Move backups in Recovery Service Vault from LRS/GRS to ZRS while preserving the data


Hello everyone, Andrew Coughlin here and I am a Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft focusing on Azure Infrastructure. I have frequently received questions from customers about how to move their virtual machines from an LRS/GRS recovery services vault to a recovery services vault that supports ZRS. As a reminder we have three options for for recovery services vaults:

  • LRS – copies your data synchronously three times within a single physical location in the primary region. LRS is the least expensive option but isn't recommended for applications requiring high availability or durability.
  • GRS – copies your data synchronously three times within a single physical location in the primary region using LRS. It then copies your data asynchronously to a single physical location in the secondary region. Within the secondary region, your data is copied synchronously three times using LRS.
  • ZRS – copies your data synchronously across three Azure availability zones in the primary region.

When you create recovery services vaults you have the option to set the type after it is created. However, once you start backing up virtual machines to the vault you are unable to change the replication of that vault. There is no way to move the backup data from one recovery services vault to another. To move this data, it requires you to disable the current backup, move the virtual machine to a new resource group, then configure the vm to a new recovery services vault with ZRS configured. This exact step must be followed if you are wanting to preserve your existing backup data.

A can only be added to one vault at a time, however after moving the vm to a new resource group it is a different vm. After the move your LRS/GRS recovery points will be kept based on your policies within that vault. You will be paying to keep those recovery points. The first backup of the ZRS vault will be an initial replica. You will be able to restore the VM from the LRS/GRS vault if needed.

In this article we will go through the steps needed to move a VM from one vault to another vault while preserving previous backed-up data.

Reference Articles

Disable Current Backup

For this article I already have a and Recovery Services Vault created and configured for GRS storage replication. Backups are configured for the virtual machine and there is one recovery point created.

  1. Click on the Search in the portal top middle.
  2. Type backup center, then click on Backup Center.


  1. Click on Vaults > then select the vault that contains the virtual machine you want to move.


  1. Find the virtual machine you want to move.
  2. Click on the …
  3. Click Stop Backup.


  1. For Stop Backup Level make sure it is set to Retain backup data.
  2. Provide the reason / comment.

NOTE: It is particularly important to make sure you select Retain backup data, if you select delete backup data your information will be lost and may not be recoverable.

  1. Click Stop Backup.


  1. You will repeat steps 4 – 9 for each machine you need to move.
  2. Once completed, move to the next step.

Create Recovery Service Vault with ZRS

  1. Go back to Backup Center.
  2. Click + Vault.


  1. Select Recovery Services vault.
  2. Click Continue.


  1. Select Subscription.
  2. Select or create a Resource Group.
  3. Provide the Vault Name.
  4. Provide Region.
  5. Click Next.


  1. Select Vault properties and click Next.


  1. Select Networking properties and click Next.


  1. Provide Tags that are required and click Next.


  1. Click Create.


  1. Navigate to the recovery services vault you just create.
  2. Click on Properties > Update.
  3. Click Zone-redundant > Click Save.


  1. Depending on how many vaults you need you may need to complete steps 2 – 16.
  2. Once completed, move to the next step.

Move virtual machine to a new resource group

  1. Select Resource Groups and click the resource group that contains the virtual machine that you are wanting to move to a ZRS Recovery Services Vault.


  1. Select all components of the virtual machine.
  2. Click à Move.
  3. Click Move to another resource group.


  1. Select or create a new Resource Group.


  1. Wait for the validation to complete.


  1. Click Next.


  1. Check the “I understand that tools and scripts associated with moved resources will not work until I update them to use new resource IDs.”
  2. Click Move.


  1. Wait till the process is completed.
  2. Repeat Steps 2 – 10 for each machine needing to be moved.
  3. Once completed, move to the next step.

Configure VM to ZRS Recovery Service Vault

  1. Select the Recovery Service Vault that you want to configure the VM to back up to.


  1. Select the policy sub type.
  2. Select or Create a Backup Policy.


  1. Click Add. (You can add more than 1 VM at a time)
  2. Select the VM you want to add to this Recovery Services Vault.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click Enable backup.


  1. You should be able to confirm the VM is now configured on the vault for ZRS:



In this article we have walked through the process of moving a VM from an LRS/GRS recovery services vault, move the vm to a new resource group, and reconfigured backups to the new ZRS recovery services vault. By following this process, we are keeping our existing backup data in the LRS/GRS recovery services vault while the new backups are stored in the ZRS recovery services vault. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope this helps you and see you next time.


This article was originally published by Microsoft's Azure Blog. You can find the original article here.