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I have spent a considerable amount of effort creating a set of Azure SQL databases and importing data. Importing the data with the DMA tool took the best part of two days. This is on an 'SQL Server (logical server)'.

I now want to take a snapshot of these databases so that I can quickly return them to this initial state. I assume the best way to do this is to create a backup of each one that I can restore later. I'll probably want to do this restore quite often, so speed of restore is very important; 2 days is certainly unacceptable.

But I'm struggling to find out how to do this. There is no 'Backup Now' button in the Azure Portal that I can find. I've waited a day since creating the databases and still nothing is listed in the Available backups page on the Azure Portal. I looked at 'Configure policies' and this doesn't seem to allow creation of a backup on-demand, or to modify the retention period of an existing backup.

I'm probably barking up the wrong tree. What is the accepted way to create a snapshot of an Azure SQL database and then return to that snapshot quickly?

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SQL Server native backups are not available on Azure SQL. Here you have automated backups with a retention period of up to 35 days or you have long-term backups that you can restore.

If you do not want to use long term backups, you can export your databases as bacpac to Azure BLOB storage and import that bacpac at any time you want. You can also export your database to a local on-premises storage.

Additionally you can create a copy of your databases, remove existing databases when you want, and rename the copy database as you wish.

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