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Backing up VHD files off a Hyper-V Cluster

Created: 13 Feb 2013 • Updated: 13 Feb 2013 | 1 comment

Hi all.....

I am in the process of implementing Backup Exec Hyper-V agent on a 3 node server 2008 R2 cluster. Obviously I can back up a whole virtual server  by selecting it under Microsoft Hyper-V HA Virtual Machines. However, the question is, for virtual servers where I am interested in protecting the system drive and not necessarily the data drives is it possible to back up the individual .vhd files from under the appropriate cluster shared volume - e.g. c:\clusterstorage\volume1\server1.vhd (All the cluster sgared volumes appear under the cluster name in the selection tree).



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phartman's picture

Step one with the Hyper-v cluster is to make sure the C:\clusterstorage path on all servers is excluded from being backed up.  Microsoft does not support backup software accessing the VMs from this path.  If you want specific, individual drives backed up, I would recommend installing the remote agent on the VM and back up the server via that method rather than through the Hyper-V interface.

If you want to backup just the system drives and not data drives, you may want to try pass through drives.  In that instance, VHDs aren't even created for the data drives.  The draw-back to that architecture is that you would only be able to backup the data drives via have the remote agent installed on the VM.

Also keep in mind that to backup VMs on a Hyper-V cluster, you should use Hardware VSS writers.  Again this is a Microsoft best practice because using the Hyper-V VSS writers will place the CSV into redirected access mode for the duration of the backup.