Set up Windows Server Backup for Incremental Hyper-V Backup

Posted by @Cody

April 1, 2016

Learn the steps to use Windows Server backup for incremental Hyper-V backup on your server while the virtual machine is running.

How does Windows Server Backup work with virtual machines?

In Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, using Windows Server Backup for incremental hyper-V backup is complicated and with many incompatibilities and limitations. To back up Hyper-V virtual machines, one way is from the parent partition. To do that, you need to register the Microsoft Hyper-V VSS writer with Windows Server Backup, which is cumbersome. However, if you want to make it simple by backing up the Hyper-V folder on your hard drive, this might cause the virtual machines not working after the restore. Luckily, in Windows Server 2012, the Windows Server Backup fully support backing up Hyper-V virtual machines. You only need to check the Hyper-V items when your choose what to include in the backup. You can also create a scheduled backup to automatically backup virtual machines regularly.

How to backup Hyper-V virtual machines?

Windows Server Backup is not pre-installed in Windows Server, so you need to install it in Server Manager before you can create backups. It will perform schedule backup using incremental backup, and you can change this settings in Optimize Backup Performance.

To backup hyper-v virtual machines in server 2012:

1. Open Windows Server Backup, click on “Backup Schedule” to create an automatic backup job.

2. Then it will bring you the Backup Schedule Wizard. In the Select Backup Configuration screen, select “Custom” to select the Hyper-V virtual machines and other files to backup.

3. In the next screen, click on “Add Items” to include Hyper-V virtual machines to the backup.

Select Items

4. After that, specify when you want to the backup to run. You can schedule a daily backup or more frequent backup task.

5. Specify the backup destination drive. You can backup to a dedicated hard disk, a volume or shared network folder.

Specify Destination

6. Confirm the backup schedule and click “Finish”.

If you backup hyper-v host to a network location, then every backup will overwrite the previous backup and be performed as full backup. If something goes wrong, you might need up with no backups at all. For someone that needs a simpler and more reliable hyper-V backup tool, third-party server backup software AOMEI Backupper Server comes into play.

Backup Hyper-V with AOMEI Backupper

With an intuitive interface, AOMEI Backupper Server allows you to backup and restore Hyper-V virtual machines easier and faster. You can install this software on the Hyper-V for backup and recovery. What’s more, it is supported to restore virtual machine to physical, and vice versa.

To backup Hyper-V with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Download and run the backup software on the Hyper-V.

2. In the main interface, click "Backup", and then "System Backup". You can also choose Disk Backup, File Backup, and Partition Backup.

System Backup

3. For system backup, the program will automatically choose the system related partitions as the backup source. All you need to do is click” Step 2" to specify the destination location for saving the backup image.

Step 2

4. Click the “Schedule” option below to decide when you want to the backup to run. As with Windows Server Backup, AOMEI Backupper will also run the incremental backup as default after the first full backup.

Weekly Backup

5. When all settings are done. Click “Start Backup” to finish creating this backup.

Besides, AOMEI Backupper Server has many other functions, such as automatic previous backups cleanup, email notification, encryption. All in all, you can use AOMEI Backupper to create Windows Server incremental backup of Hyper-V virtual machines.