Microsoft Accelerates Azure Backups
Optimizations slash the time it takes to upload backup data to Microsoft's cloud and reduce the service's cache storage penalty.In August, Microsoft massively increased the capacity limits on its Azure Backup data protection offering. Now, the Redmond, Wash., software and cloud services provider is going for speed. "Azure Backup now leverages USN journal (Update Sequence Number Journal) technology in Windows to track files that have changed between consecutive backups," announced Giridhar Mosay, a Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise program manager, in a company blog post. "USN keeps track of changes to files and directories on the volume that helps in identifying changed files quickly, enabling faster backups." Now, backing up Windows PC, Server, SharePoint, Exchange and SQL can take half the time, said Mosay. "We've seen up to a 50 percent reduction of backup times in volumes with two million files utilizing this optimization." Azure Backup now features more efficient metadata handling, reducing the size of the cache required for the service to run. "Previously, Azure Backup required cache space of 15 percent of volume size being backed up to Azure," a requirement that was generally acceptable for smaller volumes but "became prohibitive with volumes greater than 10TB," said Mosay.
"We introduced a new algorithm to compute this metadata that utilizes far less disk space," he revealed. "In our internal tests with large volumes, we are now seeing less than 5 percent cache space requirement which is a 3X improvement. To that effect, we are updating our requirement for cache space accordingly to be less than 5 percent of the size of data being backed up."