Hyper-V Backup, which was introduced in August 2011, has been enhanced to include support the backup of Microsoft virtual machine clusters and external drives. The software has also been enhanced from a performance standpoint and now supports the live backup of Linux virtual machines. The company’s software is targeted at businesses with 1 to 75 employees.
When Windows Server 2008 R2 was introduced, a new failover clustering feature called Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) was also unveiled. Failover Clustering allows administrators to create a group of independent computers that are clustered so that if one node fails, another node provides service. The Central CSV Cluster Management feature in Hyper-V Backup automatically detects the failover process and allows the backup of virtual machines on the new failover node.
Hyper-V Backup now also allows administrators to rotate backup external USB, SATA, or eSATA drives on a daily basis. This feature, which enables the ability to store drives off-site for disaster recovery purposes, is managed through policies that dictate which drive is used on a scheduled basis.
The CSV Aware Scheduled Groups feature allows administrators to create backup schedules by groups of users and then assign virtual machines connected with those groups to be backed up. When the Schedule Groups feature discovers virtual machines in the same cluster, it will back them up together to decrease time.
[ Small businesses are notoriously slow to adopt backup and data recovery systems. Here are some of their reasons, and why those excuses don't hold up. 8 Reasons SMBs Fail To Back Up Data. ]
Through a technology called ReverseDelta, Hyper-V Backup now has a 300% increase in backup performance, according to the company. This speed is achieved by the software monitoring the network connectivity and after a series of retries, it will wait for the network to stabilize before continuing the back up.
Finally, the new software can back up Linux virtual machines without saving, halting, and resuming the virtual machine. This hot-backup feature allows crash consistent backups.
Altaro Hyper-V is available in three editions: the Standard edition, which protects as many as five virtual machines, for $345; the Unlimited edition, which protects an unlimited number of virtual machines and supports CSV clusters, for $445; and the Freeware edition, which protects two virtual machines per host computer.
Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.
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