How to create a vhd and attach to vm sbs 2008 server

You know it's bad when your IT Project Manager is forced into server administration! Dang recession!

I'm working on backing up the company sbs server. We have  SBS 2008 running hyper-v with a vm SBS 2008 server. To backup the server I planned to attach a external hdd cradle and 500gb sata drive. The hyper-v sees the drive and all looks good.

1. Now, how do I set the drive up as a vhd and get the vm server to see it? It looks simple, but I can't afford to crash the server.
2. Is there a problem having two vhds attached to a vm server?
3. I see a hdd attached to the hyper-v server and it's offline, can I assume that its attached to the vm server?

I can run a 20 million dollar IT project, but can't setup a vhd? I feel like such a rookie!!!

jjeffcoatAsked:
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jakethecatukConnect With a Mentor Commented:
screen shots to match above

disk.jpg
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jakethecatukCommented:
As an independant IT Consultant, I can happily help you and leave you to do the management bit - but we need to talk day rate :)

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jakethecatukCommented:
Here is a link that explains the process of backing up a virtual macine on HYPER-V.

http://www.dabcc.com/article.aspx?id=8499
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Jake,

My crash course in SBS, Exchange, Sonicwall administration is almost complete. Oh how I love the recession!

I'm still confused about how to setup the VHD. I connected the usb cradle and hdd to the physical server running Hyper-v. Disk management can see the drive and has assigned it a letter drive. I'm assuming on the Hyper-v server I set up the VHD and pass it through some how? I found where the VM SBS server is on the console and when I go to create the VHD, the software starts asking questions I'm not sure how to answer. I'm sure its pretty easy, but this is our production server and I can't afford to click around and make a mistake. I hate making changes without testing first, but my company is very small and can't afford a second server at this time.

Any advice on the VHD and how to get the SBS VM server's backup process to backup back to it would be great!

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jakethecatukCommented:
Hey jjeffcoat,

Explain to me what you are trying to do here so we (collective we, other EE's will drop in soon) point you in the right direction.

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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Jake,

Thanks let me write it up and I'll post it shortly.
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Basically, I have one server running Hyper-v with a SBS 08 VM server (Exchange, SharePoint, SQL) with a premium license.

1. I need to backup the server, either all in one shot or just the SMS VM side. I keep flopping back and forth on which solution can be implemented simply and require the least amount of support and recovery difficulty.

2. I'm looking at building a backup process where the backup runs at night and one of the office staff comes in the next morning and swaps the external hdd which sits in a cradle and takes the backup hdd to another location later that day. Then the process starts all over again the next day. I'm sure I'm making this as "clear as mud". I apologize for running in circles!
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jakethecatukCommented:
Nope - understand what you're trying to do now.

Basically, you can present the USB disk as a drive within SBS which would allow you to backup directly to the USB drive as if it were plugged directly into it.

I'm just checking something out on the why's/wherefore's on this solution for you and I'll come back shortly.
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Thanks, that will give my head time to quit spinning!
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jakethecatukCommented:
OK - got a solution that works, just carrying out testing to work out where the problems might be.

What backup software are you planning on using for this???
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
SBS builtin backup software
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jakethecatukCommented:
OK - I'm going out on a limb here and going to assume that SBS Backup is the same as normal 2008 backup.

Within 2008 Backup, you can schedule backups to go to either: -
1. Backup to a hard disk that is dedicated for backups
2. Backup to a volume
3. Backup to a shared network folder

Now then, using option 1 and 2 is the preferred way to backup as it allows multiple backups.  We only need to present the USB drive to the server for backup purposes and this is the interesting bit.

Plug the drive into the HYPER-V server and go into Disk Management (Server Manager/Storage/Disk Management).  The USB drive will be listed and online.  Right click on the disk
disk-off-line.JPG
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Jake was there more instructions? I have the drive offline like your example above.
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jakethecatukCommented:
it's coming...still writing
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jakethecatukCommented:
...damn this web site.

Right click on the disk and choose 'Offline'.  The disk is still present in the server, but is not allocated a drive letter or accessible to the HYPER-V server.

Now go into HYPER-V manager and select your SBS server.  Click on settings and you will see all the hardware (screen one).  Click on SCSI Controller and in the right hand pane, you will see that you can select 'Hard Drive' (screen two).  Click on 'Add' and you can select the type of drive to add (screen three).  Select 'Physical hard disk' and from the drop down, you will be able to select the USB drive you plugged into the HYPER-V server.  Click on OK to accepth the change.  HYPER-V will think about it for a few moments and then complete the change.

Login to your SBS server and go into Disk Management (Server Manager/Storage/Disk Management).  You should see your USB disk as a physical drive for your SBS server.

You can now go back into SBS backup and choose either option 1 or 2 for your backups.

Now the only problem I have found with this is when you change the USB disks.

When you change USB disks, you will need to check that the disk is offline (as described above).  You will need to go into HYPER-V settings, select the disk that you have added above and you will see that HYPER-V will say 'not found' (screen four).  Click on the drop down and select the USB disk again.  Click OK and HYPER-V will do it's stuff.

(NOTE - the first time you plug the USB disk in, you will need to make it off line as explained earlier.  You only have to do this the very first time you plug the disk in.  Once the server knows about the USB disk, it will automatically make it offline but you should make checking it as part of your daily process.)

And that my friend is about it!  Good luck.
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
NO PROBLEM!!! I'm still new to "EE" as well. but I kick myself for not checking this place out months ago!
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jakethecatukCommented:
However, I cannot stress enough that I don't think this is an elegant backup solution.  Given what you've got and taking your direction as lead, it's a solution that should work.
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Jake,

Great instructions! It looks like I will have to stop the server before making the changes because the step to add a hdd is grayed out.

I agree, this ISN'T my first choice for backing up the server or software to use, but $$$ speaks louder than anything else even after I walked through the risk management piece of this solution. I drop a note when I'm done.

I assume I stop the server from the hyper-v console? Then Exchange, SharePoint...etc...etc... will shutdown also. Then start the server after adding the drive and everything knows how to power up? Or at least I hope everything starts up....
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jakethecatukCommented:
Adding a HDD should be available if you choose SCSI (not IDE) - please double check to make sure your adding a disk in the correct place.
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Here is what I'm seeing:


vhd1.gif
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
I hate stupid users and really hate stupid administrators (LIKE MYSELF). I tried again to add the drive, but it was still greyed out. (Here is the stupid part) so I added a new VHD instead. Still nothing I can use, but how do I get rid of the new VHD and start over again with the new drive. (FYI, I'm NOT running sbs 2008 R2) if that makes a difference?

Feel free to ignore me.... since I'm making this simple process very complicated!!!

Thanks

Jim
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jakethecatukCommented:
Hey Jim,

I am really confused now.  You say you can add a VHD...and if you can do that, did you not have the option to add a physical disk as in my screenshots?
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Nope, thats the reason I attempted to create a VHD. Let me throw some screenshots together....Its got to be something simple I'm missing!!


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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Jake, I'm still fighting limited resources here, but I might have a chance at grabbing funds to purchase a third party solution for SBS backups. I assume there are 2 or 3 products that can make my virtual backup nightmare go away?
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jjeffcoatAuthor Commented:
Jake,

Here is where I'm at today.

1. Parent company had an extra license for an older version of Acronis True Image Echo Server (installed it)
2. I was able to shut down the VM server this afternoon and once the server shutdown, I was able to attach both a VHD and an external USB drive to the VM server. The bad news is I maked them as active, and I think that was a no-no.
3. The old consulting group actual had a secondary external drive correctly configured to be used by the vm server, so I ran a full vm server backup to that drive
4. At least when I went to the vmhost, that server saw both external drives so I ran a full backup from the vm host as well. Overkill, probably, but I'm just glad to have a backup after a week.

Q: If I run a full backup from the host, is it safe to assume that I just backed up EVERYTHING...sbs, OS, AD, Exchange, SQL, SharePoint...etc...etc... I hearing different opinions.

Wed: I plan on:
vmhost: In DM delete the volume on one of the 500gb external drives
vmhost: build a simple volume with a quick format - not active- no letter - assigned - set to offline (does this need to be a VHD?, then attach to server?)
vmhost: open VM manager, select my vm serving - settings - click on scsi adapter - add another scsi drive in position 1 (o is taken) - point it to the external drive I just formatted.
vmhost: start the vm server
vm server: login to vm server
vm server: open DM and look for drive (It should be there?) or is there another step?
vm server: open Acronis - setup scheduled daily full backup to vmhost external drive
vm host: open Acronis - setup scheduled daily full backup to vmhost external drive
vm host: schedule script (powershell) to copy both backups to a master external drive (to be pulled and taken off-site daily)
vm host: one hour after work day starts, script safety ejects (logically) drive from caddy.
vm host: employee pulls drive and insert identiical drive for evening backup
vm host: employee sits down and documents...documents....documents..... the process...

Did I miss anything?  
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jakethecatukCommented:
don't think so...have fun and good luck.

the only thing I would do is to test the process of plugging in each drive and backing up to it
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