Image credit: azure.microsoft.com

With Azure Backup, you can back up data on local servers, virtual machines, virtualized workloads, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and more.
As a paid service, Azure Backup offers the flexibility to select and choose the data you want to protect for as long as you want to protect it. Azure backup is designed to be cost effective whether you are interested in short-term or long-term storage. And if necessary, you can restore virtual machines or individual files and folders in Azure or on site for free.

I recently moved Hyper-V virtual machines from local to Azure, and during the project, I need to protect those virtual machines after the transfer using Azure Backup.

When I enabled Azure Backup, I noticed that the backup job failed with the following error message:

The VM agent is unable to communicate with Azure Backup

With the following error code:

UserErrorGuestAgentStatusUnavailable

Once you have registered and scheduled a virtual machine for the backup service, Azure Backup begins work by communicating with a representative of the virtual machine to take an up-to-date snapshot. Many conditions may prevent the snapshot from starting. When the snapshot is not started, the backup job may fail.

According to Microsoft, there are 5 possible causes for this problem:

Reason 1: The VM does not have an internet connection
Reason 2: Agent is installed on a virtual machine but does not respond (for Windows virtual machines)
Reason 3: Agent Installed on Virtual Machine Expired (for Linux Virtual Machines)
Reason 4: Snapshot status cannot be retrieved or snapshot cannot be taken
Reason 5: Failed to update or download backup plug-in

When I started removing the possible root causes according to the list above, I found that none of them were directly related to the problem.

However, reason number 2 gave me an insight that could be an agent issue. Because the Azure VM Agent is installed by default on any Windows virtual machine that is enabled from the Azure Gallery image. When you install an Azure Gallery image from a portal, PowerShell, command line interface (CLI), or Azure Resource Manager template, the Azure VM Agent is also installed. And because this virtual machine has been migrated from the local environment, the Windows Azure VM agent will not be installed.

The Windows Azure VM Agent can be installed manually using the Windows installation package. Manual installation may be required when creating a custom or moving virtual machine installed on Azure. To install the Windows VM Agent manually, download the latest VM Agent installer from this location Windows Azure VM Agent download (4 MB in size) and then copy it to the virtual machine in Azure.

Note: if you are moving a 32-bit machine (i.e., Windows Server 2008 x86 or Windows Server 2008 R2 x86), there is currently no support for the VM agent, which later prevents the use of any plug-in (and thus Azure Backup).

At the time of this writing, the Windows Azure VM agent is Version 2,741,491,872. The VM Agent can be installed by double-clicking the Windows Installer file. To install an automatic or unattended installation of the VM Agent, open a command prompt Administrator and run the following command:

msiexec.exe /i WindowsAzureVmAgent.2.7.41491.872_180220-1153.fre.msi /quiet

You can verify that the Windows Azure VM agent is successfully installed when you log on to the Windows Azure VM Task management > click Detail Tab and find the name of the process WindowsAzureGuestAgent.exe. The presence of this process indicates that the virtual machine agent is installed.

VM Agent Cannot Communicate with Azure Backup Service #Azure @AzureBackup #CDCGermany #MVPbuzz 3

After installing the Windows Azure VM Agent, I restarted the backup and now the job is done successfully!

VM Agent Cannot Communicate with Azure Backup Service #Azure @AzureBackup #CDCGermany #MVPbuzz 4

Want to learn more about Azure Backup and how to create a hybrid cloud service solution using DPM and Azure backup server?

Then be sure to join me next week at CDC in Hanau, Germany, where I will detail the benefits of using Azure Backup to protect local workloads. I also have a stock surprise, thank you Altar software! I’ll tell you more about how you can WIN during my speech!

There are still a few seats left for the conference, register now # CDCSmax2018.

Speaking at a cloud service center in Germany.

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If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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