By Alison / Last Updated September 5, 2022

What does Hyper-V host backup mean

Hyper-V is Microsoft's free, enterprise-class, Type 1 hypervisor, that runs directly on the physical hardware to create and manage virtual machines without the underlying operating system. The virtual machine created is called a guest machine, and the physical hardware that provides the resources is called the host machine.

When it comes to backup Hyper-V host, it refers to backing up the Hyper-V hypervisor settings, including storage, networking, roles, permissions, and the virtual switch configurations, etc. It is different from backup Hyper-V at host-level, which refers to create an image of the entire virtual machine, including the operating system, configuration files, and all data on disk.

Hyper-V host settings

Should you backup Hyper-V host?

Now we have learned what will be stored if you back up Hyper-V host. You can determine whether you need to backup Hyper-V host from your own situation. Do you need these contents to be stored?

In most cases, it is not necessary to back up the Hyper-V host, what really matters is backing up the virtual machine itself. Here I will elaborate a few reasons to support this point.

Reasons why no need to backup Hyper-V host

Reason 1: Reconfiguring Hyper-V host is quick and easy

Ideally, there should be nothing but guest machines on the Hyper-V host. Therefore, reconfiguring a Hyper-V host is a very simple and quick process that takes only a few minutes to complete.

If you want to back up Hyper-V host to save time on reconfiguration, then you may also want to know that restoring your Hyper-V host can take longer than reconfiguring it, and waste your valuable storage space.

Reason 2: There is no direct way to backup Hyper-V host

Unfortunately, there is no direct and easy way to backup Hyper-V hosts. You can only choose some workarounds, for example, exporting configuration information through Powershell.

Powershell Get Host command

Reason 3: Virtual machines should be flexible to migrate to other hypervisors

Virtual machines should be independent and not rely on the Hyper-V host, so that you can easily restore or migrate them to other hosts, or even other hypervisors. Hyper-V is just one of these platforms.

Workarounds to backup Hyper-V host configuration

As stated before, there is no direct way to backup Hyper-V host. In most cases, backing up Hyper-V virtual machine itself is enough to restore all essential data.

But if you think that base on your situation, reconfiguring the Hyper-V host will take a lot of time, or if you have a situation where you need to ask someone else to restore and operate your virtual machine, then you may want to look for some workarounds for backing up Hyper-V host.

You can retrieve and save your Hyper-V host information via Powershell for later reconfiguration. Here are some basic Powershell cmdlet you can use:

  • Retrieve Hyper-V host information. Running just the Get-VMHost cmdlet will return the least default information, so you need to run the Get-VMHost | fl cmdlet to get more.

Get-VMHost | fl

Get VMHost fl

  • Retrieve the storage configuration of the Hyper-V host.

Get-Disk
Get-Partition
Get-Volume

Get Disk, Get Partition, Get Volume

  • Retrieve the physical network adapter configuration.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter IPEnabled=True

Get network adapter configuration

  • Retrieve the Hyper-V virtual switch configuration.

Get-VMSwitch

Get VMSwitch

Besides, if you want to migrate your Hyper-V virtual machine to another host, or even other hypervisors, Hyper-V Manager provides a very convenient built-in feature. You can right-click on your virtual machine and select Move to open the Move wizard.

Backing up Hyper-V VMs to protect your VM data (Free)

As I mentioned before, it's not a must-step to backup Hyper-V host, backing up Hyper-V VMs is what really matters. After all, this is where your critical business data are placed.

Besides, backup VMs once is not enough. If you want to keep up-to-date backups or multiple restore points, you still need to take backups regularly.

Here I introduce you to a free Hyper-V backup software -- AOMEI Cyber Backup. It can automatically backup multiple Hyper-V VMs, and clearly list all restore points.

Next I will demonstrate how to quickly create a complete backup task of multiple Hyper-V VMs in 3 simple steps. You can click the following button to download the freeware.

Download FreewareVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

3 simple steps to backup multiple Hyper-V VMs

1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > Hyper-V > + Add Hyper-V to add a host. And then click > Bind Device.

Add Hyper-V host

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and then set Task Name, Backup Type, Device, Target, and Schedule.

Create a Hyper-V backup task

  • Device: cover multiple VMs (10 on Free Edition) on the host in one backup task.
  • Target: selecting to back up to a local path, or to a network path. Used paths will be saved in Favorite Storage for handy selection.
  • Schedule: choosing to perform full or incremental backup, and automate execution daily, weekly or monthly according to the frequency you specified.

Backup schedule

3. Start Backup: Click Start Backup and you can select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

Start backup

Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately, for progress checking, schedule changing and restoring.

While the Free Edition covers most of VM backup needs, you can also upgrade to Premium Edition to enjoy:
Backup cleanup: Configure a retention policy to auto delete old backup files and save storage space.
Restore to new location: Create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saves the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

Backup Cleanup

Summary

In this article, I analyzed 3 reasons why backup Hyper-V host is not necessary in most cases. The most important thing is always to back up Hyper-V VM itself, in which you can restore entire VMs with almost all the essential data when needed.

But if you think that based on your situation, reconfiguring your Hyper-V host will take a lot of time, or if you have a situation where you need to ask someone else to restore and operate your VM, then you can export your host configuration via Powershell. But it may be a waste if you spend a lot of time and effort on backup Hyper-V host.