I have a virtual machine host that runs about 4 virtual machines on a separate drive.

If I create an image backup (a la Acronis True Image or Ghost, etc) of the VM host's system drive and then restore that image, will my VM's still work as if nothing happened or will i have to re-add them?

Hyper-V or VMWare, either one.

  • Would you be restoring to the same system? – Joseph May 26 '09 at 18:49

If you exclude things like patches that were applied to the host OS, then yes. Host OS patches may affect the VM guest.

Another way to do this is to use boot-from-SAN. Some shops boot their VMware hosts from SAN image snapshots, and they can deploy new snapshots when VMware versions upgrade. The VMware host joins the farm, attaches to the shared SAN luns where the VM's live, and can run VMs right away.

  • Good Point about patches, had not considered that +1 – Sam Cogan May 26 '09 at 19:15
  • Yeah, you know how VMware host upgrades can cause guest driver updates. I've never tried running newer guest versions - doubt it'd break anything, but I wouldn't want to find out, heh. – Brent Ozar May 26 '09 at 19:24

If you are taking an image of the entire host, then when it is restored, it should be in exactly the same state, including the VM's. The VM software and the VM's are part of the host system.

You may have to re-configure some areas however if things change, such as IP addresses.

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