Lots of IT professionals use Windows 8 and Hyper-V to run various virtual machines. Naturally the really important VMs you would want backed up often and efficiently, but how to create a Windows 8 Client Hyper-V backup?
A very suitable solution is BackupChain, a server backup software for Windows which also works on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Using a couple of clicks, all you need to do is create a new task as shown below:
Then select the VMs you would like backed up by checking them:
Note above the awesome feature 'backup all selected VMs simultaneously'. This is not for speed but for multiple-VM consistency. For example, if you had an application VM and several database VMs, you could back them up together so you have a consistent backups across several VMs. Very useful indeed!
Next, you will see a screen with options, you can safely use the recommended defaults for now and tweak later if necessary.
The last thing to do is to set the target and you're done. Supported targets are: local or network folders and FTP, see below:
After that you can run the backup task immediately or click edit to add a schedule, email alert notifcations, or perhaps just browse through all available features:
The Hyper-V tab is the place where you can update the VM selection at a later point.
Tips & Tricks
- If you use external hard drives as backup target, you can freely rotate them as long as they are using the same drive letter. Windows Disk Management may be used to configure drive letters for your existing disks.
- Windows 8 virtual machine backups made with BackupChain may be also restored on Windows Server 2008 and later, and vice versa.
- BackupChain also backs up VMware, SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and many other services.
User Manual (PDF) for BackupChain
A PDF user guide is available with many screen shots and tutorials.
Online Backups of Windows 8 Hyper-V VMs
No other backup tool offers backup deduplication over standard FTP and in combination with Hyper-V, it's a huge time and storage saver.
You could, for example, configure a home server to receive FTP backups from work, encrypted and using deduplication.
Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012 Compatibility
Hyper-V backups created on Windows 8 can be easily restored on a Windows Server 2008 or later. Conversely, if you have virtual machines hosted on Windows Server 2012 R2 you can move them to Windows 8.1 by backing them up and restoring them on Windows 8.
These features are all unique to BackupChain.
BackupChain backs up and restores the entire VM and all of its files automatically: VHDs, Checkpoints, Snapshots, and configuration.
Backup and restore of Hyper-V VMs is automatic and completed with just a couple of clicks.
Hyper-V virtual machine backups can be restored on any other Windows version with Hyper-V, whether Windows Server or Windows 8.