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VS Backups

Posted on 2011-02-12
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HI,

Can you please explain how to backup multiple Virtual Machines on a Windows Server 2008 machine.  I currently have three virtual machines all saved to the C drive.  I would like to use Windows Server Backup but I don't fully understand the pros/cons of using this application for backing up.  I would like to be able to restore files, user accounts in AD etc, without having to restore all the virtual machines.  

Next, is it possible to just use snapshots to backup VM, are you able to restore individual files with this method?

Cheers
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Question by:minniejp
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34883255
Hi

You can backup the VMs check this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958662/en-us

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd405549%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

That will backup you VMs.

But you cannot restore individual files inside of your VMs. Or using snapshots. And snapshots is not a backup method. This is a backup of VM state. Only should use for other proposes not for backup.

You can use, but not recommended.

For restoring individual files from your VMs, you need to use a third party backup software. Like HP Data Protector, Symantec, etc.

This will need agents on each VMs and then you can backup and restore files. But this is like backup data from a normal physical server

Backup VMs images is one thing, backup the data is  other different thing.

Hope this can help

Jail
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Author Comment

by:minniejp
ID: 34883901
Thanks Jail for your reply.....

Just so i'm sure....its not possible to restore individual files/folders using Windows Server backup when backing up Virtual Machines?  Windows Server Backup will only backup the virtual machine itself (included VHDs) if a full restore of the VM was needed?

I have also read somewhere, that you need to include the whole volume where the VM resides in a backup, does this mean for example that I would need to include the Full C:Drive (as this is where all my VMs data is stored) in the backup?

Lastly, when selecting files to put into the backup, it does allow you to select individual files, this is obviously for files which need restored on the host machine?

Thanks for your advice.
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Accepted Solution

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Luciano Patrão earned 2000 total points
ID: 34883969
Hi

Like I said, backup VM as an image(like backup the Virtual Disks) is one think, backup data files is other.

There is some third party tools(not free) that backup at image level, but also file level for VMware. This works for VMware but the same tools doesn't work with Hyper-V. If there is any tools that do this, I do not know.

As as image level you can only restore at image level, at file level you can restore at file level. But file level will not backup the full VM, but only the file inside.

Full image level, is only when we need to restore the all the Virtual Machine. By a crash on disks etc.
File level, is a normal backup on the VM data files(like SQL, Exchange, FileServers etc.) and can be restored at file level, but never as a image of the VM.

Hope this can help you

Jail
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 34884202
Hi

I see that commvault also works with Hyper-V, and commvault can do a file level backup and also VM image level.

So if you have a budged, you can take a look at this.

Jail
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Author Closing Comment

by:minniejp
ID: 34900826
Thanks Jail, you have been a great help!
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