SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 and SQL Server 2014 have built in capability to back up to Microsoft Azure storage, but what if you want to take advantage of offsite (Cloud) backup for earlier versions of SQL Server?

The SQL Server Backup to Microsoft Azure tool provides the same functionality provided with SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 and SQL Server 2014, but works for SQL Server 2005 and 2008 versions.

To set it up:

  1. Address the prerequisites:
    1. Microsoft Azure subscription and a Microsoft Azure Storage Account. 
    2. A Microsoft Azure Blob Storage Container.
  2. Download and install the tool: Microsoft SQL Server Backup to Microsoft Azure Tool. The tool must be installed on a machine that contains the SQL Server instance you want to work with.
  3. Locate and run the installed app.

  1. Once the app executes, Add a new backup Rule.

  1. Choose the local paths to backup and set the filename filter.

  1. Configure your Microsoft Azure storage settings. Give it the account name, access key, and destination container.

  1. Configure encryption and compression.

That's it.

Remember, this tool only configures settings for your selected backup files to be encrypted, compressed and uploaded to Microsoft Azure storage.  It does not provide scheduling for automated backups to your Microsoft Azure storage container, nor does it provide error tracking or logging. For those tasks you'll still need to use SQL Server Management Studio.

The same tool can be used at any time to review and edit settings.