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Announcing general availability of backup and restore for Power BI datasets

Headshot of article author Kay Unkroth

We are very thrilled to announce the general availability (GA) of Backup and Restore for datasets in Power BI Premium and Premium per User (PPU). Whether you are migrating Azure AS workloads to Power BI or must consolidate Power BI tenants due to a merger or acquisition or simply want to backup Power BI datasets on a regular basis to meet the data retention and disaster recovery requirements of your organization, you can now rely on the Backup and Restore capabilities of Power BI as a fully supported feature.

As part of Backup and Restore GA, we are also excited to announce the following additional improvements.

  • Support for multi-geo Premium capacities Backup and Restore relies on the Azure connections infrastructure in Power BI, which up to this point existed primarily to enable customers to register an Azure Data Lake Gen2 (ADLS Gen2) storage account at the tenant or workspace level for dataflow storage. To better support Premium capacities located in Azure regions other than the Power BI home region, you can now use storage accounts in the regions of your Premium capacities. Among other things, having a Premium capacity and its storage account located in the same Azure region helps to avoid data transfer costs because the backup and restore operations no longer cross regional boundaries. For information about how to configure Power BI to use an ADLS Gen2 storage account, see Configuring dataflow storage to use Azure Data Lake Gen 2 in the product documentation.
  • Automatic initialization of the backup folder   During public preview, you had to remove and reconfigure the storage account for your Power BI tenant or workspace to initialize the backup folder. This step is now no longer necessary. If your workspaces and capacities are already associated with a storage account, you can perform backups without any additional configuration steps. Power BI now creates the backup folder automatically. The following screenshot shows a backup folder with three datasets and their corresponding backup files in Azure Storage Explorer.

With an ADLS Gen2 storage account associated with a workspace, workspace admins can perform backup and restore operations. To perform these operations, use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), Analysis Services cmdlets for PowerShell, or other tools that connect to Power BI via XMLA endpoints, and submit backup and restore commands in much the same way as you would for tabular models in Azure Analysis Services (Azure AS). With owner permissions at the storage account, you can also download backup files from your ADLS Gen2 storage account using the file system, Azure Storage Explorer, .NET tools, and PowerShell cmdlets, such as the Get-AzDataLakeGen2ItemContent cmdlet. You can also copy them from their original location to the backup folder of a different workspace and restore them there if you happen to be a workspace administrator in the target workspace as well. Because storage account owners have unrestricted access to the backup files, make sure you guard the storage account permissions carefully. For more information, see Backup and restore datasets with Power BI Premium (preview)  in the product documentation.

With Backup and Restore GA, Power BI closes an important gap to Azure AS. We hope this milestone enables you to meet your organization’s backup and data retention needs with less effort and make migrations of enterprise BI workloads from Azure AS to Power BI more seamless than in the past. It is important to remind you that Backup and Restore requires you to work with XMLA-based tools, such as SSMS. There is no Backup or Restore option in the Power BI user interface yet. Due to the XMLA dependency, Backup and Restore currently requires your datasets to reside on a Premium or PPU capacity.