Automating Azure backups for VMs across multiple subscriptions, especially considering various VM types like those from the marketplace, migrated VMs, and custom images, requires a thoughtful approach. While Azure Policy-based backups may have limitations, you can achieve your goal using a combination of Azure Automation, Azure Policy, and possibly Azure Logic Apps. Here's a step-by-step guide:
Azure Automation Account:
- Create an Azure Automation account in a central management subscription. This will be your centralized automation hub.
- Create Azure Automation Runbooks to handle the backup operations. Write scripts or use existing modules to trigger backups based on your specific requirements.
- Ensure your Automation Runbooks have the necessary credentials to access and authenticate with your VMs across subscriptions.
- While Azure Policy may not cover all your use cases, you can still use it for enforcing certain configurations. For example, you can create policies to ensure that VMs are tagged correctly or have specific configurations that are conducive to backup.
Azure Logic Apps (Optional):
- Consider using Azure Logic Apps for more complex workflow automation. Logic Apps can be triggered based on specific events or schedules and can orchestrate multi-step workflows.
Resource Group Tagging:
- Use Azure Resource Group tagging to logically group resources across subscriptions. This can help in dynamic discovery of resources for backup operations.
Custom Scripts for Migrated or Custom Images:
- For migrated or custom images, you might need custom scripts to identify and trigger backups. Azure CLI or PowerShell can be used within your Runbooks to address these scenarios.
Monitoring and Logging:
- Implement monitoring and logging within your Azure Automation environment to track the status of backup operations. Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics can be valuable tools for this purpose.
- Consider setting up a centralized reporting mechanism to get insights into backup status and compliance across all subscriptions.
Documentation and Training:
- Document the backup automation process and provide training to the relevant teams so they can troubleshoot and maintain the solution.
Remember to test your automation scripts and workflows thoroughly in a non-production environment before deploying them to your production subscriptions. Additionally, stay informed about updates to Azure services and adjust your automation accordingly. If needed, you might also want to consult with Azure support for specific healthcare compliance considerations.