Back up virtual machines and clusters

Flexible Security

Backing up Hyper-V

Once the host is connected, you can configure the backup with the Configure Backup button. However, you first need to define a repository to which the VM data will be backed up by selecting Infrastructure | Backup Repository | Create New Backup Repository (Figure 2). Besides local data carriers, network shares can be used.

Figure 2: Setting up a backup repository for backing up VMs. Network drives are a good choice.

Of course, you can also create multiple backup targets, which you define later in the backup jobs. Under Infrastructure | Backup Repository you can view the individual targets, as well as the free storage space. Once you have created at least one backup repository, use Configure Backup to create a backup job for the individual Hyper-V hosts that are connected to Vembu. When using the free version, you can choose whether you want to use all backup features for a maximum of 10 VMs or whether limited features are sufficient for more VMs. With the limited features, only full backups are created, and you have to delete the backups manually. Retention is disabled in the free version when you back up VMs with the standard features.

On the first page of the wizard (VM Selection), you select the VMs to be backed up. You can see which VMs are running or currently switched off. Use the VM | Disk Exclusion button to remove individual virtual disks from the backup jobs. By default, Vembu BDR backs up all virtual disks from all selected VMs.

Under Guest Processing , you can also back up the applications on the VMs by activating Guest Processing Settings . In this way, you can, for example, create an online backup of Exchange Server and your SQL databases. The software can delete the transaction logs after the backup if required, but first you need to enter the credentials for accessing the virtual server applications on the configuration page. If you already used these credentials when connecting the Hyper-V hosts and the user account is the same, you can select it directly from the menu.

Next, you need to decide when the servers will be backed up from the numerous options. Daily and weekly backups are possible, as are multiple daily backups. You can also specify that full backups always take place at certain times and how many full backups Vembu will keep in the repository at the same time.

The Settings item lets you define when the backups will expire and be deleted from the repository. Additionally, multiple incremental backups can be grouped by specific time periods, which will significantly reduce the number of restore points. Finally, you can select the backup repository and enable encryption. The last step is to display a summary of the individual entries and give the backup job a name. By default, the backup is started immediately after saving, but this can also be disabled. If you click on the status of a backup, you will see the details of the current operation.

Managing and Monitoring Backups

In the web interface, you can see a summary of the currently active and processed jobs on the dashboard (Figure 3). Backup | List Backup Jobs shows all the defined backup jobs and the current status of the backup. If a backup is running, the list of backup jobs displays here. This is also where you suspend and resume jobs. If necessary, you can cancel running backup jobs from the Status item.

Figure 3: The backup status gives you information on its progress.

Under Reports, you can see descriptions of the latest job runs and whether the backups were successful. The volume of data for the job and possible errors, warnings, and other information can also be found here. Click on a job to view more detailed information, including the VMs to be backed up, the excluded disks, the schedule, the sequence of backups, and the disk encryption configuration.

If data is lost, you can restore VMs and individual data from the VMs from the Recovery menu item. To do this, select the icon for recovery and then specify whether you want to recover a complete VM or individual servers. When you start the recovery process, you have numerous options to choose from, including an instant recovery process, a full recovery, individual data, and even an image. Once the wizard is done, follow the prompt, and recovery will begin with the specified options. Again, clicking on Status will give you more detailed information.


Vembu BDR Suite is quite an interesting piece of software for companies that want to back up VMs – up to 10 for free. Because the free version also supports backing up conventional servers, it lends itself to flexible use. Vembu BDR Suite is easy to manage in the web interface, and anyone who needs more than the features of the free edition can easily switch to a larger, commercial version by purchasing a license, with no need to reinstall; the backup data and settings are also transferred.

If you do not use Hyper-V on your network, you can also back up VMware ESXi. The procedure is identical, and the interface is the same. Only the approach for connecting the hosts is slightly different. In the same interface, you can also back up conventional Windows servers, as well as data in the cloud – also free of charge.

The Author

Thomas Joos is a freelance IT consultant and has been working in IT for more than 20 years. In addition, he writes hands-on books and papers on Windows and other Microsoft topics. Online you can meet him on

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy ADMIN Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs

Support Our Work

ADMIN content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you've found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More”>


		<div class=