SBS 2008 Server Reboot With Hyper-v (Backup Installation)

I very new to server management so this may sound like a stupid question. I have a SBS 2008 server running hyper-v as the base installation and a child SBS 2008 server running inside of that. I not sure exactly how to describe it "officially".

We have been required to terminate a vendor relationship, so I'm required to uninstall Acronis and setup the builtin microsoft backup solution as a temporary solution until we have time to fully review our needs.

My questions:

After installing the Microsoft backup piece,

1. Is there a proper reboot sequence for the servers? Do I just issue a restart command and SBS stops the server and hyper-v server in the proper order or Do I have to do something manually?

2. Are there any "core" items/errors I should keep an watch on during the restart? Only two server apps are running (SharePoint and Exchange) everything else is basic file sharing

3. Since we only run one shift at work, I plan on just doing a full backup each day at the hyper-v level, which I believe will backup "EVERYTHING" including the VM server were we have all our aps and data. Will this type of backup cause any server downtime? Require the servers to reboot?

Thank you in advance for providing you support recommendations.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Officially, the Hyper-V Role is _not_ supported on SBS 2008 as it messes with the networking setup.

Secondly, the 1+1 licensing that comes with Windows Server 2008 Standard also does _not_ apply so you need to have two SBS 2008 licenses to run the above.

To properly back up using the built-in SBS BU in an SBS VM, create a VHD on a USB drive, attach it to another system, share it, use Hyper-V manager to hot attach the VHD as a SCSI device, set up SBS 2008's BU to point to the now connected VHD.

Hot swap the USB drives the same way you would a USB drive using the Safely Remove dialogue, use Hyper-V Management to remove the USB drive, then connect another, and remount the VHD on that drive.

Repeat for each rotation.

jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Nothing is as easy as it should be!

I believe we have the SBS2008 premium package which should take care of the license issue. Without getting on my "Keep It Simple" soapbox, I'm not sure why the vendor placed a hyper-v server in the scenario in the first place, but that is another can of worms to deal with.

So, here is where I'm at:

1. Connected external hdd cradle and 500gb sata drive to physical server via usb port
2. Formatted drive NTFS
3. Drive shows up on hyper-v server's disk management console as Healthy (primary partition)
4. Now I'm ready to install SBS BU and look for the new drive ( I think I have to make it active at some point)

I was thinking I could install SBS BU on the hyper-v server and capture EVERYTHING (hyper-v server and VM server) in one BU process. If I had to restore, then I would restore the whole machine. I know its not the best recovery plan, but with the immediate resources, I need a SIMPLE solution.

Looking at your response, maybe I need to only backup the VM service which still grabs SharePoint, Exchange, and my data/shared drives. Then if something melts down I can install the hyper-v server, configure it and restore the SBS VM data??? ( I really need 2 weeks to read all my SBS books!!!)

Have you had a situation where someone moved a vm server off the hyper-v to make it a stand-alone server? This goes back to my "Keep It Simple" infrastructure model.


Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
You could also connect the USB drive directly to the Hyper-V box and set the USB drive Offline. It will then be able to be added to the SBS VM via pass through in Hyper-V Management. Note that R2 is required for the add/remove process to be "hot".

Capturing everything in one shot is a hit/miss depending on the backup setup.

If you get the VHD connected to SBS, you can then backup to that. With that VHD in hand, you could then restore to any other hypervisor product using the built-in Hardware Independent Restore.

We would back up the VM using ShadowProtect and use SP's Hardware Independent Restore feature to install the needed RAID, NIC, and chipset drivers. After restore, we would use our HIR steps to clean things up in the VM:

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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Please remember, I was thrown into this support position..... A light just went on!!!! So Hyper-v ISN'T specific to SBS 2008? It's a basic virtual platform used to support virtual servers of all types??? Then All I really need to do is backup my VM SBS 08 server which should grab SBS, Exchange, SQL, data folder, user redirects?

It's painful to be so clueless!
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Yes, when we virtualize we tend to do the following for the server OS VMs:
 + Set up a NAS device that has share capable eSATA ports.
 + Connect eSATA drive to NAS and share.
 + Create VHD on the eSATA drive and SCSI hot add (H-V R2 feature) to VM.
 + Create VHD on NAS and SCSI hot add to VM.
 + Run an AES 256bit encrypted ShadowProtect backup to the eSATA drive via SCSI attached VHD.
 + Run built-in Windows/SBS Backup to VHD on NAS for immediate recoverability needs.

Rotating the eSATA drives requires Safe Stop in OS on possibly on NAS. But once all VHDs being backed up to are hooked into the VMs, rotations are fairly straight forward.

jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:

I'm still trying to configure my backup, can't add a hdd to the vmserver, everything is greyed out. I think I might have to stop the vmserver to add the drive since I'm not running R2. Does that sound about right?
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Yes, R2 introduced the hot swap on the SCSI bus feature. You would need to stop the VM, add the drive via H-V Mgmt, and start the VM again.


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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
It looks like our parent company has a server license for Acronis true echo server, so I'll try to set it up this afternoon, and use SBS backup and 2nd plan.

Are there special procedures to stop the VM SBS server? Exchange, SharePoint and SQL are running also? Do I shut it down from the VMHOST (Management console)?


Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Yes, use this:

Then Start --> Shutdown --> Reason.

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