2012
06.25

On Sunday evening I tweeted about something I’ve been playing with for the last week …

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… and I was called a tease Smile  Caught, red handed!

Windows Server Backup (WSB) in Windows Server 2012, out of the box with no registry edits, can backup:

  • Running virtual machines on a standalone host – a slight improvement over the past where a registry edit was required to register the VSS Hyper-V Writer
  • Running virtual machines on a cluster shared volume (CSV) – this is absolutely new

Note that WSB does not support VMs that are stored on SMB 3.0 file shares.  You’ll need something else for that.

I’ve done a lot of testing over the last week, trying out different scenarios in the cluster, and restoring “lost” VMs.  Everything worked.  You can backup to a volume, a drive, or a file share.  This is a very nice solution for a small company that wants a budget virtualisation solution. 

As for my step-by-steps … I’m working on it but you’ll have to wait for that … and that is another tease Smile

15 comments so far

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  1. Thanks for the heads-up that this can be done!

    Really hoping to be able to use this in a new cluster we’re planning to build with WS2012 Hyper-V – any ETA on the step-by step? :)

    • It definitely can be done. I’ve done a lot of testing and it works. It is not as simple as setting up a DPM or BackupExec job, but it’s free. There will be an announcement on documentation in the future.

      • Thanks for the infos!

        Will this also work directly on an standalone, single Hyper-V Server 2012 installation? Will there be ab GUI for WSB configuration/monitoring?

      • Hi, are there new details about WSB config on Hyper-V Server 2012? Got a new server up & running, backup would be fine :)

        • Yeah, it works. Here’s the catch (because it is free in-box backup and MSFT wants you to eventually pay for DPM 2012 SP1): it can only do an application consistent backup for locally running VMs. If you have a single host, then no issue there.

          It can do application consistent backup of VMs on CSV (HA in a cluster); it’s just that WSB running on HostB can only do application consistent backups of those VMs currently executing on HostB.

  2. Fine, is there any documentation available how to set things up?

    • Nothing from MSFT yet. But I know a book that’s coming out in the new year …

      • Windows Backup feature does not support backing up VMs on CSV
        (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj614621).

        • You have misread the site. It absolutely is supported if done correctly, with application consistency inside of the VMs.

  3. On the cluster nodes hosting the VM vs01, I execluded:

    wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\hv3servers -hyperv:vs01

    Application backup failed. This is the log:

    Application backup
    Writer Id: {66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE}
    Component: 261340E6-3493-4C4A-9178-B8F7BFD72869
    Caption : Backup Using Child Partition Snapshotvs01
    Logical Path:
    Error : 80780175
    Error Message : Component was skipped from volume shadow copy.

    Detailed Error : 80780189
    Detailed Error Message : Windows Backup cannot backup an application with files on a CSV volume.

    • Same here. Technet says :

      Limited support for backing up CSVs as follows:

      1.Virtual machines hosted on CSV’s cannot be added as part of backup configuration

      I do interpret this as “you cannot add a VM via ‘-hyperv:’ if it is located on a CSV”. You probably have to “-include:C:ClusterStorageVolumeXVMFolder” instead ?

      • In my chatting with the product group, the supported way to backup Hyper-V VMs on a CSV is to select the Hyper-V objects that are running on the same host as the backup job. This gives you application (database/etc) consistency. Backing up the CSV will only give you crash consistency, and not application consistency.

  4. Since I have a one-node cluster at the moment, “running on the same host” is a no-brainer for me :-)

    Anyway I still get “Any virtual machines included in the backup will be temporarily placed into a saved state when the backup runs.” even though
    - I use -vssFull parameter
    - VSS is running in the supported client OS (Server 2008 R2)

    After continuing the VM doesnt become Saved, but the backup aborts :

    Application backup
    Writer Id: {66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE}
    Component: 5F67F546-46E1-43AD-873D-14EA5903D063
    Caption : Backup Using Child Partition SnapshotMyServerVM
    Logical Path:
    Error : 80780175
    Error Message : Component was skipped from volume shadow copy.

    Detailed Error : 80780189
    Detailed Error Message : Windows Backup cannot backup an application with files on a CSV volume.

  5. Hi Aidan, did you ever post your step-by-step guide? Can’t seem to find it!

    Cheers,
    Jim

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