Backing up Virtual Machines vs. Running BackupChain Inside VM

When backing up VHDs does it make more sense to use BackupChain on the host or on the guest OS?  We're looking to backup the data in the shortest amount of time without losing some compression but encryption is still a must.

Encryption does require compression to be switched on and if you're looking at the best backup speed, it really depends on the type of data that is stored in the VM.

If you have many files in the VM and there is a good chance a lot of those files change frequently, it may be better to run the backup on the host. BackupChain can scan a VM image really fast utilizing all available CPU cores; however, if only few files change between backup cycles and the actual data change amount is relatively small, then it's better to run BackupChain on the guest OS inside the virtual machine.

Example scenarios:

Scenario #1

VM stores images and image files are rarely changed or deleted. Most of the time files are just added, not changed. It's better to run BackupChain inside the VM.

Scenario #2

The VM runs a database server which deletes and updates rows very often. In addition files are continuously added and changed and there are many hundreds of thousands of files inside the VM. Here it's best to run BackupChain on the host.


For most cases, it's more efficient to run BackupChain on the host, unless the server hosts many VMs that are relatively "quiet" in terms of file change activity. If files aren't added or changed frequently, it's more efficient to run BackupChain within the VM.