This article describes how to back up virtual machines in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005.
Method 1 (recommended)
We recommend that you back up a virtual machine that is running by using the same methods that you would use to back up a production computer. If you are using third-party backup software, you might have to install backup software on the virtual machine and then perform the backup operation.
There are advantages to using this method. For example, if an IT organization has an existing standard backup process, you can use the existing process. Therefore, you do not have to create a separate backup process to back up the virtual machine.
You can back up a virtual machine that is not running or a virtual machine that is in a saved state by backing up the corresponding Virtual PC virtual hard disk image files (.vhd) and the configuration files (.vmc). If the virtual machine is in a saved state and the saved state file (.vsv) is available for backup, you can back up the virtual machine.
This process is different from performing a backup on a computer that is running because part of the virtual machine system state is stored in memory when the virtual machine is in a saved state. The system state that is stored in memory, the state of the .vhd files, and the state of the corresponding .vmc files make a complete backup set. Although you might be able to successfully back up a .vhd file while the virtual machine is in a saved state, restoring the .vhd file will likely cause an inconsistent state.Note
If you try to use the Volume Shadow Copy service with a Virtual Server 2005 host, data loss may occur.
For additional information about using the Volume Shadow Copy service with Virtual Server 2005, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Microsoft does not support the Volume Shadow Copy service in a Virtual Server 2005 environment
You can now run a backup on the virtual machine host while virtual machine guests are running. For this scenario, the following requirements must be met:
- Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 or later must be installed.
- The virtual machine guest operating system must support Volume Shadow Copy Service. (For example, Windows Server 2003.)
- The backup software must support the Virtual Server writer. (For example, Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2007.)
Note Support for the Virtual Server Writer is not available in Windows Backup (NTbackup) or in Windows Server Backup.