting. Since we aren't changing the replication type for our new vault, we don't have anything to save.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.