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Hyper V Disaster Recovery Plan RRS feed

  • Question

  • http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverhyperv/thread/50f61be5-323f-4603-8c2d-1b79b8356740/

    I am kinda continuing this thread that started on this forum by another user.

    My current environment, I have two Dell Poweredge 2900. They are running Server 2008 STANDARD with Hyper V. One poweredge contains two VM, one is exchange VM, the second is Great Plains Vm. The second poweredge has one vm that is my sql/file server/primary domain controller.

    All VM are Server 2003. Exchange is Exchange 2003. If it's important.

    I read many article including the one I posted and really don't know if Hyper V has a disaster recovery solution for this company. I am currently working on a disaster recovery plan for the individual server 2003 but thats not working out too well. I was just thinking does Hyper V have a Disaster Recovery Procedure? Is exporting/importing a disaster recovery solution? Is copying over the vhd files to another server that has Hyper V a disaster recovery solution? The article on top is something that interested me because I am going to move the sql domain controller off the poweredge and put it to the poweredge that holds the exchange and great plains. Then have the power edge to a remote site and use it for backups of the vhds.

    Is that a disaster recovery solution? My company is real tight in budget. We don't want to use third party companies nor softwares, we want to know if Microsoft has given us the gift to do it on our own.

    I also forgot to add is really DPM another solution or the only solution with Hyper V?

    http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/data-protection-manager/dpm-2010-overview.aspx

     

    • Edited by CGS Tech Thursday, January 6, 2011 8:55 PM Added another comment
    Thursday, January 6, 2011 8:51 PM

Answers

  • The DR plan that I had at a financial instution that I use to work at was that we backed up the VMs and their valuable data (just as if there were physical machines) and we documented the configuration of the VM (vCPU, RAM, etc.) so that we could recover the virutal disk of the VM and simply manually re-create the configuration.

    It was easy and reliable.  Very few moving parts beyond the backup software that we were already very familiar with.

    Personally, I always pushed for the DR options that allowed us to recover machines in the fastest possible way - and we practiced this and refinded it.  I did not rely on scripts or automation for doing anything other than recovering the actual application data.

    each time we practiced a recovery of a system it was the greenest junior engineer that followed our instructions while one of us watched, took notes, and modified the documents and process.

    We had excellent audits and a happy business unit.

    In our exercises included recovering the backup system itself.  The assumption being that all we had were tapes, installation media, and an internet connection to download patches, and cold equipment we kept in an offsite vault. 

    IMHO - this is where I see folks get hung up on a "solution" that provides DR and not the process of recovering the critical systems.  You must always remember that the solution must be recoverable as well, or else it cannot restore your data.  Then you might as well have nothing.  Point and click solutions are nice, but none are free.

     

     

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Monday, January 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    Thursday, January 6, 2011 10:03 PM
  • Hello,

    I would suggest that you take a look at at DPM, which you mentioned, as a tool for providing disaster recovery to both your virtual machines and your applications.  This tool will allow you to backup the virtual machines as a whole, to be restored to another virtual host.  Also, you can backup the applications, such as SQL, Exchange, AD, and SharePoint. 

    If you require the ability to restore your VMs at another site (which many banks do), you can replicate the DPM data (on-disk) to another DPM server at another site.  You'll find this a great solution for allowing you to quickly recover to another site.

    Here is some more information on DPM:
    http://blog.concurrency.com/infrastructure/back-me-up-im-going-in-hyper-v-and-backup/

    After recovery solutions like DPM, you can look into replication technologies which would provide more immediate failover.

    Nathan Lasnoski


    http://blog.concurrency.com/author/nlasnoski/
    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Monday, January 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    Friday, January 7, 2011 4:50 AM
  • Hi,

     

    DPM is not free, if your company is real tight in budget and don't want to use third party software, the only method is using Windows Server Backup.

     

    For more information, you can refer to:

     

    How to enable Windows Server Backup support for the Hyper-V VSS Writer

    http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/archive/2008/08/20/how-to-enable-windows-server-backup-support-for-the-hyper-v-vss-writer.aspx

     

    How to back up Hyper-V virtual machines from the parent partition on a Windows Server 2008-based computer by using Windows Server Backup

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958662

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Monday, January 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    Friday, January 7, 2011 6:41 AM
  • power off the VM you want to move.

    Export the VM

    Copy the Export folder and all contents to the other Hyper-V server.

    Import the VM

    fix-up the networking settings.

    Note - Export and Import can only be used with local storage.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    • Marked as answer by CGS Tech Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:44 PM
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:29 PM

All replies

  • The DR plan that I had at a financial instution that I use to work at was that we backed up the VMs and their valuable data (just as if there were physical machines) and we documented the configuration of the VM (vCPU, RAM, etc.) so that we could recover the virutal disk of the VM and simply manually re-create the configuration.

    It was easy and reliable.  Very few moving parts beyond the backup software that we were already very familiar with.

    Personally, I always pushed for the DR options that allowed us to recover machines in the fastest possible way - and we practiced this and refinded it.  I did not rely on scripts or automation for doing anything other than recovering the actual application data.

    each time we practiced a recovery of a system it was the greenest junior engineer that followed our instructions while one of us watched, took notes, and modified the documents and process.

    We had excellent audits and a happy business unit.

    In our exercises included recovering the backup system itself.  The assumption being that all we had were tapes, installation media, and an internet connection to download patches, and cold equipment we kept in an offsite vault. 

    IMHO - this is where I see folks get hung up on a "solution" that provides DR and not the process of recovering the critical systems.  You must always remember that the solution must be recoverable as well, or else it cannot restore your data.  Then you might as well have nothing.  Point and click solutions are nice, but none are free.

     

     

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Monday, January 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    Thursday, January 6, 2011 10:03 PM
  • Hello,

    I would suggest that you take a look at at DPM, which you mentioned, as a tool for providing disaster recovery to both your virtual machines and your applications.  This tool will allow you to backup the virtual machines as a whole, to be restored to another virtual host.  Also, you can backup the applications, such as SQL, Exchange, AD, and SharePoint. 

    If you require the ability to restore your VMs at another site (which many banks do), you can replicate the DPM data (on-disk) to another DPM server at another site.  You'll find this a great solution for allowing you to quickly recover to another site.

    Here is some more information on DPM:
    http://blog.concurrency.com/infrastructure/back-me-up-im-going-in-hyper-v-and-backup/

    After recovery solutions like DPM, you can look into replication technologies which would provide more immediate failover.

    Nathan Lasnoski


    http://blog.concurrency.com/author/nlasnoski/
    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Monday, January 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    Friday, January 7, 2011 4:50 AM
  • Hi,

     

    DPM is not free, if your company is real tight in budget and don't want to use third party software, the only method is using Windows Server Backup.

     

    For more information, you can refer to:

     

    How to enable Windows Server Backup support for the Hyper-V VSS Writer

    http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/archive/2008/08/20/how-to-enable-windows-server-backup-support-for-the-hyper-v-vss-writer.aspx

     

    How to back up Hyper-V virtual machines from the parent partition on a Windows Server 2008-based computer by using Windows Server Backup

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958662

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Monday, January 10, 2011 7:41 AM
    Friday, January 7, 2011 6:41 AM
  • Thank you Vincent for marking this as an answer and thanks Brian for your response. I am glad that you found a solution to backing up the VMs and able to restore the virtual disk of it. But How did you do this? Did you use third party? Did you use Windows Backup? Thanks
    Monday, January 10, 2011 4:08 PM
  • Again thanks Vincent Hu for marking this as an answer, and thanks Nathan for your response. I present DPM to my management team and they shut it down immediately. It's way over our budget and it don't feel like it's needed for a small company like us.
    Monday, January 10, 2011 4:09 PM
  • Thanks Vincent. Yea DPM was extremely high I was pretty surprised at the cost. I will check out Windows Server Backup and do some testing as I just received another server with Hyper V. Let's see if I can get the new server to run as a backup.
    Monday, January 10, 2011 4:10 PM
  • We already had a backup utility that we used in house.  At the time we were all VMware - so we ran backup agents within the OS of the VM as that was the method that allowed us to restore to VM or hardware - it did not limit our options.

    Windows Server BAckup is basic functionality - yes it can work - and if you plan things out you can use it well. 

    Personally, I would focus on backing up the VHDs, documenting the virtual hardware configuraitons, and not about trying to restore a Hyper-V Server (because it installs in less than 30 minutes - easier to install clean than mess around with restoring an existing config - cleaner in AD, cleaner on the hardware, you might decide to upgrade, etc.)

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Monday, January 10, 2011 5:44 PM
  • Yeah I am reading a lot of article concerning Windows Server Backup. I assume by backing up the volumes it will back up the vhd in that volume with the xml configuration. I just don't understand too much of the restore function because I will be taking these backups to another server at my remote site that will have Server 2008 with Hyper V just as how my production is. Do I have to re-install a server 2003 virtual machine then do the restore? or just do the restore and it should find is way to hyper v and I just have to run the vm?

    Monday, January 10, 2011 6:00 PM
  • This is getting more exciting. Now after I get through the configuration of the backups and click start backup I get this error:

     

    Backup started at '1/10/2011 6:56:41 PM' failed as Volume Shadow copy operation failed for backup volumes with following error code '2155348129'. Please rerun backup once issue is resolved.

    and from a technet previously done here:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverfiles/thread/d5daada2-b78b-4935-bd9e-80726c26c4a8

     

    Looks like they never had a answer for this issue.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 7:16 PM
  • Nevermind that. Finally got it work, I had to do backup on the volumes individually since I wanted to do a backup on two volumes at the same time. But so far so good I got the backups now need to find out how to do a restore. But I do have a question if I may ask, when you read my environment, I have a server 2008 that has my sql as a vm, then another server 2008 that has my great plains and exchange vm. Two different server machines. I want to move out the sql vm off the one server to the one that exchange and great plains is in, how would I do this? Any help would be great thanks.
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:17 PM
  • power off the VM you want to move.

    Export the VM

    Copy the Export folder and all contents to the other Hyper-V server.

    Import the VM

    fix-up the networking settings.

    Note - Export and Import can only be used with local storage.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    • Marked as answer by CGS Tech Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:44 PM
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:29 PM
  • Boy, you guys really do work a lot and help people out. I see your names all over the forums. Hope you guys getting paid well for helping us out. Thanks again Brian, we tested and got it to work. Now our Hyper V plan looks like its in place except for one little problem....

     

    I know you guys are going to hate me.. I followed Vincent procedure install the VSS Writer, ran a backup on the drive that Virtual Machine is in that contains the vhd files and all the good stuff.. Well they were in production at the time and I clicked backup and for some reason I opened Hyper V and saw it was creating a snapshot of the virtual machine, but while doing that it turned off my machine!!! So many angry people came after me, the server froze and when I got it back up, the Virtual Machine was GONE! So we panicked for a bit until I saw that the folder wasn't deleted so I had to create a new virtual machine, put the settings the same way I remembered we had for the machine and make sure its pointing to the vhd of that machine. It worked with no problem. So that was a sign of relief.

    But now we are confused, why did Windows Server Backup do this? I thought having VSS Writer was suppose to do backups while staying in production. Because our ultimate goal now is to have Volume Shadow Copies  copy the folders that contain the vhds and the configuration of the machine and copy it to the remote location by a sync application or ftp whatever we come up with. But I don't want to shut down the machine while doing this.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:44 PM
  • Did it create a Hyper-V snapshot or a VSS snapshot? (they are two different things)

    In the case of a VSS snapshot the VM will be paused if the Integration Services are not installed in the VM (or they are not at the same level as the host).

    This pause lasts for the duration of the VSS snapshot.

    The VSS writer talks to the VSS service in the VM through the Integration Components.  Also, the application you run in the VM must be VSS aware.  There is no magic if all of the stars do not align.

    I have seen folks in the forum that use Windows Server Backup without VSS - they run a script, shotdown the VMs, back up the VHDs, and power them back on.  They simply have a business that allows them to handle it this way.  Each night the systems go offline.

    It works, but it has its drawbacks.

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:53 PM
  • I couldn't really see what it said next to the server name in Hyper V but it did look like a Hyper V Snapshot but it was pretty weird because I was trying to cancel the backup when I saw it turned off the server and then the server froze, I had to shut it down by pressing the power buttong and then when it came up it was gone so that gave us a scare. I read how people use the scripts but I think I rather just use the Windows Server backup or volume shadow copies of these drives and just run it at night since now I learned the hard way that it will shut down the server which I read wrong I guess because I thought it wouldn't touch production like Backup does in Server 2003. I just wanted to make a copy of the folder without it shutting down.
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 3:10 PM
  • The more I play with Hyper V the more question I get but this one should be simple I believe:

     

    I noticed when I click Backup Once, I am able to backup to a Remote Shared Folder. But when I click on Schedule Backup, and get to the Destination Backup it only shows a external hard drive that I have connected but I have 7 different shared folders that I want to do per day. I have a shared folder for each day ex. Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday..Sunday. I want to schedule a backup per day Monday to Monday Folder, Tuesday to Tuesday folder.. etc. But I am unable to choose the remote share folder, I tried the Wbadmin but it don't allow me to schedule the day only the time.


    Any help would be appreciated.

     

    Nevermind Found the technet site to explain how to. I guess I just have to learn how to play with it.

     

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd834883.aspx

    • Edited by CGS Tech Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:58 PM Found it
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:49 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Unfortunately, you can't use Windows Server Backup to make a Backup Schedule and backup it to a network share in Windows Server 2008. However, you can perform the following workaround:

     

    Windows Server 2008 Backup to a network share

    http://blogs.bitwizards.com/Bryan_Soltis/post/2008/09/23/Windows-Server-2008-Backup-to-a-network-share.aspx

     

    Important Note: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites; therefore, Microsoft cannot make any representations regarding the quality, safety, or suitability of any software or information found there. There are inherent dangers in the use of any software found on the Internet, and Microsoft cautions you to make sure that you completely understand the risk before retrieving any software from the Internet.

     

     

    Best regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:42 AM
  • Thanks Vincent for the link. That is what I found at a technet website as well and played with the coding and got it to work. But I got the c: drive and the recovery e: drive to work but for some reason the d: drive that contains all my vhds for the virtual machines timeout and gave me this error:

    Backup started at '1/13/2011 4:30:03 AM' failed as Volume Shadow copy operation failed for backup volumes with following error code '2155348001'. Please rerun backup once issue is resolved.

    Event ID 521

    I googled it and saw a forum that said it's a common error and that they waiting for a service pack to be released to fix this issue. I'm going to give it a try tonight with just using d: drive since yesterday I put c:,d:,e:. Im going to hope just doing the d: alone would do the trick.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011 3:40 PM