Azure Backup Pricing

Understand what you’re paying for and why.

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Regarding the pricing of backups in Azure, it’s important to note that Microsoft offers a tool to estimate costs. This basic calculator provides a starting point for understanding the base costs associated with backing up various types of data and services, including Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), on-premises servers, SQL servers on VMs and Azure Files, among others. Our focus will primarily be on Azure VMs, driven by the pivotal role that VMs play in cloud infrastructure and the unique considerations they entail for backup strategies.

Pricing Structure

  • Azure Backup pricing is contingent upon the size of the virtual machine (VM) and the amount of data stored.
  • Charges begin at $10 for the first 500 GB and $10 for each additional 500 GB.
  • The initial fee is based on the provisioned size of the disk, not the actual data stored on it. If a 1 TB disk is provisioned but only contains 10 GB of data, the charge is for the entire 1 TB.

Size of Each Instance

Azure Backup Price Per Month

Instance < or = 50 GB $5 + storage consumed
Instance is > 50 GB but < or = 500 GB $10 + storage consumed
Instance is > 500 GB $10 for each 500 GB increment + storage consumed

Example: If you have 1.2 TB of data in one instance, then the cost would be $30 plus storage consumed. You would be charged $10 for each of the two 500 GB increments and $10 for the remaining 200 GB data.

Data Storage and Churn Rate

  • Backup costs also depend on the churn rate, which reflects the amount of data that changes and needs to be backed up again.
  • Microsoft uses delta backups, meaning only changes since the last backups are stored, which helps reduce costs.
  • The churn rate varies significantly by application; for instance, SQL servers have high churn rates, while static web servers have low churn rates.

Standard Tier

Archive Tier

LRS $0.0224 per GB $0.0027 per GB
ZRS $0.028 per GB N/A
GRS $0.0448 per GB $0.0054 per GB
RA-GRS $0.0569 per GB $0.0054 per GB

Redundancy Options

  • Different redundancy options affect pricing:
    • Locally redundant storage (LRS) keeps data within a single region.
    • Geo-redundant storage (GRS) replicates data across regions, increasing costs.
    • Geo-redundant storage with read access (RA-GRS) allows read access from the replicated region, further impacting pricing.
  • Customers need to consider their existing Azure configurations to avoid unnecessary costs, such as preventing double-paying for geo-redundancy if it’s already configured for their data.

Long-Term Retention and Compliance

  • While baseline backups are included for some Azure services (e.g., databases), long-term retention requires additional setup and costs.
  • Understanding the organization’s compliance and data management needs is crucial to managing long-term retention costs effectively. For example, an organization may need to retain only its financial data for seven years instead of keeping all data for that extended duration.

Leveraging Reserved Capacity for Cost Savings

  • For organizations with stable and predictable backup needs, Reserved Capacity for backup storage can lead to significant savings. By committing to a certain amount of storage capacity for a one- or three-year term, customers can benefit from lower prices than the standard pay-as-you-go rates.
  • Strategic planning is essential, as accurate forecasting of backup storage requirements maximizes cost benefits. This option is advantageous for more extensive or long-term backup needs, such as compliance or regulatory purposes.
  • Reserved Capacity may be paid upfront or monthly and can reduce overall backup costs by up to 50%, making it a critical consideration for cost-effective Azure Backup strategies.
1-Year Reserved 3-Year Reserved
Standard Tier Standard Tier

100 TB / month

1 PB / month

100 TB / month

1 PB / month

LRS $24,222 $236,760 $66,060 $642,634
GRS $48,444 $473,520 $132,121 $1,285,269
RA-GRS $61,528 $601,413 $167,805 $1,632,406

Archive Tier for Long-Term Storage

  • Azure Backup’s Archive tier offers a cost-effective solution for long-term data retention needs, particularly for infrequently accessed data that must be retained for compliance or regulatory purposes.
  • The Archive tier supports Azure VMs, SQL Server on VMs and SAP HANA on Azure VMs, allowing for automated movement of eligible recovery points to reduce storage costs significantly.
  • Implementing Smart Tiering within backup policies automates the archival process, ensuring data is moved to the Archive tier based on predefined criteria as well as optimizing cost and compliance requirements.



Azure Virtual Machines Only monthly and yearly recovery points. Daily and weekly recovery points aren’t supported.
Age > = 3 months in Vault-standard tier
Retention left > = 6 months
No active daily and weekly dependencies.
SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines Only full recovery points. Logs and differentials aren’t supported.
SAP HANA in Azure Virtual Machines Age > = 45 days in Vault-standard tier.
Retention left > = 6 months
No dependencies.

A recovery point becomes archivable only if all the above conditions are met.

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