Have you come across this issue recently when you log into the Dynamics 365 Admin portal (or the Office 365 portal), it doesn’t show your v9.0 instances in the Backup and Restore tab? No, this is not missing permission or something that you can fix. As of today, December 25th 2017, manual backups and restore has been disabled by Microsoft for all v9.0 instances.
What’s going on here?
The reason the Microsoft representative stated, when asked, is that apparently Microsoft enabled automatic incremental backups to be taken every 5 minutes for all v9.0 instances, be it Production or Sandbox. Yes, you’re hearing it right. Every 5 minutes; that’s a whopping 288 backups per day per instance! The automatic full backups, also termed as “Centaurus Backups”, that are taken everyday are still there, but these 5 minute backups are what are “incremental” backups; also termed as “Potassium Backups”. Before you start to wonder why potassium, I don’t know either!
What do I do now?
Now, the obvious question would be, if Microsoft took away our ability to take backups and restore backups what are we left with? Well technically, we can’t perform those tasks without opening up a support ticket with them. The backups are taken every 5 minutes, as per Microsoft, are incremental backups and if you ask for a restore related to a particular instance of time during that day, Microsoft will first restore the full automatic backup and then the incremental backups till that point; which means it’s probably going to take a while.
I believe the reason why Microsoft has a 5 minute backup is probably because the v9.0 instances are not very stable for various reasons. Again the cause for this might not be valid as to what I am thinking. But considering the issues that I’ve encountered while using v9.0 instances (one of the clients I work for uses v9.0 production and sandbox environments as their system), these 5 minute backups might be useful if something goes south. The manual full backups that you could take from the admin portal generally took anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, so I am guessing these 5 minute backups might be faster ones (since within a 20 minute slot you could have 4 backups taken which do not lock out the database for too long so as to affect the performance or the starting of the consecutive backups).
When will this be fixed?
As of today, Microsoft has no fixed date as to when ability to take manual backups for v9.0 will be available again via the Backup and Restore tab, but I really hope they come up with some fix soon for which they disabled it at the first place. Recently, we had to carry out a production deployment; and as a part of our procedure we always take a manual backup before deploying any changes should we need to restore things back. And we couldn’t do it ourselves.
We had a huge dependency on the Microsoft support to make sure they confirm that the backup for a specific time was taken and most importantly it was successful and this extended our deployment schedule by quite a few hours; not a great thing when it’s on a Friday and you’re stuck on Microsoft’s confirmation and end up spending the whole evening all the way to midnight for something that would ideally have taken only 3-4 hours.
What are you thoughts on this? Have you encountered it? Let me know. Cheers and happy holidays!