Backup Directories on Hyper-V VM to USB Drive

Lionel MM
Lionel MM used Ask the Experts™
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I have Windows 2008 Hyper V, running a Windows Server 2008 R2 VM. Have a 1TB USB connected to the host but guest (VM) does not see USB.
 1) What can I do to have VM see USB and
 2) if that is not possible how can I backup specific folders (data folders that change daily) to the USB drive or to the host (which I can then put on the USB)
Thanks.

OR
Would I be better of using Oracle's VirtualBox (which I know can see USB drives) and can the virtual machines created by Hyper-V be transferred to VirtualBox (import appliance) ?
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Svet PaperovIT Manager
Commented:
Hyper-V virtual machine cannot access the USB ports of the host.

If you want to back up to external USB drive that leaves you two options:
- Share the USB disk on the host and map it as a network share to the VM: cheap, but not very good solution – cannot do incremental backups from the VM
- Use USB-over-IP (software or hardware) solutions: you could search the web for software based solutions (free or paid); a good hardware solution is AnywhereUSB https://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb

Another option is purchasing an external NAS that supports iSCSI, like Iomega StorCenter http://iomega.com/nas/
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
You can configure the USB drive as a SCSI drive on the Virtual Server and pass that through to the Guest VM, but the drive will have to be attached every time the Guest VM is booted or it won't boot and you need to make sure the Primary server can reboot with the USB drive attached without trying to boot from the USB drive.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/hollis/archive/2012/02/21/accessing-usb-drives-in-a-hyper-v-vm.aspx

Alan
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
What about using VirtualBox instead?
I don't plan on doing incremental backups--all I want to do is make daily copies of user's data files, files that are located on the VM's Drive D (D:\Data\Users\Usernames). Then once a month I will make a full backup of Hyper-V. Only files that change, the critical files that I need daily copies of are on VM's D:\Data.

@alanhardisty--you suggestion won't work because the USB drive will be removed and taken off site from time to time.
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
My comment answers your question:

1) What can I do to have VM see USB

Are you taking it off-site and replacing it with another drive or just taking it off-site?
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
alanhardisty--that's a snide comment--your comment answers my question? This is supposed to be a site where people help each other. I am providing you with additional information as to what I need and why your suggestion won't work. I don't need you then telling me that your comment does indeed answer my question.

It will be taken off sire and not replaced with another.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Unsubscribed.
IT Manager
Commented:
Hyper-V and VirtualBox are different type of virtualization solutions. Hyper-V, like VMwere ESX, is type 1 hypervisor that runs on the hardware, while VirtualBox is type 2 hypervisor, more like Virtual Server 2005 or VirtualPC, that requires an OS. So, you should decide which one you want. I won’t use type 2 hypervisor in production environment; they are generally much slower than type 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypervisor

If you don’t need incremental backups, you can share the USB device and configure that backup from the guest VM to a network share \\server1\usbbackup. However, in that case each new backup will delete the existing one. On other hand, an iSCSI attached volume is considered a local one by the OS and Windows Server backup can keep the existing backup versions until the disk is full.
How to use iSCSI Targets on Windows Server 2008: http://www.synology.com/support/tutorials_show.php?lang=us&q_id=520
Lionel MMSmall Business IT Consultant

Author

Commented:
I ended up creating a share and then connecting from the host to the guest OS and then robocopy the data files I needed backed up--that worked--thanks.

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