Monday, October 10, 2011

Tips: How to backup Virtual Machines with Windows Server 2008 R2

Overview
As you know the Virtual Machines are basically made of files. They have the common configuration files, virtual hard disks, snapshot files and saved state files. If anything goes wrong, we can perform a pre-defined list of steps to successfully restore the VMs to a functional and running state.

How to perform the backup?
Follow the following steps to perform the actual VM backup.
1.    First, open Windows Server Backup from the Administrative Tools folder.
2.    Now in the Actions Pane, it is required to click “Backup Once”. Here, you can create even a schedule for this backup.
3.    Then, select “Different Options” from the Backup Options page and then click Next.
4.    After that, it is required to select “Custom” from the “Select Backup Configuration” and click Next.
5.    Then, click “Add Items” from the “Select Items for Backup” option.
6.    Now, in the “Select Items” window, it is required to select the volumes where the VM configuration files and VM hard disks are located. Make sure that, you’re not selecting individual folders though it looks easier. Select only the entire volume as failing to select the right volumes will result in a failure for the backup procedure and in fact, it will become impossible to restore VMs.
7.    Now, click OK.
8.    It is required to click “Advanced Settings” in the “Select Items for Backup”.
9.    Now, click to select “VSS Full Backup” in the “Advanced Settings” and then click OK.
10.    Again click OK in the “Select Items for Backup”.
11.    Now, it is required to select the destination for the backup. We can select it from the “Specify Destination Type”.
12.    Here, we can also perform the backup on the remote shares and then click Next.
13.    Now, in the “Select Backup Destination” page, it is required to use the drop-down list to select your destination. If you wish to backup on an external USB drive, make sure that the computer is able to recognize the spot.
14.    Moreover, make sure that the destination volume has enough free space for the backup to be performed.
15.    Then, click OK.

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