Most of our customers are having practical issues on how to backup and recover HYPER-V machines. One key thing is HYPER-V backup procedure or at least I would say approach is different from normal server backup methods.
If you’re expecting to backup the VPC using Windows native backup software then it is still possible but the issues will be you won’t be able to recover single VPC in a recovery scenario instead entire volume. As you can see this is time consuming but free options always comes with a catch. At least this is a good option to backup your VPC without shutting them down.
Please refer to this TechNet article which describes solutions in very detail and easy to understand method.
If you prefer to backup individual VPC level and their data inside separately then you’ll have to consider backup software which is aware about HYPER-V. Microsoft DPM is one such software which is very comprehensive in that area. Some of the resources about HYPER-V backup using DPM can be found over here and here.
Apart from that Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 is a good software which is capable of backing up HYPER-V VPC’s and recovering individual file level. (hint…hint guys)
One practical advise is backup and restore of VPC is time consuming task. so make sure your backup solution has a speedy method of recovery, DPM overlook this sometime back and advise customers to move into disk based backup. Still you have to make sure backup media connectivity with the host server support speedy recovery.
So one way to minimize of these kind of unhappy moments is to have high availability solutions like HYPER-V host clustering. This will allow you to balance the HYPER-V workload. More information about this can be found plenty out there when you do a search. One comprehensive article can be found over here.
We’re looking forward to provide more information about HYPER-V backup from DPM 2010 product in future articles, so stay tuned 🙂