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I do regular backups of my HyperV host system, including the folders with the hyper v guests.

Should I also do a backup of the guests separately (e.g. from within the guest OS itself)?

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3 Answers 3

Propably yes, because it is easier to restore single files that way.

Especially yes if your guests do reside in places not mounted as filesystem within the W2K8.

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+1 Also some apps within the VMs may freak out over slightly inconsistent VHD backups; notably databases. –  Chris S Jan 17 '12 at 21:52

It depends. If the software that you are using to backup the guests supports online client backups then you don't need to backup the clients directly. If not you'll need to backup the guests directly.

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Not necessarily.

It definitely is possible to make a backup of the host in such a way as to be confident in the integrity of your virtual machines, but only if your backup software is designed for this particular scenario.

I personally use and recommend BackupAssist, which has a very convenient Hyper-V Granular Restore feature to solve the "image-within-an-image" problem.

Of course, the usual disclaimers apply:

  1. No backup is "real" until your restore procedure has been tested thoroughly.
  2. Most business-critical SQL Server databases need a robust incremental backup strategy, e.g. log shipping to a hot standby SQL server or at least 15-minute incremental backups.
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THanks for the link to BackupAssist. I will definately take a look at it. Is there anything comparable? –  Heinrich Jan 18 '12 at 9:29

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