By Jessie / Last update October 20, 2021

Why Create Windows Sever Hper-V Backup?

You may know the Hyper-V environment provides much high availability and fault tolerance to run virtual machines, such as, failover clusters, Live Migration, replication, etc.

They do great favor in minimizing the downtime of the virtual machine in many scenarios, but it does not work in disaster recovery due to human errors, virus attack, or other issues. Thus, it's necessary to create a Hyper-V incremental backup.

And I'll show you how to make it in this article, both built-in tool or third-party one.

How Does Windows Server Backup Work with Virtual Machines?

In Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, using Windows Server Backup for incremental Hyper-V backup is complicated and with many incompatibilities and limitations.

To back up Hyper-V virtual machines, one way is from the parent partition. To do that, you need to register the Microsoft Hyper-V VSS writer with Windows Server Backup, which is cumbersome. However, if you want to make it simple by backing up the Hyper-V folder on your hard drive, this might cause the virtual machines not working after the restore. 

Luckily, in Windows Server 2012, the Windows Server Backup fully support backing up Hyper-V virtual machines. You only need to check the Hyper-V items when you choose what to include in the backup. You can also create a scheduled backup to automatically backup virtual machines regularly.

Way 1. Windows Server Hyper-V Backup with Windows Server Backup

Windows Server Backup is not pre-installed in Windows Server, so you need to install it in Server Manager before you can create backups. It supports creating Windows Server backup hyper-v incremental by default if you run a scheduled backup. And you can set the incremental backup in the Optimize Backup Performance if you find Windows Server Backup not doing incremental backup. Then, check the following steps.

To Backup Hyper-V Virtual Machines in Server 2012:

1. Open Windows Server Backup, click on Backup Schedule to create an automatic backup job.

2. Then it will bring you the Backup Schedule Wizard. In the Select Backup Configuration screen, select Custom to select the Hyper-V virtual machines and other files to backup.

3. In the next screen, click on Add Items to include Hyper-V virtual machines to the backup.

Select Items

Note:✎...
You can exclude individual hyper-V virtual machine if you don't want to all of them.

4. After that, specify when you want the backup to run. You can schedule a daily backup or more frequent backup time.

5. Specify the backup destination drive. You can backup to a dedicated hard disk, a volume or shared network folder.

Specify Destination

6. Confirm the backup schedule and click Finish.

Compared with previous system, it's easy to perform Windows Server Hyper-V backup in Windows Server 2012 and later. But it still has some limitations that may slow down your experience.

  • It's hard to manage backups if you have 3-5 Hyper-V hosts or more. 
  • The schedule backup frequently is limited to backup once a day or More than once a day, the best is to backup every half hour. 
  • The backup target is limited to dedicated hard disk, volume and network shared folder. And if you backup Hyper-V host to a network location, it will only maintain a single version of the backup and overwrite the older backup each time and be performed as a full backup.
  • You need to enable schedule backup task using Task Scheduler if the host has VMs with high density and large sizes. Otherwise, the server becomes overloaded. More so, if you store backups on external hard disk, the LAN/SAN/iSCSI network experiences high loads during working hours.
  • You are not allowed to recover a specific file. If you really want to restore certain files, you can mount the backup image by creating a VHDX file and manually copying the files you want. 

Thus, if you need a simpler and more reliable Hyper-V backup software, you can use third-party server backup software AOMEI Backupper Server. 

Way 2. Windows Server Hyper-V Backup with AOMEI Backupper Server

AOMEI Backupper Server is a Windows Server backup program that provides complete support for Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware, Virtualbox, and other virtual machine software. It supports Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, and the corresponding version of Windows PC OS.

With an intuitive interface, AOMEI Backupper Server makes backup and restore Hyper-V virtual machines easier and faster. You can install this software on the Hyper-V for backup and recovery. What’s more, it is supported to restore virtual machine to physical, and vice versa.

There is no problem creating Hyper-V incremental backup to a network share and it supports more backup target, such as, external hard drive, NAS, cloud drive, etc. Besides, it also offers various other functions to better manage the backup, daily/weekly/monthly backup schedule, VSS, image compression and explore, operation priority etc.

To Perform Hyper-V Incremental Backup with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Download and run the backup software on the Hyper-V virtual machine. 

Download Freeware  Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008
Secure Download

2. In the main interface, click Backup, and then System Backup

System Backup

Note:✎...
You can also choose Disk Backup, File Backup, and Partition Backup per your needs.

3. For system backup, the program will automatically choose the system-related partitions as the backup source. All you need to do is to specify the destination location for saving the backup image.

Select Path

4. Click the Schedule and select Daily, Weekly, Monthly backup frequency. It makes the backup runs automatically when reaching the backup time you set, greatly backing up data manually or forgetting to backup

Daily

Then,  go to Backup Scheme and select Incremental Backup under the Backup Method tab.

Incremental Backup

5. When all settings are done. Click Start Backup to finish creating this backup.

Start Backup

★Tips:
Click Options to enable encryption and compression for the backup.
Besides Daily/Weekly/Monthly schedule backup, you can still trigger the backup event via User logon, User logoff, System startup, System shutdown. And, if your backup target is a USB flash drive, it's suggested to use the USB plug in feature to automatically backup files from or to recognized USB drive.
Click Scheme -> Enable Backup Scheme to customize the Windows Server retention policy (By quality, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly).

Conclusion

Now you know how to create Windows Server Hyper-V backup in Server 2022/2019/2012/2016/2012 with Windows Server Backup. If you prefer an easier way to set Hyper-V incremental backup, then AOMEI Backupper Server is the way to go. It supports more backup solutions, flexible schedule backup settings, more backup target (eg: backup Hyper-V host to a network location), intuitive users interface, etc.

And it not only backup software, but also disk clone software and file sync software. Thus, you can use it to clone hard drive in Windows Server 2022, clone hard drive in Windows Server 2016, sync files between Windows Servers, sync files in real time etc. 

For IT technician or small and medium companies who want to protect unlimited PCs and Servers within one company, it's suggested to use AOMEI Backupper TechPlus. Its AOMEI Image Deploy feature can hep you deploy or restore system backup to multiple computer simultaneously, greatly reducing the heavy workload caused by configuring computers one by one.