Automated, Single-Click Hyper-V Backup

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The automated Single Click Backup & Restore feature for Hyper-V reduces the effort and takes care of all the steps outlined in the previous section.

Start with the Backup Wizard:

1.Create a new Hyper-V Backup (Server) task:

2.Select Automatic Hyper-V Backup and turn on CSV mode in case you are using cluster shared volumes:

3.Then, you can either select the VM from a list or use the automatic select feature (note the option is checked “I want to select VMs from a list”):

Alternatively you can use “Automatic VM Selection” in Server Enterprise editions and higher:

The above screens require no additional configuration if you want all VMs backed up automatically. You can specify inclusion and exclusion filters based on name.

For example, you could set up the following naming convention in your company. If a VM name contains the word ‘Production’, it’s a production VM and it will be always backed up. In that case you would add the word Production as inclusion filter above.

Or you could define an exclusion filter to work like this: Let’s say you want all VMs that use the word “Testing” or “Do not back up” skipped. You would then define an exclusion filter with two lines, one for Testing and one for “Do not back up”, without entering the quotes.

The option “Do NOT back up replica VMs” prevents replica VMs from being backed up. This is useful when you are already backing up at the replica target VM separately and want to keep the server load to a minimum.

The option “Wait for VM” is there to cover the circumstance where a VM cannot be backed up in parallel. Note that services inside the VM have to participate in order to obtain an application consistent backup of the VM. Some services may place exclusive locks inside their internal data structures that may prevent parallel simultaneous backups from running. The wait option, hence, recognizes that a VM is being backed up and waits for it to complete before proceeding.

Note: the option “Do NOT back up VMs that are shut down” can lead to data loss. Consider the case where a VM is always backed up while running. At some point it’s shut down and the backups no longer include that VM. The changes since the last backup would be lost if the VM becomes damaged.

“Log a warning if no VMs are selected for backup” is an option to protect you from undesired configurations. For example, a typo in the inclusion filter may result in no VMs being recognized and hence no VMs being backed up. A warning is then logged to alert you to that possibility. You can switch this option off, for example, if hosts often have all of their VMs moved off for maintenance and you don’t wish to receive warnings in that case.

Sequential VM Backup vs. Multiple-VM Consistent Backup

It’s important not to use the simultaneous option unless it’s absolutely necessary. There is usually no speed gain from using this option. The default option is to back one VM at a time, whereas the simultaneous option backs up all VMs simultaneously. Obviously the load on your server will be much higher when a simultaneous backup is performed. The simultaneous option should only be used if you need a consistent backup across multiple virtual machines. This is usually only the case if you have several database servers linked together, or a similar setup that requires data consistency across several virtual machines.

Important: Selecting “Sequential VM Backup” is the recommended option and reduces the load on your server but takes longer to complete. This option remains checked when using a Universal Backup task; conversely, it can only be unchecked when the task was created as a Hyper-V Backup task type.

You can proceed with the Backup Wizard with standard or custom options as discussed in earlier chapters and complete the task.

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