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This article describes new features, improvements, and fixes that apply to Azure Backup in the August 2016 update for Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) Agent. The MARS Agent is used by both Microsoft Azure Backup and Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to transfer data to Azure.

Features and improvements

The following features and improvements are included in this update of Azure Backup.

Offline backup and Initial Seeding

This update includes significant improvements to make the process of Initial Seeding of data to Azure through Azure Import service more efficient and reliable.

Input consolidation

User inputs that are specified during offline backup job configuration (for example, Import Job Name, Storage Account Name, and so on) are combined by the MARS Agent and used automatically when it is required by the underlying Azure Import service. This keeps users from having to specify similar inputs manually at different stages of the offline seeding process.

New Disk Preparation tool

The Azure Disk Preparation tool that is introduced in this update significantly reduces the number of inputs that are required from users when backup data is created, and it creates import jobs automatically on the Azure Management Portal. This tool also provides the flexibility for users to update the shipping information for their disks directly on the import job that is created by the tool on the Azure Management Portal.

Online and automatic backup performance

This update of Azure Backup improves the over-the-wire speeds of initial backups (also known as Initial Replication) that are triggered by the MARS Agent. The update makes this improvement by optimizing the available network bandwidth usage. This, in turn, enables faster initial backups. 

Issues that are fixed in this update

  • An issue that occurs in Offline backups, as described in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 3162327

  • Issues that cause non-optimized backups in certain scenarios

  • An issue in Windows Server 2008 SP2 installations in which Virtual Disk Service (VDS) fails during backup

  • Performance issues limit the overall speed of a backup

  • Other stability and reliability fixes that apply to both the Backup and Recovery processes

How to get this update

To apply this update, install the latest version of the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services agent.

Microsoft Download Center

The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

DownloadDownload the Azure Recovery Services agent update package now.

Note The latest version of the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services agent is 2.0.9040.0.

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

Update detail information


If you use System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager (DPM), apply Update Rollup 10 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager or a later version after you install this update for the Azure Backup agent.

Restart information

You don't have to restart the computer after you apply this update.

Replacement information

This update replaces the previously released update 3162327.


Learn about the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.

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