Monday, August 29, 2016

Restoring a Hyper-V VM using Veeam: It's amazingly easy

By Steve Endow

After Tweeting about how I use Veeam for my Hyper-V backups, I promptly received the follow up question that everyone who has managed backups dreads.

Everyone knows that you need backups.  But what many people neglect is testing their backups by routinely performing actual restores.  Myself included.  Sometimes you can only discover a problem with your backup routine or process when you actually try and restore from backup, but testing restores is often that last thing that anyone wants to do.

In my case, I'm embarrassed to say, I had never done a restore using Veeam.  I had been lucky enough that I haven't needed to restore any of my VMs, and life gets busy, so testing restores hasn't been on the top of my to do list. And for me, it's also a situation where I was afraid that testing a restore might accidentally mess up one of my live VMs.

But since I just wrote about backing up my VM, and since I got called out on Twitter about testing restores, I figure it would be the perfect time to try and restore that VM.  Not surprisingly, it turns out that my apprehension was completely unwarranted.  Just as I don't have any reservations about restoring a SQL Server backup to a test database, I now know that I need not have any reservations about using Veeam to restore a backup to a new test VM.

Sadly, it took me a minute to find the restore option.  Once I found it, it took a minute to slowly walk through the restore wizard, review the options, and set my preferences.  The actual restore took less than 1 minute.  For a 100GB VHD!! (because it only had to restore 8GB)

I clicked on Restore

Chose to restore the entire VM.  Note the other options--I could have potentially restored individual files from the VM.

I chose the VM I wanted to restore from backup.

I then clicked on the Point button and chose to restore the first backup of that VM, from August 17th.

I then chose to restore to a new location, as I wanted to create a new test VM, and not touch my live VM.

I was then able to create a new directory where the VM would be restored.

It then lets you select a Hyper-V virtual network, as it will configure the new VM in Hyper-V for you.

I then changed the name to use for the restored VM.

And then confirmed the options.

Next, just 1 minute later, it was done.

The VM was then listed in Hyper-V.

And the VHDX file was right where I wanted it.  Note that it was able to restore an 8.6GB file--it didn't have to recreate the entire 100GB VHD file.

I turned on the VM, Windows Server booted up, and I logged in.  The restore VM worked great.  Once again, it's an example of why Veeam is worth every penny if you care about backing up and restoring your virtual machines.

Hopefully it goes this smoothly if I ever have to restore a VM for real!

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