Hyper-V Virtual Machine Backup and Restore

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Hyper-V virtual machines may be backed up using two different methods. All methods shown below are supported by our Hyper-V backup solution, which runs on Windows Server as well as Windows PCs with Hyper-V installed.

One method is to back up Hyper-V’s files and folders manually.

BackupChain also offers a fully automatic way to back up and restore your virtual machines in Server and Platinum Editions. Server Enterprise and higher also offer an automatic VM selection feature for Hyper-V backups.

Hyper-V Live Backup Prerequisites

In order for live backup to be available in the guest VM:

  1. Install the latest Hyper-V Integration Services (For hosts older than Windows Server 2016)
  2. Install the latest Windows updates to your host server.
  3. Avoid using snapshots because they are not recommended for production systems. If you do use snapshots, store them in the same folder as the main VHDs.
  4. Be aware that in Server 2008 / R2, when you delete snapshots Hyper-V hides from the user interface but they are still in operation until the VM is shut down for a while.
  5. Ensure NTFS is used throughout.
  6. Hyper-V integration services are necessary to use live backup. On some guest operating systems Hyper-V provides no live backup support. (Whether live backup takes place or a saved state backup is entirely up to Hyper-V to decide at runtime). Please check whether integration services exist for your particular guest OS and host Windows version. If you encounter a case where Hyper-V does not support live backup for a particular guest OS, you can switch off the “Backup” option in the VM’s integration options in Hyper-V Manager. This will prevent the VM from going into a saved state and provide you with a crash consistent VM backup. Application consistency, however, can only be achieved with integration services running properly and the “backup” option in Hyper-V being switched on.

Detailed Walk-throughs

For the file-based Hyper-V backup and restore method, please see:  File-Based Hyper-V Backup and Restoring Hyper-V VMs Using the File-Based Method.

The recommended practice is to use the Automatic Hyper-V backup and restore method:

Automated, Single-Click Hyper-V Backup and Automatic Hyper-V Restore

Cluster Shared Volumes

Please have a look at Cluster Shared Volume Backup and Restore Considerations.

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