Full WSB backup on Server 2012 R2 with VMs - incremental?

Posted on 2014-07-11
Last Modified: 2014-07-18
This is regarding Windows Server 2012 R2 built-in backup feature (WSB),
where this server has multiple VMs installed.

With a full backup, incremental, does WSB perform incrementally inside the VMs?

Meaning, if the vhdx file of a VM has changed, does WSB - when acting incrementally - backup the whole vhdx again, or maybe it can backup only the files (inside the vhdx) that changed?...

(again, this is about a full backup, not a custom one)
Question by:campinam
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
    With a full backup, incremental, does WSB perform incrementally inside the VMs?
    no it will backup the full .vhdx files of the VM's.. remember as far as the O/S is concerned these are just files and like any other file that is changed it backs up the changed files

    Author Comment

    Then how can one explain the following:

    1. Perform a full backup (the first backup, start with empty USB backup drive).
    2. Make some changes to files inside the VMs.
    3. Perform a second backup of the host (full, incremental).
    4. The total used space on the USB backup drive has increased by only about 2%, while the combined VMs' data is about 70% of the initial backup data.
    5. If the .vhdx files were backed up again as full files, one would expect an at least 70% increase in used space on the backup drive (not 2%).

    note:  VMs' OS is Server 2012 R2 as well
    LVL 34

    Accepted Solution

    What you have read is correct
    Tried to find documentation on web, but did not found anything proper, hence tested scenario in lab on 2012 R2
    The findings:
    You cannot define incremental backup for VM level backup, when you fire 1st backup of VM through WSB, it is full backup
    Now if you fire same VM backup again, the backup will just take snapshot of changes since last full backup (Incremental) and append it to original full VHDX file
    After completion of backups if you look at the backup history details all backups will be listed as Full backup only
    However if you are going to restore backup, you will presented all versions and you can restore the version you want (either full OR incremental)

    If you taking file \ folder backup you can have advanced options (Configure Performance settings) where you can define incremental \ full backup on drive level.

    Featured Post

    Highfive + Dolby Voice = No More Audio Complaints!

    Poor audio quality is one of the top reasons people don’t use video conferencing. Get the crispest, clearest audio powered by Dolby Voice in every meeting. Highfive and Dolby Voice deliver the best video conferencing and audio experience for every meeting and every room.

    Join & Write a Comment

    #Citrix #Citrix Netscaler #HTTP Compression #Load Balance
    Sometimes drives fill up and we don't know why.  If you don't understand the best way to use the tools available, you may end up being stumped as to why your drive says it's not full when you have no space left!  Here's how you can find out...
    This tutorial will show how to configure a new Backup Exec 2012 server and move an existing database to that server with the use of the BEUtility. Install Backup Exec 2012 on the new server and apply all of the latest hotfixes and service packs. The…
    This tutorial will show how to configure a single USB drive with a separate folder for each day of the week. This will allow each of the backups to be kept separate preventing the previous day’s backup from being overwritten. The USB drive must be s…

    746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    14 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now