Released at the end of July 2014, Update Rollup 3 for System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) now provides System Center and Azure customers the ability to use Azure for backup retention. This feature really makes using Azure for backups even more favorable and could make normal on-premises backup processes obsolete.

The feature was added because it was voted as the top requested feature by customers.

Microsoft has provided a blog post showing how the new feature works and gives more detail into how Azure utilizes recovery points to provide the feature. It's not as cut-and-dried as you might expect (or maybe you did expect some level of difficulty) because the feature still needs to work around Azure retention limitations. The feature exists for DPM, but Azure needs to be tricked somewhat using a special technique that utilizes a bit of math.

Read it here: Introducing Long Term Retention for DPM Azure cloud backups

This new feature requires both DPM 2012 R2 with UR3 and the new Azure backup agent.