Home > Work related > Backing up your Hyper-V cluster isn’t expensive

Backing up your Hyper-V cluster isn’t expensive


It’s becoming very easy to backup virtual machines these days, there are even free versions becoming available (http://www.trilead.com/ – for VMware and http://www.altaro.com/ for Hyper-V – there is also script for XenServer available from Jeff Riechers) but one of the problems with using a high availability cluster is affordable backup. Most companies take the approach that only large companies are using cluster file systems and so they can afford the cost of an enterprise solution.

Well I am here to tell you about a software that is coming from the UK called Hyperoo (www.hyperoo.net) that is as little as 79 bucks! The software is a rsync client/server model and it works with VSS snapshots so there is no downtime. First you setup a server that will receive and house your backups. These are basically the VHD disk files and a Virtual Machine subdirectory that contains the configuration. (Most people agree that it is easier to restore a VM by recreating the configuration and using the VHD file so this is all that is really needed.)

image

We used a local USB drive on our workstation to save the backups. This make it easier to deploy to other VM servers like XenServer.

We also find that it’s easier to install VMs on our Hyper-V servers by making an ISO directory on the shared filesystem for installations.image

You can see that we have several VM directories on our shared filesystem that we will backup along with our ISO directory. Since this system only deals with a delta backup (files that change) it will not take up very much space on the backup drive.

Now we will install and setup the client portion on one of our Hyper-V servers. (Fortunately we will only need one license and one server to contain the backup software because the shared file system contains all of the VMs whether they are running on this particular Hyper-V server or not) We will need to add a few Server-Core components in order to install our software. From a command prompt on the Hyper-V server type the following;

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx2-ServerCore

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx2-ServerCore-WOW64

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3-ServerCore

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3-ServerCore-WOW64

(I can’t remember which one I used and I do remember something about the WOW64 is for 32bit machine but maybe someone else can elaborate?)

Once you have updated your server you can run the Hyperoo client from the command prompt. (BTW there is a great project running around that gives you an applet to add remove applications, run updates, etc. called CoreConfig from codeplex at http://coreconfig.codeplex.com/). When you have finished the install you can open the app by typing ‘hyperooconfig’ from the Program files (x86)\Hyperoo directory. You should get an app that looks like this (without the configurations).

image

We have configured our storage root and all sub directories and setup a schedule to run at midnight every night. We have also setup email notification so our backup status report is emailed to us (see below).

Backup Profile: Backups

Machine name: HYPERV2

Remote Backup completed successfully.

Number of files transferred: 7

Number of files skipped: 20

Matched data: 26.70 GB

Skipped data: 6.22 GB

Changed data: 1.33 GB

Total sent: 1.33 GB

Total received: 23.11 MB

Remote backup start time: 7:07:06 AM

Remote backup end time: 7:43:24 AM

Backup duration : 00:36:17

As you can see on our Gigabyte network using a USB 2.0 backup drive we manage to syncronize our backup copies of almost 27Gig of data in just over 35 minutes! This custom rsync algorithm  is very quick. We could even run this job every hour resulting in very little lost data if disaster ever occurs.

For the cost of a few Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad computers and 79 bucks you can have the benefits of High availability between two live VM servers and back them up in the event of disaster recovery. All this for under 1000.00 makes Hyper-V a great solution for any business that needs 5 9s (99.999%) of uptime.

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