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

Posted on 2009-12-21
Last Modified: 2013-11-06

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.

Question by:ilava
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    See this
    Dont worry about backup running VMs, VSS wil take care
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    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:


    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    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.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    I'm pretty sure my answer would do the trick!  Would be happy to receive the points.



    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

    Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

    Introduction Windows 2012 is here - it is upon us, and I hope that like me, you will upgrade your Hyper-V to the new version which has been promised to be a lot more stable, flexible and powerful than its predecessor in Windows 2008 R2.  Setting up…
    Introduction In one of my previous articles (, I explained how to create a native Windows 2012 Cluster.  The metho…
    Need more eyes on your posted question? Go ahead and follow the quick steps in this video to learn how to Request Attention to your question. *Log into your Experts Exchange account *Find the question you want to Request Attention for *Go to the e…
    This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

    758 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    10 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now