Using the Staging Path Export Method for a Secure Transfer of Data

This method uses a local staging path with Microsoft SQL Server Data-Tier Application Framework (DacFx) on the access node. Use this method to obtain the following benefits:

  • The ability to export an Azure SQL database without utilizing a public connection transport method. This method performs the export process locally on the access node before moving the exported BACPAC files to media and does not require the use of an Azure storage account.
  • Large, exported Azure SQL databases resulting in BACPAC files larger than 200 GB will benefit with this method, assuming the access node disk has enough available space. This is because Azure blob storage only has a maximum size of a block blob of 200 GB.


  1. From the navigation pane, go to Protect > Databases.

    The Instances page appears.

  2. Click the instance.

    The instance page appears.

  3. On the Configuration tab, in the SQL cloud configuration section, click Edit.

    The SQL cloud configuration dialog box appears.

  4. Move the Use staging path for import/export toggle key to the right.

  5. In the Staging path used for import/export box, enter the staging path that is available on all the configured access nodes.

    • During the export process, temporary files generated by the Data-Tier Application Framework (DacFX) could be up to three times the size of the database and therefore require that amount of space to allow the export operation to complete. During the export, the database's data is compressed in the %temp% or %tmp% folder locations. Therefore, if needed, change the %temp% or %tmp% environment variables to point to a drive with enough disk space to complete the operation.
    • The staging path must have free drive space that is 25% of the total size of the database to be protected. This ensures that there is enough space to store the exported BACPAC files.
    • If you leave the staging path empty, the system considers the job results directory as the default staging location. For more information about the job results directory, see Job Results Directory Overview.
  6. From the SQL server authentication list, select the credentials of an Azure Server admin account.

    By default, this account is the instance server admin account that has access to the instance and database to perform all operations, including backup, restore, and browse operations.

  7. Click Save.