Recovering Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V role into a VM ?
Posted on 2013-12-26
I am about to set up a server for a small office with about 10 people. Will be Windows Server 2012 running as DC, DHCP, DNS, file and print server, WSUS, and should host about 2 vms (one of them Kerio mail server probably on linux). Nice Hardware HP Proliant ML 350p, a lot of nice disks.
Considering whether to
(A) set it up as Hyper-V server with the actual 2012 server (DC+everything) in a VM
(B) take a traditional approach by installing 2012 on the physical machine and adding the Hyper-V role only for the mail server and 2nd vm,
Desaster recovery is one of the things to compare for the two choices.
Assuming I am backing up the server to a NAS box (second-stage to RDX as off-site backup) for instance using Acronis ABR11.5. In the event of a complete hardware failure, I would like to be able to run the server in a VM on a powerful Windows 8.1 workstation PC for a few days.
Now I find myself with the following question regarding case (B):
(I guess (A) is simple, I basically need to convert the server backup image from Acronis TIB into a hyper-v VM, which Acronis B+R is supposed to handle, just need to check for 2012.)
(B) is tricky: Given that a Windows 2012 server with the hyper-V role installed internally is in fact a hyper-v server that is running one special VM containing the original 2012 server (cmiiw), I wonder what would happen - or what should happen - if I try to run this server in a VM — or whether this can work at all?
From what I understand, the backup image will contain the hyper-V host as well as the 2012 server OS, since both reside on the same file system (cmiiw). But to run it on the workstation (which has its own hyper-v), I guess I would need to "extract" only the 2012 VM, otherwise I would get a hyper-V instance running inside the windows 8 hyper-V instance, wouldn't I? This looks a bit frightening, or, say, weird to me....
Is this a realistic scenario at all?
Or should I better forget about (B) completely and go for (A)?
But I am reluctant to choose (A) because it will be the only server on this site, and I am not sure if it is a clever idea to not have the Windows OS in case of any trouble with the hyper-V host.... besides the fact that my backup software would then need to run inside the VM, initiating backup of up its parent hypervisor, which looks weird to me...