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Backing up Virtual Machines in Hyper-V

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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
Hi,
 
 If I have several virtual machines on Hyper-V (Windows Server 2012) for example,  XP, Win7, Win Svr 2008, SBS2011. If I like to back up each virtual machine, should I attach one external USB Hard Drive for each VM and set up Backup Schedule on each VM?

Thanks.
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MaheshArchitect
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Yes you can backup Hyper-v 2012 individual VMs on external drive with predefined schedule

Only the fact is I am not sure the reliability of USB HDD in terms of it read write capacity and strudyness

instead you can add server class HDD, might be in Raid-1 or raid-5 configuration depending upon your server disk availability for backup
OR you can attach SAN FC as disk volume on Hyper-V server and backup your VMs on that volume
This will ensure reliable and better performance for backup
http://workinghardinit.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/windows-server-backup-benefits-from-improvements-in-windows-server-2012/
http://virtualizationreview.com/blogs/virtual-insider/2013/02/back-up-hyper-v-vms.aspx

Mahesh
IT Manager
Commented:
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Author

Commented:
Thanks for the information.

If I schedule Windows Server Backup on Windows 2012 and back up everyday, will it backup all the virtual machines every day incrementally? If that is the case, then the server backup will save every single changes made to all the VMs daily on the backup drive. In other word, I don't need to backup each VM to respective external USB drive. Am I assuming right?
Svet PaperovIT Manager

Commented:
That's correct.

Author

Commented:
Then I won't bother backing up each individual VMs and use Windows Server backup on W2012.
In terms of restoring then, I should be able to select a specific date during restore process and restore specific files/folders off certain virtual machine?
Svet PaperovIT Manager

Commented:
Yes, but by specific files, it means the whole VHD/VHDX.

If you need a file inside of the VM you will have to restore the VHD file to a different location and open it on the host or attach it to a VM to extract the file.

Backing up with Windows Backup on the host level is for disaster recovery, when you need to recover a VM in full, for example. If you have a VM running a file server, on the other hand, it will be more efficient to implement a backup from inside the VM so you would be able to restore files without restoring the whole VHD first.

As I sad in my first post, there are enterprise class solutions that allow restoring an individual file from inside the VM without restoring the whole VHD first but Windows Backup lacks that capability.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the information and I appreciate it. As you suggested, I will do Windows server backup for disaster situations like server  hardware failure and raid corruption... etc. For file/folder recovery, I will still do Windows backup within VMs as I see fit.

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