New version of Altaro Backup for Hyper-V 2012

This version contains a lot of great new features. There are also a number of fixes and improvements. I’ve covered an overview of the new features, fixes and improvements below.

New features:

  • Windows Server 2012 Support, including support for VHDX files.
  • Windows 2012: support for backup and restore of VMs located on network paths.
  • Windows 2012: support for Volume Shadow Copies of SMB3.0 network paths.
  • Windows 2012: support for CSV3.0 and scale-out CSV file shares.
  • New and improved Metro-Style User Interface.

Fixes & Improvements:

  • Link to error reporter from Management Console.
  • Extra verification checks in Reverse Delta algorithm.
  • Improved free-space calculation (Backup no longer checks for full size of VM in free space).
  • Many more improvements and bug fixes under the hood.

       

       

Today Altaro released a new version of Altaro Backup for Microsoft Hyper-V 2012! In this review I’ve detailed how to install and configure the solution, as well as my take on the pros and cons. After reading this blogpost, you’ll have a much better understand of this latest Beta release from Altaro.
Whit the upcoming releasee of Microsoft Windows 2012, Altaro has also changed the interface in Metro-Style. Let’s have a closer look at the new console. The installation is very simple. double-click the executable to start the installation which will guide you.  Altaro Hyper-V Backup needs to be installed on the Hyper-V Host. After the installation has succesfully finshed, there are three shortcuts presented:

  • Altaro Hyper-V Backup Service Controller. To start, stop or refresh the services and change the backup paths
  • Altaro Hyper-V Backup Error Reporter. To report an error and send it directly to the support department of Altaro. You can easily attach some screenshots and a description to this report.
  • Altaro Hyper-V Backup Management Console. Whitin this nice Metro-Style Management Console, you can manage your backups of your Hyper-V environment.

       

In the middle of the console there’s an overview of all the virtual machines whitin your Hyper-V environment. In four easy steps, your backup environment is ready to use.

1.) Select Hyuper-V Guest VMs Here you can select the specific VMs you want to backup
2.) Select a Backup Drive Select a destination drive for storing the backups. It could be local storage (also iSCSI or fiber attached disks), UNC path, USB external drives, eSata external drives, NAS devices or RDX Cartridges.
3.) Setup a Backup Schedule Specify a backup schedule to create backups of your VMs. There are two default schedule groups created automatically. You can easelly edit thoose groups and add VMs to a specific group by dragging and dropping. Just drag and drop the specific Guest VM to the right schedule group or groups. To delete a Guest VM from a schedule group, right-click on the Guest VM and select ”
4.) Setup Notifications The last step is to setup the notifications. There are several notification options. The first is to create an event log notication. The second is to e-mail an notificaion.

After completing all the configuation steps, the backup should be vissible in the Backup / Restore Guest VMs section. Here you can see the current backup schedule or create a backup manually of a specific Guest VM or VMs.

       

       

       

       

As you can see, this product is really easy to setup and within a few minutes you have a consistent and succesfull backup of your Guest VMs in your Hyper-V environment.

Restoring a VM or just single file(s):

In Altaro you can choose the following restore options:

  • Restore a VM to its original location. This will overwrite the current guest VM
  • File Level Restore. Here you can mount a VHD or VHDX file and select one or multiple files to be restored
  • Fire Drill. The Fire Drill feature allows you to plan and execute test restores of you backups at any scheduled time. This way you can test and verify that your virtual machines are being backed up succesfully.
  • Boot from Backup Drive. Run a guest VM directly form the backup location without restoring the full VM

I’ve tested all this restore options succesfull and it’s nice to see how easy it is to perform a restore of a whole VM or just single file(s).

       

       

       

       

Conclusion

Altaro Backup for Hyper-V is a realy nice backup application. The installation and configuration is done whitin a few steps. The console is easy in use and the backup/restore options are great. In just a few minutes, your backup environment is up and running. Restoring a whole VM or just a single file or files, is a realy easy job! To make sure that you’re fully protected, you can easy setup an testplan (Fire Drill) and test an restore of your environment.

Advantages of Altaro Backup for Hyper-V:

  • The installation is easy and done in a few steps
  • Small footprint on your Hyper-V host
  • The console is realy fast
  • Central cluster management
  • Also support for core edition and Hyper-V server
  • Only delta files backup possibility through Reverse Delta technology
  • Redundancy through Mirror Backup Drive option
  • Possibility to restore to a different Hyper-V host
  • Support for CSV whitin cluster environments
  • Support for software and hardware VSS providers (such as: Dell Equallogic, HP StorageWorks, etc.)
  • Low in cost
  • Very usefull options such as single item level backup and boot from backup drive
  • Easy to perform single file(s) restore through the mount VHD or VHDX option
  • Metro-style interface
  • Great error reporting possibility

disadvantages of Altaro Backup for Hyper-V:

  • Basic reporting functionality
  • Only support for Microsoft Hyper-V, no other hypervisors like vSphere or XenServer
  • No support for backup to tape devices/libraries
  • No possibility to exclude file(s) in your backup windows
  • Needs to be installed on the Hyper-V hsot(s), so the management console must be started directly from a Hyper-V host

Altaro are also giving away two free Nexus 7’s to testers of their Hyper-V backup for Win 2012 beta. Check out all the details http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/contest.php.

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