I was just wondering how other people backup their HyperV Guests.
As far as I can tell there are several options:
Backup the Guest OSes from within each Guest OS (e.g. using msbackup/ntbackup)
Backup the host (which also backups up the Guest OSes e.g. Win 2003..Win2008).
Stop the Guest machines and copy the .VHD files to an external USB backup drive.
Use third party backup software (e.g. Veritas) on Host or Guests.
Microsoft's backup/DR system (can't recall its name).
1) Seems problematic: How to setup consequtive backups to one USB backup drive? Possible? msbackup (in Win2k8) seems very limited.
2) Seems simpliest, but big problem is that the MS docs I've read says that you can only restore the entire Guest, not individual files.
3) Would seem like the best/simplest option. Simply schedule the Guests to stop, then copy the .VHD files to an external backup USB drive. For Disaster Recovery this is excellent as it would be so simple to create a new Guest using the .VHD file. And someone has informed me that you can use utilities to drill into the file to restore individual files.
4) At £300 per remote license, I want to avoid this for now (!). With around 10 Guest OSes we would need to spend £3,000+VAT. Plus a new license for the main software (currently on V9).
5) I'm very interested in this option, as all our servers are Windows based, and hope that MS would do a hefty Educational Discount. But this would have to come out of next year's budget or Captial Bid for implemation in the Summer.
Right we just literally went from BE 10 to MS DPM because of the insance costs for BE lics (to do it right you really need to buy the virtual server lic @ £1000 per sever for schools)
We evaled BE and while it was good it was simply too much to pay. MS dpm is very very cheap to license on schools agreement.
1. If you need flat file backups its one method but its not idea like you say and since you would probably be using a share there is no automated way without scheduled tasks etc.
2. Backing up the host using windows is easy to do on the server but cant be automated easily (like above) to a unc.
3. This method wont work in several scenarios (full disaster recovery and other things like snapshots) because you need all the information to remount the vhd as a HyperV OS (including the configs) and without it you wont be able to do it this way. You can recover the files from the VHD though.
4. Veritas is very very expensive....
5. DPM rocks, it can backup the hosts and restore them on the cluster. If you need a flat file recovery you can mount the restored vhd on your pc and access the contents realitvely easily.