Windows Server Backup of Host VMware server

I have a server running 2008r2. It hosts a critical VMware machine. Using Windows server backup what is the best route for me to backup both the server and the VM machine?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
1) You can back up the VM by copying the full folder and associated files to another location. As long as all files are copied off, then copied back to the same structure, it will work fine.
2) Windows Server Backup only allows a backup to a single volume for that one backup type. For instance, A FULL backup needs to go to a specific volume where no other Windows Server Backups will be stored.

My suggestion:
Create a backup job to perform a full, bare metal backup of your Server.  A Full backup of your Server will copy the O/S and all data on all drives, including your VMWare Player/Workstation installation and any VMs you have on that Server. I suggest performing this once per month at least. This backup will need to have a dedicated Volume assigned for this one purpose.
Then, create another backup job that does specific files and folders, to point to a another separate dedicated Volume. In this job you would include your data you need backed up regularly as well as your VM. I recommend performing this backup once per day.

In case of Server 2012 crash, where nothing can be recovered, you have your monthly FULL backup to load. This will get you up to date to your last full backup. You would then load your 'daily' backup to get your Server back up to date to the last daily backup. This will include your VM as well.

I highly suggest you have your backups on a RAID setup of some sort and also copy your backups to an external drive for extra redundancy in case of backup Volume loss.
IE/ Your server has an issue, two of the (3) RAID drives crashed. You replace the drives but it fails to replicate properly. This means your local full backup and incrementals are no longer accessible!! Oh my! Good thing you also kept a copy on your external drive! You rebuild the hardware and then install Server 2012. You run the backup wizard and perform a FULL restore from your External drive. This gets you up to date as of your last 'monthly full backup'. Then you perform another backup process of your daily file (incrementals). You are now back in business even though your entire server and hardware crashed!

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What VMware Product are you using ?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2008

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.