Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

Backing up with Hyper-VM


JasonP
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have the Hyper-VM containers on their own drives/partitions so backing up the host is easy as it's on its own drive. I just image it nightly.

 

So the questions are. Is the above method ideal? And is it better to use some sort of VM backing up from the host side or run backups like AOMEI from inside the containers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest Jason, I don't think it is worth even bothering to backup the host. Now I'm sure that some members reading this are now shouting 'heresy' but if you think about it, the host isn't doing much at all - it's the VMs you need to be bothered about and in the advent of a complete disaster, realistically, I could clean-reinstall Hyper-V 2012 R2 Server and have it all configured in less than thirty minutes from a USB stick and full Server 2012 R2 (with just the Hyper-V role) in not too much longer, so I really don't think it is worth all the trouble of setting up and managing a backup solution just for it.

 

The Virtual Machines of course are different and my preferred solution for this is to back them up using volume shadow copy which is actually already built in to Hyper-V server - it's just not that easy to get to. So I make use of the free software detailed here

 

http://hypervbackup.codeplex.com

 

Yes I know it's technically in beta and doesn't seem to have been updated for a while, but it is really simple and straightforward and is in essence a set of commands to configure and control the built in VSS copy and backup routines. Once set up it will go through all of the VMs on your host and copy a zipped up version of the VHD files to another location (an external USB drive say), and in the event of a complete loss of the whole system, it's a case of rebuild the host, unzip and copy the saved VHD files onto it, reconfigure the virtual machines using the restored VHD files and fire them up - job done!

 

Ok well I suppose you could save a stage by also backing up the xml configuration files associated with each of the running VMs but I'm not sure that they will restore properly.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to confess I'm a little confused by what seems to be quite a bit of worry about backing up Hyper-V VMs. Maybe I'm doing something wrong that someone can point out to me. All I do is copy the VHD file to another file name and I'm done. If I need to restore, I go into settings for the VM and change to the backup VHD. Is this wrong, cause it's been working great for me?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umm... Doesn't Server 2012 include the HyperV component for backups, which allows you to backup the guest VMs (either by creating full "normal" backups inside the VM, or by backing up the files), and allows you to backup the host components?

 

I swear it does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the VHDs are just files but you can't just copy them while they are running and live. Shut the virtual machine(s) down and then certainly you can copy them somewhere else as ikon says. 

 

Actually that's a lie you can copy them in as far as the host OS won't prevent it, it's just that they may not be usable afterwards. A running VM can have a fair bit of data cached in RAM and that won't be copied across plus what happens if a write operation happens to the VM half way through the copy considering that copying a 60 Gbyte VHD file will take a little while, you need to do a VSS snapshot to ensure that everything has been flushed.

 

And yes 2012 does have all of the required components to backup running VMs and indeed itself (although as I said above, I think it is debatable as to the merit of bothering with the host).

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree, the VM's have to be shut down in order to copy the files.  But you can move Hyper Files files between hosts and spin them back up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...