Towards the last quarter of  2021, Power BI released the general availability (GA) of Backup and Restore for datasets in Power BI Premium and Premium per User (PPU).

You can now rely on Power BI’s Backup and Restore capabilities as a fully supported feature, whether you’re migrating Azure AS workloads to Power BI, need to consolidate Power BI tenants due to a merger or acquisition, or simply want to backup Power BI datasets on a regular basis to meet your organization’s data retention and disaster recovery requirements.

Improvements that came with (GA) Backup and Restore

  • Support for multi-geo Premium capacities – Backup and restore rely on Power BI’s Azure connections infrastructure, which was designed to allow users to register an Azure Data Lake Gen2 (ADLS Gen2) storage account for dataflow storage at the tenant or workspace level. You may now use storage accounts in the regions of your Premium capabilities to better support Premium capacities situated in Azure regions other than the Power BI home region. Because backup and restore processes no longer cross regional boundaries, having a Premium capacity and its storage account in the same Azure region helps to avoid data transfer charges. See Configuring dataflow storage to utilize an ADLS Gen2 storage account for information on how to set up Power BI to use an ADLS Gen2 storage account.
  • Automatic initialization of the backup folder – To start the backup folder in the public preview, you have to deactivate and reconfigure the storage account for your Power BI tenant or workspace. This step is now obsolete. Backups can be performed without any additional configuration procedures if your workspaces and capacities are already linked to a storage account. Power BI now automatically builds the backup folder. In Azure Storage Explorer, the following screenshot shows a backup folder with three datasets and associated backup files.

Source: Power BI 

Tips for admins

Workspace admins can perform backup and restore operations using an ADLS Gen2 storage account linked with the workspace. Use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), Analysis Services cmdlets for PowerShell, or other tools that connect to Power BI via XMLA endpoints to accomplish these actions, and submit backup and restore commands in the same manner you would for tabular models in Azure Analysis Services (Azure AS).

You can also use the file system, Azure Storage Explorer, .NET tools and PowerShell cmdlets like Get-AzDataLakeGen2ItemContent to download backup files from your ADLS Gen2 storage account if you have owner permissions at the storage account.

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 backup files, you should carefully monitor storage account permissions. See Backup and restore datasets with Power BI Premium (preview) in the product documentation for additional details.

Conclusion

Power BI bridges a significant gap between Azure AS and Backup and Restore GA. We expect that by achieving this milestone, you will be able to satisfy your organization’s backup and data preservation demands with less effort, as well as making enterprise BI workload migrations from Azure AS to Power BI more frictionless than before. It’s worth noting that Backup and Restore necessitates the use of XMLA-based utilities such as SSMS. The Power BI user interface does not currently have a backup or restore option. Backup and Restore now requires your datasets to be stored on a Premium or PPU capacity due to the XMLA dependency.