By AOMEI / Last Updated June 23, 2020

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.

Part 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 will perform schedule backup using incremental backup, and you can change the settings in Optimize Backup Performance.

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

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

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.

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 full backup. For someone that needs a simpler and more reliable Hyper-V backup tool that can save the incremental backup image anywhere, third-party server backup software AOMEI Backupper Server comes into play.

Part 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 (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 to create Hyper-V incremental backup to a network share. Besides, it also offers various other functions to better manage the backup, daily/weekly/monthly backup schedule, image compression and encryption, automatic previous backups cleanup, etc.

To Backup Hyper-V with AOMEI Backupper:

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

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7 & Server
Secure Download

2. In the main interface, click Backup, and then System Backup. You can also choose Disk Backup, File Backup, and Partition Backup.

System Backup

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 > General to decide when you want the backup to run, then go Advanced > Incremental Bakcup (default) > OK to set up a incremental backup for Hyper-V. By default, it will run the incremental backup after the first full backup.

General Settings

Schedule Settings Advanced

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

Start Backup

Tip: Click Options to enable encryption and compression for the backup.

Details about Schedule and Scheme

1. If you would like to backup Hyper-V automatically, choose one of the 6 options to run:

  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly: set up the backup running daily, weekly, monthly to avoid backing up data manually or forgetting to backup.

  • Event Triggers: You could trigger the backup event via the following events: User logon, User logoff, System startup, System shutdown.

  • USB plug in: AOMEI Backupper will automatically back up the data on the USB or backup local data to USB device while detecting the USB device of the task is plugged in.

  • Real-time Sync: Sync files immediately as soon as they changed, the real time file sync feature will ensure your files stay up to date.

2. Click Scheme -> Enable Backup Scheme to customize the retention policy. There are 5 schemes to help you to delete old backup image to free up space: Full Backup Scheme, Incremental Backup Scheme, Differential Backup Scheme, Space Management Scheme, Other Backup Scheme.



Now you know how to create Windows Server Hyper-V backup in Server 2019/2012/2016/2008. If you prefer an easier way to set Hyper-V incremental backup, then AOMEI Backupper Server is the way to go. There is no problem to backup Hyper-V host to a network location.