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How to Backup Hyper-V Virtual Machines

by | Dec 15, 2020

Although the Hyper-V environment provides quite a lot of technologies it is always best to implement traditional ways to backup Hyper-V Virtual Machines

At Bobcares, we often get requests to configure backup on Hyper-V Virtual Machines for our customers.

Today, let’s see how our Support Engineers set this up for our customers as part of our Server Management Services.

How Does the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Backup Work?

The backup creation is on the Hyper-V host rather than the guest OS, on which VMs are running.

The backup tool instructs the Hyper-V host to create a checkpoint.

backup hyper-v virtual machines

After receiving the command, the hypervisor creates some data files, and VM  starts saving changes in the files.

Then the backup tool copies the original VM files (no changes are written to them) to the backup media and then deletes the checkpoint.

While deleting the checkpoint, Hyper-V merges the original and delta files, in the meantime, the VM goes on working. And we will be able to recover its state at the point of time we started to backup.

[Need assistance to backup your VM? We are here for you!]


Backup Hyper-V Virtual Machines Using Windows Server Backup

One of the easiest ways to VM backup on Hyper-V is to use the built-in Windows Server Backup(WSB) feature.

We can use WSB via the graphic backup/restore wizard or the wbadmin command-line tool. Windows Server Backup supports VSS and incremental backup.

To install WSB component

Run the following command to install WSB component.

Install-WindowsFeature Windows-Server-Backup -IncludeManagementTools

Windows Server Backup has the GUI console (wbadmin.msc) that allows to create and manage Hyper-V backups.

To backup a Virtual Machine

1.  Start a simple wizard.

2. Then select the VMs which we want to backup from the Hyper-V server.

3. And specify where the backups are to be saved.

4. Also, we have to specify the backup schedule.

 To backup a Hyper-V VM using the command prompt

We can  backup a VM named “Server 1” to a local folder on disk C (or any other disk preferred) by giving the following command:

wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:C: –hyperv:"Server 1"

Example to back up two VMs and save them to a network shared folder:

If it is an external NAS storage we can run the following command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\\\HVMback: -hyperv:"TestVM01,TestVM02" -allowDeleteOldBackups -quiet
To get the list of backups

We can use the following command to get the list of backups registered in the system:

wbadmin get versions

It should always be kept in mind that when we backup a VM on the Hyper-V host running Windows 2012 or newer versions the VM is not paused (suspended).

[Need further assistance? We are here for you!]


In short, we’ve seen how the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Backup works.  Also, we saw the method that our Support Engineers use to backup Hyper-V Virtual Machines.






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