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How to backup virtual machines with/without Exchange server installed?


I would like to backup individual Hyper-V virtual machines. Is there any API for taking snapshot of VHD files. Can any one tell me any batch/powershell scripts to backup virtual machines lively.

I want to backup the virtual machines without stopping them. My biggest doubt is what is the consitancy of  the backup if Exchange server installed in virtual machines and some process running. Is there a way to take snapshot of the exchange server with the snapshot of the vhd files.

NOTE: Please don't suggest backup the exchange server in virtual machine and then backup vhd file. I dont want to do like this.  also plz dont suggest third party softwares

Thanks in advance.

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1 Solution
See this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958662
Dont worry about backup running VMs, VSS wil take care
You are quite right about the backup consistency problem. Here is some guidance from Microsoft about taking snapshots of Exchange running in Hyper-V:
"[...] however, virtual machine snapshots are not application-aware, and using them can have unintended and unexpected consequences for a server application that maintains state data, such as Exchange Server. As a result, making virtual machine snapshots of an Exchange guest virtual machine is not supported."

I would always recommend using an Exchange-Aware backup program to backup Exchange, even if it's just the NTBACKUP program included in Windows Server.  

In my company we back up Exchange using Data Protection Manager 2007 from Microsoft (does this count as 3rd-party software?).  This makes sure our Exchange backups are consistent, and is very easy to manage.  There would be addiitonal benefits for you as you're using Hyper-V. In many cases this means you don't have to buy Agent licences for each Guest (although I would recommend doing this for Exchange and SQL Server guests).  There is a good overview of the pros and cons of Host-based and Guest-based backup using DPM 2007 here:


Right now we have the following backup scenario which you may find a a bit OTT. Backup VM  exchange using builin-in backup. Then backup the host machine so all vm's get backed up. Finally DPM 2010 beta which can backup the vm's, the host and mailboxes.
I'm pretty sure my answer would do the trick!  Would be happy to receive the points.



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