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This article describes the new features, improvements, and fixes for Azure Backup that are provided in the October 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.

Official support for System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager

This is the first update of Azure Backup for MARS Agent that officially supports System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager (SC DPM). This update is required for several features of SC DPM, such as Modern Backup Storage, to work seamlessly together with Azure Backup.

New features and improvements

Security features

This update includes the following improvements to security features of Azure Backup. These improvements provide increased resilience and recoverability from adversarial attacks on your important business data.

Retention of deleted backup data

Azure Backup can now be configured to keep for 14 days from the day of deletion any backup data that is deleted because of adversarial attacks. This makes it easier to recover your data after an attack.

Minimum retention range

Minimum retention range checks make sure that more than one recovery point is available to recover from after an attack.

Azure Portal-based authentication

Azure Backup can now be configured to request Azure Portal-based authentication for important operations that affect backup and recovery of your organization’s data.

Security alerts and notifications

You can configure Azure Backup to receive security alerts and notifications when you run important operations that affect your data-protection plan. This enables you to keep a close watch on intrusive operations that are made by unauthorized personnel.

Note To access these features, make sure that your computer or server is registered to an Azure Recovery Services Vault.

Online and automatic backup speed improvements

We have made significant improvements in the overall efficiency and performance of the encryption and compression layers of Azure Backup. This reduces the overall duration of MARS Agent backups. After you install this update, you should see marked improvements in Backup speeds compared to earlier versions.

Issues that are fixed

  • Files that are excluded from backups appear together with warning messages on the list of files that were backed up.

  • Integrity check failures occur during the preparatory stages of backups and cause slow incremental backups in certain scenarios.

  • Errors occur during the setup and cleanup of Offline Backup jobs.

  • Localization errors occur for multiple regions.

  • Recovery failures occur in certain scenarios.

  • Intermittent backup failures occur.

  • Other stability and reliability issues for both Backup and Recovery.

Update information

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

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

Download Download the Azure Recovery Services agent update package now.
Note The latest version of the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services agent is 2.0.9052.0.

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the 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.

Restart information

If you use Windows Server 2008 (SP2 and R2 SP1, any SKU), you must restart your computer after you apply this update. Users who have installed MARS Agent on other Windows Server versions do not have to restart the computer after they apply this update.

Replacement information

This update replaces the previously released update, 3177441.


If you use System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager (SC DPM), we recommend that you apply Update Rollup 1 for SC 2016 DPM or a later version.

If you use System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager (SC DPM), apply Update Rollup 11 for SC 2012 R2 DPM or a later version.


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

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