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Windows Server Backup difference between Hyper-V and SBS2011

Posted on 2015-01-06
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Last Modified: 2015-01-07
Server Backup in Hyper-V computerServer Backup in SBS2011Hi,
 I run Windows Server backup on Windows 2012 Server running Hyper-V and also on SBS2011 (Standalone, no hyper-v) in two physically separated environment.
  As seen in the screenshots above, I noticed that Windows 2012 Backup takes the same amount of time and it performs FULL backup every day whereas in SBS2011 it does incremental backups and the amount of time that it takes varies from day to day.

So my question is
(1) why Windows Server backup in 2012 Server does FULL backup instead of incremental backup? I rather like to see "incremental backup" because it takes a shorter amount of time.
(2) On W2012 / Hyper-V  screenshot, FT1 is a VM. The D drive is where all the files related to VMs are stored. So the size of D drive is 382GB which is understandable because I have multiple VMs. But how come FT1 (which is about 300GB in size) shows 0KB?
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Question by:sglee
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11 Comments
 
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
noxcho earned 214 total points
ID: 40534662
Windows Server Backup takes always full backup of Hyper-V Host. You cannot change it.

Windows Server Backup is always an option to consider. It does have its limitations though. For example, when backing up the VMs to a network share, it only maintains a single version of the backup set and overwrites the older backup each time. You can get around this by using schedules to target different locations, but because a full backup is performed each time, this workaround is very space inefficient.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 286 total points
ID: 40534840
Please don't back up using the host. This can cause all sorts of headaches with the VSS setup both on the host and within the guests. BTDT

WSB in SBS 2011 is a pain when virtualized. We have _a lot_ of virtualized and clustered SBS 2011 Standard. We ended up dropping WSB because of the issues we encountered for StorageCraft's ShadowProtect.

Using their party to a network shared folder via the host that sits on a USB drive is a lot simpler than VHDX pass-through to the guest and the required rotations. We ended up with BSODs or spontaneous reboots on standalone and clustered hosts with VHD(X) pass-through so dropped it.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40534911
@Philip
There seems to be misunderstanding. SBS2011 Installation is at a completely different  site than Windows 2012 with Hyper-V site.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 286 total points
ID: 40534925
The reason the host backup is so large is that it is snapping the full VHDX files that have "changed".

The reason SBS takes incrementals is that it is snapping what has changed within its own disk structures. SBS does not know about whether it is virtual or physical.

Again, it is not a good idea to use the host's WSB.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 214 total points
ID: 40535111
There is a tool from Veeam designed to perform agentless backups of hyper-v virtual machines. It takes first full backup then increments.
Otherwise you have to take full backups always using WSB as I noted above.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40535537
If it takes a full backup and overwrites the previous, then does that mean that I have access to only one copy of backup when the time comes to restore a VM?
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 214 total points
ID: 40535608
Exactly. In this case you cannot have different versions of backups saved.
You need to use a third party backup tool for this. Like this one: http://www.paragon-software.com/medium-large-business/hdm-premium/features.html
The first feature says - agentless backup of Hyper-V virtual machines.
And even if you backup the entire host you can store different versions of images with it.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 286 total points
ID: 40535979
I suggest running the Restore on the host to see if it limits you. While it is taking a FULL it may offer others.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40536062
So if you have "virtualized environment" whether it is VMware or Hyper-V, is it fair to say that you really need a 3rd party backup software to backup VMs and need two separate storage devices (like external USB HD or NAS) because you really need to maintain two types of backups:
(1) VM Backups so that you can restore an entire VM in case it goes bad (BSODs) or fails to start.
(2) Windows backup because if you need to restore just files or folders, you don't want to restore the whole VM.
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 286 total points
ID: 40536219
We use ShadowProtect for our backups both in Standalone and Clustered settings.

If granularity is required then there is an Exchange component that allows for restoring a single item from a mailbox.

We set each VM to run backup to a shared folder either on the host in Standalone or to the standalone DC in a clustered setting.

Restore can be whole VM, Folders, Files, or other bits and pieces depending on configuration.

If one needs a more combined approach then Veeam is an awesome product for virtual environments with lots of VMs.

Edit: WSB can be used by passing a VHDX file through to the VM. It's just a pain to use in this configuration.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40536487
Thank you all for the information.
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