Planning your Hyper-V backup solution is important to ensure that backups and restores of Hyper-V hosts and guests work as intended. This document provides information and helpful hints so that you have a best practice solution that meets your expectations.
When planning a backup, the following points should be considered:
- The most effective usage of space when backing up guest machines
- The backup window available and the limitations of that backup window
- What restore options your backup will allow:
- The Hyper-V Granular Restore Console Add-on can restore files from within a guest.
- The BackupAssist Restore console can restore files located on the host or the complete guest machine.
- Backup redundancy through the use of both local and offsite backups
- Having one base license on each host. BackupAssist can use one license on a host to backup all guest machines and perform a one-pass backup.
- A Hyper-V guest will not be aware of the backup unless you install Hyper-V Integration Services on it. Without Hyper-V Integration Services, you will only get a crash-consistent backup of the VM, not an application-consistent backup
- Always use the Hyper-V VSS writer otherwise the guests will not be aware of the backup. This is critical, especially for guest applications like Exchange that must be involved in the backup.
- Back up the entire host volume containing the guest VHD files. Volume based backups are faster smaller and more reliable.
Implementing a Hyper-V backup solution means aligning what you are backing up, how you are backing it up and your backup destination. This section provides best practice suggestions for a Hyper-V backup implementation, using BackupAssist.