Windows Azure Web Site Backup / Restore Feature

Today, I had the chance to test drive one of the new Windows Azure features that is announced by Scott Guthrie on 20th Feb 2014 – Web Site Backup Restore.

The target I have chose is this blog that you are currently reading. I have this WordPress v3.8.1 updates pending on my dashboard for a longest while and I dare not make any upgrade as I am worried it will messed up the stuffs such as the Widgets that I am currently using and comfortable with. Therefore, with this new feature released, it boosted my confidence and prepare me for my this and future upgrades.

There are lots of advantage of having this feature that is built directly into Windows Azure which makes things so much easier! Let’s dive into my usage process…

  • Let’s login to the Windows Azure portal and see what’s newly added… As shown, you will see “BACKUPS” tab and it is still in the PREVIEW stage. As usual, the way how things works may change when it goes to General Availability (GA).


  • So one of the requirement to make use of the Web Site Backup Restore feature is that the Web Site needs to be on Standard mode. So while mine is on Shared, I will have to make the change to take advantage of this feature.



  • This part is rather weird, Windows Azure may have made a mistake. I was previously configured to use Shared mode and it detected that I am on Free mode instead. So why am I paying all these while? Sad smile



  • After doing the switching, let the game begins. So there is an option for you to create Automated Backup just like any hosting company that you have on that backup your files in case you have overridden any of the files to make the whole web site invalid. I am not going to toggle between this option since this will be an one-off each time I wants to do a major upgrade for my site. It will serves as a good feature to make sure all files are backed up before making changes in the production environment.


  • Next, just head all the way below and you will see two button of which one is “RESTORE NOW” and the other is “BACKUP NOW”. Very clear-cut explanation of what it does.


  • Oops! It prompted me with an error because I did not select any container to store the backup job. So it is linked to the Windows Azure Storage Account.


  • After making the selection, I clicked on “BACKUP NOW” again and there it goes… A beautiful message will appear at the top to tell you the backup job has started…



  • It took just a little while to do the Backup of the Web Site probably because the size that my blog is using isn’t huge.


  • So in Scott Guthrie article, it says that it will backup all the associated resources such as databases. However, since my MySQL that is used along with my WordPress is hosted with ClearDB so it is not linked with Windows Azure.


  • When we are done with Back Up, we will need to see the Restore feature in terms of contingency. This is the simple feature that I feel that have been designed so well. It comes with two option:

1) Current Web Site

2) New Web Site

As you can see, it even suggest to you with a prefix “restore” to just another Windows Azure Web Site that is automatically loaded with the Free mode.



I feel that this feature is good is because, many of the developers out there that in order to save time on development, they usually upload to the Production environment directly. Therefore, this gives us, the developers to backup and restore the site onto Windows Azure to create the Staging or Development environment.

Milton Goh

Windows Azure Web Site Backup / Restore Feature

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