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backup host and vm's


Jesse
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Hello,

 

I am slowly getting closer to retiring my WHS2011 server and moving to the 2012 bare metal hypervisor and 2012E.

 

I have a nice baseline setup of the bare metal host, a 2012E vm and a win 8 vm.  What I would like to do is make backups of both of the vm's that I can restore from.  Would my best bet be to shut down the vm's and export them?  Am I correct in assuming that I could easily restore from the exports?

 

I would also like to make a backup of the entire system (host and vm's) so I could restore the whole thing to baseline if necessary.

 

I do plan on making more backups as the system evolves, but I want to have a 'square one' backup available just in case.

 

Thanks,

 

Jesse

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Shut down all the VM, and copy the .vdhx files to an alternate location.  Providing you have enough space available, configure server backup to backup the server and the drive the VM's reside on to an external drive and safely store that away.

 

Do not fall into the trap of using snapshots for you backup strategy.

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Thanks jmwills,

 

Will server backup (wbadmin?) need to run from the command line in the bare metal host, or is it possible to run it from 2012E (which is a vm)?

 

 

Jesse

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Hello jmwills,

 

Very interesting.  I need to test and verify that this method will work with the bare metal hypervisor.

 

I think I need to stop and think a little more about my backup strategy...

 

My host runs on two raid 1 mirrors:

 

C:\  =  60 GB ssd mirror with the bare metal hypervisor host

D:\  =  500 GB mirror containing the vm's

 

Following your advice I would use server backup to image and recover C:\. 

 

The big question:  Will server backup be able to image D:\ if the vm's are running? 

 

If not, and I lost the D:\ mirror, then I guess I could recover it all by recovering the server 2012E vm from its backup and then restore the other vm's from the backups made by server 2012E.  Any holes in this plan?

 

If it will image D:\ with the vm's running, then I would assume that recovering D:\ could be done pretty quickly from the command line in the host.  This scenario would make reovery much faster than having to individually restore each vm from separate backups.

 

Thoughts/advice?

 

Jesse

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Tests.

 

  Any backup program I've ever used uses VSS to snapshot the files and then the snapshot is what actually gets backed up.

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What about not falling into the trap of using snapshots as a backup strategy?  What am I missing?

Edited by Jesse
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Snapshots are meant for a quick recovery if you need to do some testing and revert quickly.  The downside, they take up a tremendous amount of space and need the original file to revert back to.

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To be sure I understand: the snapshot is worthless without the actual vm file?  Sort of like an incremental backup?

 

Jesse

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