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Are hyper-V backups vss complaint?

Level 3
Partner Accredited Certified

Hi to all,


Symantec just issued this technote ( , which is rather confusing and I would like your feedback

According to the note:


Traditionally, Shadow Copy Components (SCC) and System State (SS) are backed up in FULL even if the schedule type is Incremental.  However, the Hyper-V backup methodology does not run a traditional SCC + SS backup of the guest OS.  


so the question is: Are  hyper-V backups valid Shadow-Copy compliant? Are they safe backups?


Level 5

The best way to understand snapshot backups, including Hyper-V, is that they take a backup of the entire virtual machine system, which includes the OS, files, folders, SCC and SS data. They are one step removed from the OS-level paradigms like Shadow Copy and System State, and rather are an attempt to capture the entirety of the system as it currently stands. This method is possible because the systems themselves sit on a hypervisor that can take snapshots of the entire system.

Inherently, this level of protection is (IMHO) more secure, and allows you to ensure that the system is backed up at its most basic level, by asking the hypervisor running the Virtual Machine to snapshot the virtual system and back that snapshot up.


A rather rough analogy is that it's equivalent of taking a physical server and making a copy of it, and placing that copy on tape/disk. VMs don't care about the hardware it sits on (roughly speaking), nor do they care what OS is running on them, they can be snapshotted and copied off to ensure the system is safely backed up.