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Azure Backup

Azure Backup Pricing: The True Cost of Azure Backup

Microsoft provides the Azure Backup service, which backs up data to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Azure backup supports Azure virtual machines (VMs) and on-premises machines and workloads. It's worth getting to know Azure backup pricing as it can play an important role in Azure cost management.

In this article, we’ll provide insight into the Azure backup pricing model, and show you the factors that will determine the total cost of your backups on Azure. We’ll discuss how to calculate your Azure backup price per month, including calculating the fixed price and the storage price. We’ll also show how NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP can help you save on cloud costs when backing up large data volumes with Azure.

In this article, you will learn:

What Is Azure Backup?

Microsoft offers the Azure Backup service, which backs up data to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Azure backup supports on-premises machines and workloads, as well as Azure virtual machines (VMs).

Azure Backup is based on the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent. The agent sends data to an Azure Backup Service Vault, which in turn connects to an Azure storage account. You configure a backup schedule, and backups start to flow from your machines to the designated Azure storage volume. 

A closely-related service is Azure Site Recovery. While Azure backup lets you create copies of your data and VMs, the Azure Site Recovery service provides a full disaster recovery solution, replicating VMs from a primary to a secondary location, then enabling failover to the secondary location when disaster strikes.

What Can You Back Up with Azure?

Azure can backup data directly from an on-premise Windows machine or Windows-based Azure VM. However, if you deploy the Data Protection Manager (DPM) or MARS backup server, you can back up any files or data volumes to Azure from any machine, either on-premise or in the cloud. 

Azure Backup

Source: Microsoft


What You Can Backup

On-premises Windows VMs
(Linux not supported)

Files, folders, system state.

Any on-premises machines

Anything protected by a MABS/DPM backup server, including files, folders, shares, volumes, and app-specific data.

Windows-Based Azure VMs

(Linux machines not supported)

Entire VM, files, folders, system state

Any Azure VM

Anything protected by a MABS/DPM backup server, including files, folders, shares, volumes, and app-specific data.


The Azure Backup Pricing Model

What will determine the overall cost of your backups on Azure?

  • Azure Backup fixed pricing - the Azure Backup service has a fixed cost regardless of the amount of data consumed.
  • Bandwidth - the more bandwidth is consumed in data transfer during backups, the higher your cost. Once Azure moves over the initial copy of your data, it only synchronizes subsequent changes, saving bandwidth.
  • Storage space - the amount of storage space depends on how often you back up to Azure, and how many historical copies you need for retention purposes. Microsoft charges for storage space separately, in addition to fixed Azure Backup pricing.

Azure Backup pricing is calculated using two parameters:

  • Number of protected instances - there is a fixed price for each on-premise machine or Azure VM you are backing up
  • Storage - priced per GB/month, with two storage levels, Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) or Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS). The latter enables storing your data in two Azure data centers, with automatic failover to the secondary data center.

You can take advantage of Azure storage tiers to optimize your backup service while minimizing costs.

Calculating Your Azure Backup Cost

NOTE: Please refer to the official pricing page for up-to-date pricing details. Pricing and terms may be updated from time to time. You may also want to take advantage of this Azure cost calculator.

Calculating the fixed price

Let’s start with the fixed price for “protected instances” or machines you need to back up. There are three price categories, depending on the amount of data backed up on the instance:

  • Instance under 50GB - $5 per month
  • Instance between 51-500GB - $10 per month
  • Instance over 500GB - $10 per month for each 500GB increment

Calculating the storage price

Now we need to calculate the storage cost for all the data backed up from all the instances. The price depends on the type of storage:

  • Locally-Redundant Storage (LRS) - $0.0224 per GB-month
  • Geo-Redundant Storage (GRS) - $0.0448 per GB-month


The following table shows a few typical examples and the monthly cost of backup on Azure.

# Machines (On-Premise + Azure VMs)

Storage Per Machine

Total Monthly Fixed Cost

Total Monthly Storage Cost: Geo-Redundant










(2 X 500GB increment)



Reduce Azure Backup Costs with Cloud Backup

NetApp understands ONTAP better than anyone else, which is why the best backup solution for ONTAP systems is NetApp Cloud Backup. Designed by NetApp specifically for ONTAP, Cloud Backup automatically creates block-level incremental forever backups. These copies are stored in object format and preserve all ONTAP’s storage efficiencies. Your backups are 100X faster to create, easy to restore, and much more reliable than with any other solution.

Cloud Backup simplifies the entire backup process. It’s intuitive, quick to deploy, and managed from the same console as the rest of the NetApp cloud ecosystem. Whether you’re looking for a less expensive way to store your backups, a faster, more capable technology than NDMP, or an easy way to enable a 3-2-1 strategy, Cloud Backup offers the best backup solution for ONTAP.New call-to-action

Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager