Planning on using Windows Server 8 for your on-prem hosting needs? Get ready to use Azure. If you want to, that is. Microsoft is working on a cloud-based backup system for Windows Server 8 that will employ its Azure product to keep files safe, and in the cloud.

Everything, aside from system state, will be stored on Azure, making for a full, clean copy of your data. Of course, not everyone is going to use the tool, given that the enterprise is still antsy about having mission-critical information in the cloud, but it will provide a rather interesting tool to those who are comfortable doing so.

Microsoft calls the product the ‘Microsoft Online Backup Service.’ That’s about as functional a name as you can imagine.

The tool will backup data by employing ‘block level incremental backups,’ which will only send information to the cloud that has changed. Microsoft claims that this will reduce “storage and bandwidth utilization.” Data will be compressed and encrypted, as well as tested for ‘integrity’ once it reaches the cloud.

Microsoft, perhaps in an attempt to dip its toe into the cloud, has a beta set up for the service. If you are running Windows Server 8, you can snag an account, with 10 gigabytes of storage, here.

Don’t let Windows Server 8 get lost in the Windows 8 hype; it’s a very important product.