Using Windows Server Backup on a Hyper-V Host
Posted on 2014-08-15
We have a host running Hyper-V, with about 6 VMs on it that perform various tasks (DC, Exchange server, Fileserver, etc.)
We have a 4TB hard drive installed internally in the Hyper-V host that we want to use for backups. I've installed the Windows Server Backup feature on the Hyper-V host, and set up the backups, and it runs each night and looks like it succeeds.
However, I'm a little bit skeptical that these backups will actually be helpful in the event that we need to use them for restoration. From what I can see, it can be used to restore an ENTIRE VM, or an ENTIRE VMDK file, but it can't drill down into the VM to do something like restore an individual file.
So this backup I have to treat it really as just a way to restore the entire server in the event of something really catastrophic happening like hard disk failure.
I was considering setting up another 4TB hard disk in the host, and creating VMDK files for each of the VMs, and having the VMs ALSO run the Windows Server Backup feature, making them each backup to their special "backup" VMDK file stored on the other drive. They will stagger and run their backups an hour apart from each other.
I've done this in a VMWare ESXi environment where I didn't have the option to backup the whole host, with good success. It is basically handling the backup the same was that you would if each VM was a physical machine.
But is it wise to have both of these backup systems in place at the same time? Is it recommended? Is there some better way to configure it?
At this time, purchasing backup software isn't really an option, as much as I'd love to put Veeam in place or something, so unfortunately right now we have to make do with the tools that Microsoft provides with the server by default.