System State / BMR backup vs. full VM backup RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello there, 

    We've been testing DPM 2010 on a desktop class machine for a while and having it back up our full production HyperV VM's to disk. This has been working really well along side our regular tape backups for critical business data.

    We've since started the project to have DPM 2012 replace our existing backup solution so we've purchased a dedicated server fit for purpose with plenty of storage etc.

    We're 90% live with it backing up our critical data to disk then to tape which is all good.. however I'm not sure what the best method is for backing up SystemState/BMR/Full VM.

    Should I have the new DPM 2012 server back up the full virtual machines (domain controllers/exchange server/SQL server) or is the best practice to perform BMR backups?

    Instinct tells me that the full VM backup is the way to go because its the least amount of hassle to restore.... or should we be performing a full VM backup once a week and doing a system state every day? That way in the event of a failure, we could restore the full VM from weekly backup and then restore the system state over the top?

    If anyone can help with any real world experience on this or some best practice, that would be excellent.

    Thanks in advance,


    • Edited by GSR-UK Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:40 PM
    Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:40 PM


  • Hi,

    In order to have a fool proof backup schedule for a Virtual Machines, Yes you are right when you say backing up the full VHD is the most hassle free method.

    Createa a new Protection group (apart from the one where you would've configured your VM backups) and install DPM agents on the Domain Controllers and SQL servers, I would recommend that you install a DPM agent inside the VMs as well and backup the following:

    1) On a domain controller : backup System State (includes AD)

    2) On SQL server - backup the SQL databases.

    This way you will have a fool proof plan and will have all the critical data incase you something does go wrong. Also it does not make sense to restore a VHD to restore just a SQL database or AD.

    For further recovery options please install the Hyper V role on the DPM server. Refer to the link below:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh757981.aspx - Item-level recovery for Hyper-V

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you. This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties. knowledge is valid only if it is shared by All. Regards, AJ (MSFT)

    • Proposed as answer by ANUJ_MSFT Friday, November 30, 2012 9:26 PM
    • Marked as answer by Yegor Startsev Wednesday, January 30, 2013 7:18 PM
    Friday, November 30, 2012 9:26 PM