In our environment, we have three physical servers that are running Windows Hyper-V to host various server images. The Images themselves are stored on a Dell Equallogic SAN connected via the iSCSI interface. THe volumes on the SAN are set for regular daily snapshots.

The problem we are facing is that this solution provides a lot of redudancy should anything go wrong with a given image, or the host server, but if something should go wrong with the SAN our entire operation is toast. After spending 40K on a SAN, Dell now wants us to spend another 30K on a second san for replication, or buy a different software package to backup the production iamges rather than the snapshots. =/

I refuse to believe that there isnt another way to set up a secondary server or device (other than another SAN) that can connect and just grab a copy of the server images from the snapshots. This may be something that the SAN pushes to another server, or something that the second server pulls from the SAN. I don't know.

I would be interested to hear what options others have chosen to manage their backups.


Mounting SAN snapshots is possible, provided your SAN supports it. This is not a common feature on lower-end SANs, and it's usually a purchasable feature on mid-grade and high-end SANs. That being said, volume snapshots are not the right way to do this. Yes, this is good if you need to revert a server quickly, but as you have discovered this is not a "backup" solution.

The right way to do this is to use a backup program designed to back up running Hyper-V guests. SAN volume snapshots will not be part of that equation.

  • 1
    +1. Basically get yourself a nice second Server running DPM and a nice Little LTO5 tape autoloader and do backups ;) – TomTom Oct 16 '12 at 20:41

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