5 1 0:Hyper-V Backup

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Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 5.1.0 Apollon. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.

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SEP supports a range of hypervisors, offering snapshot-based online backup of VMs.

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SEP sesam provides efficient data protection for Microsoft Hyper-V environments thus helping you implement a valuable data backup and recovery strategy for your virtual machines. SEP sesam provides back up of virtual machines running on Hyper-V host servers; it supports backup of VMs hosted on Hyper-V host standalone servers with local or directly attached storage, as well as backup of VMs hosted on a Hyper-V cluster with Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) storage and VMs with Server Message Block (SMB 3.0) storage.

The virtual machines on Hyper-V have to be backed up individually by configuring a backup task for each VM. Backing up multiple VMs running on a Hyper-V standalone server or on a Hyper-V cluster with a single task is not supported.

SEP sesam supports a variety of storage devices, allowing you to back up any Hyper-V system to any virtual machine-supported storage. By using the integrated Si3 target deduplication for Hyper-V backups, you can benefit from reduced disk capacity and increased overall storage performance.

You can perform a single file restore (SFR) from a FULL, COPY and INCR backup if the saveset is stored on a data store (Path, Si3 deduplication store, etc.). For SFR to work, the backups must not be encrypted, compressed or stored on tape.

Note that the restore procedure is version-specific, so make sure to follow the relevant restore instructions. For details, see Hyper-V documentation versions.

Key features

Backup level

  • Supported backup levels are FULL, INCR and COPY. Hyper-V backup is based on a snapshot technology – a recording of VM's state at a particular point in time. When a snapshot is taken, it is visible in the Hyper-V Manager.
  • With COPY backup, the snapshot is deleted automatically after the backup operation is completed. However, for FULL and INCR backups SEP sesam needs to determine what has changed since the last backup; therefore, after the snapshot is created, all the changes in data are tracked and saved in the corresponding file until the new Hyper-V snapshot is created or the existing snapshot is deleted.
    Even though snapshots do not take up much space individually, their total volume can grow if you have multiple snapshots on a single host, which can significantly affect server performance. You should not manually delete the snapshots as they are required for the FULL/INCR backup chain. Deleting a snapshot manually via Powershell will break the backup chain and trigger a FULL backup on the next run. In v. ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion, the RCT feature is used by default for Hyper-V backups on Windows Server ≥ 2016. See section Resilient change tracking.
  • The exclusion of virtual disks (vhdx/avhdx) is currently not supported.

Backup options

  • SEP sesam supports backup of Hyper-V standalone server and Hyper-V cluster with CSV or SMB.
  • Backup of individual VMs is supported on the Hyper-V standalone server and on the Hyper-V cluster (via the Hyper-V resource). It is then possible to restore an entire virtual machine or individual files and folders from the FULL backups.
  • You can simplify the backup of multiple VMs by automatically creating tasks for VMs connected to the same host; you can also automatically create clients for VMs to which the created tasks and ACLs can be assigned. It is recommended to use these features when a new hypervisor is added and many new VMs need to be backed up. For details, see Automating Backup Process.
  • You can also simplify backup scheduling by assigning individual backup tasks to a task group and then triggering the start of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. For details, see section Adding a task to the task group.

Resilient change tracking (RCT)

Starting with SEP sesam v. 5.0.0 Jaglion, SEP sesam uses resilient change tracking (RCT) for Hyper-V backups on Windows Server ≥ 2016 (Hyper-V VM ≥ 6.2) by default. During backups, RCT tracks changes at the data block level so that only the blocks on a VM disk that have changed since the last backup are backed up.


To ensure error-free operation of SEP sesam and to improve performance, make sure that the following conditions are met:

You can assign individual backup tasks to a task group and then trigger the backup of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. The tasks are processed according to the number of available channels. The remaining tasks are placed in the execution queue and are started sequentially. For details, see section Adding a task to the task group below.

Note that a task group must always be linked to a schedule with a corresponding backup event attached to it. For details, see Standard Backup Procedure.

When backing up via hypervisor and using external disk, SEP sesam cannot back up the data on the RDM disks or on a VM without attached SCSI controller(s). The data of such disks is silently skipped from backup, hence the backup saveset contains no data for the external disk, while the backup succeeds and no warning about the missing data is issued. If a restore of a VM with external disk is performed to the original VM by using the option overwrite, the disk is re-created and all existing data on the restore target is lost.

To back these hypervisors, you have to add one or more SCSI controller to the virtual machine before performing a backup even if there are no devices to use the SCSI, or you have to install a SEP sesam Client on the virtual machine and perform additional file or application backup to back up this data.

Creating a backup task for each VM

You have to create a separate task for each VM running on a Hyper-V standalone server or a Hyper-V cluster.

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Clients, select Hyper-V client (Hyper-V standalone server or Hyper-V cluster resource) and click New Backup Task. The New Backup Task window opens.
  2. Specify the Source. Browse for the VM that you want to include in the backup and select it. Note that you can only configure one VM per backup task. By selecting the source, the task type and task name are set automatically.
  3. If you want to define other options (such as pre/post backup and restore commands, set encryption or compress data, specify OS credentials, consolidate individual tasks under a specific task group, assign a task to the schedule), click the corresponding tabs in the New Backup Task window. Click OK to create the task.
  4. If you want to start the newly created task immediately, right-click the name of the task and click Immediate Start. If you want to schedule the task, click New Schedule under Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules. For details, see Creating a Schedule.
  5. Tip
    You can also add your backup task to an existing schedule by double-clicking the backup task, selecting the tab Schedules and adding it to one or more schedules.

Once you have configured a schedule, you must create a new backup event for it. Go to Main Selection -> Scheduling -> New Backup Event, click the Parameter tab and select one of the available backup levels (FULL, INCR or COPY). For details, see Creating a Backup Event.

Adding a task to the task group

You can add all the tasks for an individual VM to a task group and trigger all the tasks with a single event. For details, see Adding a Task to the Task Group.

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Groups, click New Task Group. The New Task Group window opens.
  2. Enter the Group name. Under Tasks for this group, select the tasks (from the list of all available tasks on the left) and add them to your newly created task group list.

  3. If you want to start backups for the task group immediately, right-click the task group name and click Immediate Start. If you want to schedule the task group, click New schedule under Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules. For details, see Creating a Schedule.

Once you have configured a schedule, you must create a new backup event for it. For details, see Creating a Backup Event.

Monitoring backups

You can view the status of your backup jobs in the GUI (Monitoring -> Last Backup State or Job State -> Backups) or SEP sesam Web UI (as of 4.4.3 Beefalo V2: select Monitoring from the side menu). The backup status overview provides detailed information about the last run of backup jobs, including the task name, start and stop time of the last backup, backup level, data size, throughput, assigned media pool, etc.

See also

Hyper-V Backup with Resilient Change Tracking (RCT)Automating Backup ProcessHyper-V RestoreHyper-V Configuration

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