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What if i need to restore or recover my Business Central environment?

Backup and restore policy for Business Central

One of the great benefits of running Business Central in the cloud is that you do not have to worry about having to back up your environment. Microsoft does that for you automatically according to the SLA that exists between the end user and Microsoft.

Microsoft will keep your backups for 28 days and is offering you and opportunity to restore your environment to any point in time during that 28 day period. There are how ever some limitations to this. If your environment have been upgraded to a new minor or major release during the last 28 days. Because you can only do restore to the same version that your environment currently is running on.

How to restore your Business Central environment?

So as an administrator you can restore your Business Central production and sandbox environments through the Business Central Admin Center. And the restore can be done at any point in time for the periode that Microsoft keeps your backup.

If you already have a production environment and need to restore the same production environment, then Microsoft will allow you to have two production environments for a limited time so you can decide if you have restored your environment back to the correct moment.

The restore is done from the Business Central admin center. In the admin center your will find a list of the Business Central environment that exists in your tenant.

Business Central admin center

In this tenant I so far only have one environment so I click on the link for that environment so I can see the admin center actions I can take on that environment. Then you can select the restore action from the top banner on the environment admin page

Business Central environment admin page

Selecting the restore action will bring up the environment restore page.

Business Central environment restore page

From the environment restore page you can select the parameters for your restore.

The Business Central admin center will show you the earliest possible date and time you can restore back to. In my case this is March 26th 2023 at 11:49:29

So that means I can select a restore point at any given time from that point in time until the time I actually request the restore.

So here I have selected that my restore point will be March 26th and 14:30 (2:30 pm).

Select the time and date for your restore

In the next section of the restore page I will select if I want to restore my environment as a production environment or a Sandbox environment. I also need to give the restored environment a unique name.

Select environment type and a unique name.

So here I have selected that i want my restored environment to be a new production environment and I want to name it “ProductionRestore”. And as I mentioned earlier even though my license only allows me to run one production environment Microsoft will allow you to restore to a new production environment so you can run them both for a limited time so you can decide of you restored to the correct point in time.

There is also some advanced options you can chose from

The first one – “Uninstall per-tenant extension” will uninstall any per tenant extensions that is in your environment. These will be extensions that are specially made for your company.

The second one – “Uninstall third party App Source app” will uninstall any global extensions on restored environment. This will be apps that are downloaded and installed from App Source. When it comes to the last option – “Skip environment cleanup” it can be a little more tricky to understand the effect of this choice. The explanation is that Microsoft have a set of procedures they normally do when you copy a Business Central environment. This is typically things in connections with integrations, sending of e-mail and scheduled job queue jobs. This is done to avoid that two systems are calling external integrations etc. when that might not be what you want. You will find and entire list of that is done in the environment cleanup on Microsoft learn. Unless you specifically knows that the restore will be your new production environment I recommend you to keep the default settings for these selections.

So once we have made our selections we can click the restore button on the bottom of the page.

Restore button

Also notice that the numbers of restores you can do it limited to 10 per month. And it will show you how many restores you currently have left in the quota for the current month.

When you click restore, the restore process will begin and run for as long as necessary depending on your database size.

When the restore is finished you can see that you now have two active production environments in your tenant. When you decide witch environment you want to keep, you should delete the other environment. If you keep both productions environments for too long, you can expect that your partner will reach out to you and solve the situation in corporation with you.

I think this restore feature is a great service from Microsoft and you can trust that you always are able to restore to the point you need to if something unexpected happens.

What if i deleted my environment and then regrets it?

Not long ago, Microsoft also introduced soft delete for Business Central environments. This means that if you delete an environment you Microsoft will keep a backup of the environment for 7 days. This means that if you deleted a Production or Sandbox environment you have 7 days where you can regret the deletion of the environment and restore it. This also works for trail environments that have expired.

From the Business Central admin center you can access an overview of the “recently deleted environments” from the top banner.

When you click the link with the environment you will get a page showing details about the soft deleted environment.

When you select the “Recover” action in the page – you will get some information about the recovery process – and when you chose “Yes” the recovery process will begin. And just like what is the case for the restore process, the recovery process will be queued and the time the process takes will depend on the size of your database,

And finally after a while you will see that your deleted environment is back and is showing as active again – yet again you can rest sure that your data is safe.

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